Why trade a Model K touring car for a Ford six cylinder roadster? Below are a few period photos that may help to explain. In one word, VERSATILITY (OK, and speed, and sporty looking and.....):
Ford Company photo of the Ford 6-40 Roadster
A more stately (and comfortable) appearance:
This K Roadster was dealer owned, having just completed a record run from Oklahoma City to Kansas City in September, 1908. It is an early form of a Ford tourabout, with a K front seat replacing the single rumble seat:
And maybe the most photographed K Roadster, this stripped down version led the 1909 New York to Seattle racers from New York past Chicago. This car was owned by the Ford New York Branch, and driven by F. W. Teves, A Ford agent.
Not only are the fender and aprons removed, while difficult to see, the rumble seat is removed, leaving a tool box area and in this case two tires mounted on the back deck.
Later, competing high powered higher priced 1907 Roadsters. How did the Ford compare?
Personally, I'm a family man and that's where the touring comes into play. The roadster is very cool so, I think you should have acquired that car too and not traded. Crazy, huh?
But, you are Rob! You could have worked it out. I and my daughter very much enjoyed the rides in the touring the last 2 OCFs. So, hopefully you will be as kind when the roadster is at its first OCF. It is a very important piece of automotive history. Enjoy it well as you have your other cars.
Do you have the top irons, or do you have to fabricate some?
I have a plan, reference the three passenger limitation:
Ed, no, no top irons. There is a "tourabout" K roadster in Maine with a full body top, similar to a T tourabout top that I might try to copy if I make a double back seat.
The pic Royce posted is of A. T. Purcell's Ford 6-40. The photo was taken at the completion of a 24 hour endurance run held in New Jersey, November 1907. A few more pics of the car:
The competitors. Seven of twenty one entrants, including the only six cylinder car (Ford "Six") received Silver Cups for perfect scores:
The Thomas Flyer was driven by Montague Roberts. He will be one of the winning Thomas Flyer drivers who begin the New York to Paris Race the next spring:
I really like the fenderless look. I wonder what's going on with the hood in that picture.
Any idea how many of the "200" roadsters that Ford produced still exist today?
Makes you wonder what kind of rooster tails you make with 36 inch tires.
Wonder how big the grin was on your face the first time you got behind the wheel?
I like the "fenderless" look too. I expect we'll go that way, at least through the "Speedster Reunion" in Lincoln next spring. I've seen two period photos with the hood offset and a hood strap. I suspect it's to provide a little more airflow.
I've counted eight K roadsters remaining, with another that may be a 1906 "prototype" roadster (06 chassis).
Below is a comparison of all the 1907 "big" roadsters offered. The new car review issue of "Cycle and Automobile" printed a car review each March. There were 47 roadsters of either 24 or more horsepower, or costing $2,000 or more. For the entire list, use this link:
Below are a few selected cars. How would you rank them?
First, A.Y. Malcomson's Aerocar Co.:
Wow Isn't that some front wheel camber on the passenger side front wheel of Purcell's Six
finishing with a few period roadster pics:
The model K 6-40 roadster has got to be one of the best looking cars before Mercer!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
If I read your other post correctly the Ford Roadster will do 70 MPH and the full size "K" did 50 MPH? Is there any difference is the front end design that would improve handing at that speed? Is the steering linkage heavier?
The 1906 K advertised top speed was 50mph, although some Ford pubs listed 60mph (Listed as "mile a minute").
For 1907 the compression was increased and the top speed for the touring was listed as 60mph. The roadster, with larger wheels/tires and less weight was listed at 70mph top speed.
I have gone 63 mph with our touring (a about a month ago, GPS), and it still has original equipment including cast iron pistons.
Either of those cars can do 70 MPH. I wouldn't recommend it but yes they will.
Rob I think you need to consider both the Pierce 48 and 36 HP runabouts in that group. I assume your K is a 1908 - 1909 model right?
Here are photos of a 1907 Model 48 and Model 36 (series U-U) Pierce.
The Ford Model K production years were 1906-1908. Production of the touring ceased in the late winter/early spring of 1908 and in the summer of 1908 for the roadster. Just as there are no 1928 Model T (although some were surely sold then) there is no model year "1909" Model K (or N,R or S).
