I made an afternoon visit to Benson Library yesterday. There are always "treasures" waiting to be found. This letter from Henry Ford's personal secretary to former Denver Branch Manager Charles Hendy is one of them. A stack of correspondence follows the story as Hendy secures a Model K for Mr. Ford, in 1922. The Model K Mr. Hendy acquires (a roadster) will cost $500, had no tires and was not running.
Property of "The Henry Ford." All rights apply.
Today we begin the Dearborn to Lansing Tour, I'll try to post pics of some of the cars.
Better put your top up. Sending lots of rain your way.
Enjoy the tour. I'll be downtown Lansing, stuck in my office, pining for a chance to engage on such a cool trip.
Send it this way, Dave!
Rob, we know this letter is spurious. There is no way Henry would want to obtain a car he hated.
Maybe Henry was just trying to get as many of them as he could off he streets.
That's about the time Henry was starting the museum, so I think he probably wanted one.
Dave, we brought the top and put it up tonight, virtually assuring us that it won't rain on the tour
Zachary, we'll be leaving Lansing tomorrow morning. The cars are at the BMW dealership, so you may see some around there or the Holiday Inn Express if you pass that way going to work.
Ralph, yes, your probably right
Mike, a conspiracy theory.
Larry, I suspect your right. The entire string of correspondence is quite interesting, and shows what lengths Henry Ford went to in acquiring Ford cars, presumably for the museum.
Another interesting article (to me) found at the library. This particular Model K sold new in Omaha, and still exists (now on the west coast). This piece appeared in a 1925 issue of "Ford News." I thought it interesting for two reasons. First, that a Model K was still operational (in rural Nebraska, no less), and second, that "Ford News" would report about it. With this account we know who one of the early owners of K #489 was (sold by an Omaha Ford dealer in February, 1907):
Courtesy "The Henry Ford", all rights apply.
I believe you are correct. The letter Rob found is from BFRC Acc. 285 Henry Ford Office Papers. I did an inventory of this accession during my first sabbatical in 1997. Mr. Ford acquired several vehicles during 1922-23 that are still in the collections of THF. These other cars include the 1905 Model B (which came out of Nashua, NH in exchange for a new Model T Fordor), and "999". He was also looking for a very low numbered Model T. Each of these vehicles has a story behind it, and the story can frequently be found in Acc. 285.
Respectfully Submitted from Dearborn,
Thank you for the additional information. The "trail" of correspondence seems to end without resolution (Mr. Liebold sent a telegram saying Henry Ford would advise later concerning purchasing this roadster). By chance have you found any correspondence or information regarding the Model K touring car the museum now owns (not on display)?
Thank you for your research, and hope to see you at OCF. For anyone attending OCF, several early Ford cars will be on display in the "Dearborn to Lansing Tour" area (not sure where that is yet). Stop by and say hello and we'll go for a ride (if we make it back from Lansing today under our own power).
No, I just never count my chickens before they hatch, or in this case, finishing the tour.
We made it back in great time, and I'm at the library again for a few minutes. The Dearborn to Lansing Tour pizza party is at six, hope to have more pics for the other thread (Dearborn Lansing) then.
Both Ks functioned flawlessly and we gave ours a bath when we returned. Tomorrow will be a day of cars and giving rides at the Old Car Festival,
I got my ride on Friday night! What a great time. Thanks Rob.
Hey Rob - did you see anything in Acc. 285 regarding the 8 hp Model A cars? There was a theory that one of the Model A's that came to Australia, which was still around in the early 1920's, may have gone back to the museum.
Bruce, my pleasure.
Andrew, no, I didn't notice anything, however there is so much material and I only had a few minutes to look. I did find more pics yesterday that I personally like, along with instructions for the Holley-Huff magneto used on the Model K. A few examples, all from the 1908 Ford Times, courtesy of "The Henry Ford." (Copy rights apply)
Frank Kulick with the Ford six cylinder racer. This is the only photo I've seen of the later racer at a track (Michigan State Fairground track?). The Holley-Huff magneto can be seen mounted vertically at the rear of the engine:
Article showing photo of an electric light sign seen in Detroit displaying a Model T. From a June 1908 issue:
A June 15, 1908 Model K Roadster advertisement. I've noticed Ford Motor Company advertising after May and June no longer mentions the Model K touring car, only the roadster. My suspicion is FMC no longer has K tourings in inventory, and is only marketing roadsters by this point:
I owe many thanks to Trent Boggess, Linda and the staff at Benson Library, along with Bruce Balough for helping me find these and many other items yesterday. Who would have ever thought spending time in a library could be such great fun?