I'm going to take a break from my usual "rants" about the injustice historians have heaped on the Model K, (in my opinion) and look at where I think the disrespect began, the Model B.
Using one late author's work (and this is in no way meant as disrespect), a review of the history many Ford historians subscribe to. I believe most historians, the good, the bad, and the ugly (I'm in the last group ) use accepted information, taking as much or as little "license" as they choose to weave their story (history).
In Beverly Rae Kimes book, "The Cars That Henry Ford Built," (Automobile Heritage Publishing and Communications, LLC, New Albany, IN, 1974) the author writes the following about the Model B on page 28:
The assertion being, Henry Ford used the world speed record, in which he rebuilt and piloted his successful racer for the purpose of generating publicity to help sell the four cylinder Model B. The book continues with the following (pg 32):
The only problem? The Model B wasn't ready for sale until October 1904, as a 1905 model. Henry Ford's famous world record occurred in January 1904:
Another problem, the assertion that the Model B did not sell well compared with Ford models, C and F. As seen in the Ford Motor Company minutes, the problem concerning sales was with the two cylinder cars, not the four cylinder (B) model:
(Courtesy The Henry Ford, Benson Library, directors minutes)
Ford Motor Company actually decreased the cost to dealers of models C and F (with no mention of Model B) because the two cylinder cars were not selling well, according to letters received from Ford dealers.
Later, why the Model B is important to Model T development, in my opinion,
Henry Ford in a 1905 Model B:
Did the Model B have a foot throttle, as mentioned in the story?
No, I don't believe the Model B had a foot accelerator. The author is referring to the Ford racer (999/Arrow) and Henry Ford keeping his foot on the throttle. Evidently 999 did have a foot throttle or accelerator. My point is, this account suggests the record mile by Henry Ford was "staged" to promote the poor selling Model B.
The problem being, the world record by Henry Ford occurred in January 1904. The Model B wasn't ready for production until almost 1905. There would seem to be no relationship between the two events. I have seen advertising throughout the spring and summer by Ford promoting the two cylinder cars and referring to the mile record, but no mention of the record in Ford advertising for the Model B.
I believe the throttle is on the left side of the steering column. This allows you to shift gears with the right hand. You can go to you tube and use 2011-09-09_14-03-24_262.3gp to see the Henry Ford's running out side the back door before the OCF.
For more than anyone ever wished to know about the Model B, open the link below. It's a copy of the September 1904 "Cycle and Automobile" magazine review of the Model B. This is probably the prototype or B number 1, as the Ford board of directors doesn't approve the first 250 Model B chassis until later in the month, and the first sales are some time away. On about the third photo down one can see the throttle quadrant on the left side of the steering column:
Rob, Interesting article and some great illustrations. The transmission picture showed a gas throttle pedal, but noted it was being changed to a bell crank lever on the steering shaft. Maybe this is where the foot throttle on the Model B idea came from.