The comparisons I listed were for 1907, when several automakers (47 shown in C&A magazine, link above) began production of large roadsters, often referred to as Gentleman's Roadsters." Pierce Arrow did not offer a "Gentleman's Roadster" for model year 1907, to the best of my knowledge.
Drilling down on K production a little more, the last evidence of FMC offering Model K was late spring 1909, when they announced to dealers in "Ford Times" that they still had a few K 6-40's (roadsters) to sell. The last instance I've found of a new Model K being bought from a dealer was a red 6-40 roadster sold in mid December 1909. The last Ford Motor Company advertisement listing K tourings (that I've found) was April, 1908. Of course, there's more to learn,
Just found another photo that needed to be added to this post - the 1908 Franklin Model H runabout. Franklin sold more six cylinder cars than anyone. Not sure what the price was, but generally Franklins were not the most expensive cars in their class.
This is a great picture of a pretty car and a pretty lady.
You've come full circle. Back in 2012 (seems long ago..), you said this about Franklin on one of our Model K discussions:
This was in regard to the Model K finishing 5th of over 100 makes of cars 6500 participants said they would like to win in in a "Motor" magazine contest:
Copied from 2012 forum:
By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 06:59 am:.
"I can't explain how a car like Franklin could even make the top 20. It is as baffling as anything else on this odd compilation."
At the time, you were commenting that you didn't believe Franklin was in the top twenty of automakers (actually top ten during the Ford six tenure). The Model H runabout came out in the spring of 1907 (after the Model K roadster). It was rated at 30 hp, and cost $4,000. In todays dollars, the Model K roadster cost about $70,000 while the Franklin runabout about $100,000. Personally, I think the Model H is one of the most attractive of the "long hood" sixes of the period, along with Ford, Pierce, National and a few other early six cylinder cars.
Franklin was not the largest producer of six cylinder engine cars, 1907-1909. Ford was the largest producer of sixes in the world, 1906 and 1907, while several brands began to surpass their numbers for 1908 (as Ford was selling the last of the unchanged 1907 Model K).
Franklin reported 15% of their production was sixes in 1907. This equates to about 250 six cylinder Franklins. Meanwhile, Ford produced almost 500 sixes during 1907. My best guess is that Stevens-Duyrea was the second largest producer of sixes in 1906 and 1907. Later I'll provide corroboration (or contradiction) for my numbers. Will you be providing the same?
in late December, 1907, Stevens-Duyrea reported having sold 730 six cylinder cars (two models):
The car maker also reported "Stevens-Duryea Company is the only American company that has this number of sixes in use."
While Stevens may not have known how many Ford sixes were on the market at the time, we do. Ford internal audit reports for 1906 and 1907 tell us 301 Ford sixes were sold in 06 and 457 in 1907 (Fiscal Year ending Sep 30). This does not include Ford sixes used as demonstrators, by Ford employees and in inventory and sold in Oct and Nov of 1907. Regardless, with a minimum of 738 Ford's sold by Sep 30, 1907, Ford was recognized throughout the industry as the largest maker of six cylinder cars in the world.
I have to ask,are those the right lamp's on the Franklin?? With a grin Bud.
I thought no one used bale (bail, Mike W.) handled lamps after 1906?
Another "myth" bites the dust..........
I have to say.....I love the top and windshield on this one.
I think this set up would look great on your car...any plans to put a top on it?
Originally I thought not. However, it was 6 degrees yesterday morning and 10 (F) today, so I'm rethinking it. We have a roadster top and side curtains on our N, and it does button up nice and cozy. I would need to find/make top bows a buggy rail, and go from there. Fortunately, the front seat does have the factory installed supports for a roadster top. I would use a roll down windscreen, not a windshield:
In the reflection of the glass (New York Ford Branch store) is a K Roadster with top and windshield, so the cars must have sometimes been equipped from the dealer (although I have only seen photos of a couple of roadsters with tops):
try www.topsockets.com ....looks like this guy does really nice work.
Great site. I'll give him a call. Thank you,
No worries! I will be curious to hear of your experience with him. A good buddy of mine has a 1913 White GAF that need a correct Two-Man top....so we will be needing his assistance soon.