Time for a Model K story.....
Things I've learned over the last year about Henry Ford and the Model K. From personal reminiscences in the Oral History interviews conducted in the 1950's, Henry Ford owned a maroon Model K with blue wheels:
courtesy THF, all rights apply
He had a Model K shipped to California for a vacation with Clara's parents and Edsel in early 1907:
Many photos exist showing HF and K models:
However, I didn't have any idea how long he kept a Model K. As soon as the T was on the market, did Ford let all the Ks go? Ford Motor Company no longer advertised Model K after August 1908, although dealers continued to advertise them into the summer of 1909. 42 Model K were reported sold in the 1909 Ford Fiscal Year Audit (Oct 1, 1908 - Sept 30, 1909).
Were there still Model K at Ford factories? How quickly were they all disposed of? Would Henry Ford's reported dislike of the six cylinder car, and Model K specifically, have meant they were quickly removed from FMC properties?
Recently I came across a passage from a book written by a Detroit reporter about Henry Ford. The book "Henry Ford, The Man And His Motives," by William L. Stidger, was published in 1923. It was authorized by Henry Ford and consisted of a series of interviews by the author and Henry Ford.
The book appears to have been written in February of 1923, because the author mentions in his introduction that Ford Motor Company bought a Pittsburgh glass factory the same week he was writing the book:
Article about Pittsburgh area glass factory purchase by FMC:
Continuing on with the Ford biography, on page 122 the author asks Mr. Ford "was the first car produced like the present Ford?" Mr. Ford's answer was "no, it was a six cylinder." Continuing, the author reports Mr. Ford said "I owned one of them until a year or so ago and then I had one of the boys sell it for me. It is still running."
It seems Henry Ford, by 1923 the wealthiest man in the world, had sold his Model K just a few years earlier. It also appears Ford was aware of the car, and knew it was still in running condition. By this point in his career, Henry Ford is responsible for building millions of cars. Personally I find it remarkable that one of his answers to the biographer concerns a Model K, that he owned until sometime around 1920.
Ironically, by the time this book was published in 1923, Henry Ford was already searching for a Model K, presumably for his museum. According to Louis Scott (above), the Model K at the village may have been (and may still be) the one Henry Ford owned many years earlier.
Not bad for a car that history tells us Henry Ford hated....
The author, William L. Stidger, 1885-1949, became famous in his own right. This book by Jack Hyland covers the life of the famous evangelist and author:
Rob,I was supprised to find a Model K in the picture posted of the Henry Ford.Good on you for finding all the facts rather than only some? Cold,wet,dark miserable day but the corn stove has us toasty! Bud.PS, Did your car's make it home,and where is Dean Yoder off too? Bud.
Bud, I don't believe Dean is off on any "adventures" until Hershey. I flew home from Dearborn following OCF. Late next week I fly back, pick up the "K" and drive to Defiance OH for the Glidden Tour.