Did Ford build a 1911 "Delivery" or not?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Did Ford build a 1911 "Delivery" or not?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 03:19 pm:

They are not listed in "Model T ford" and "From Here to Obscurity" but a 1911 "Delivery Van" is listed in the "Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 05:21 pm:

Well I think we are getting into model year verses calendar year. The torpedo pictured above is the style called 1912 which is different from a 1911 torpedo. The Delivery car shown in the ad is called a 1912 "Pie Wagon". John Regan can tell us about the pie wagon differences.
Perhaps the ad was used in late 1911 when the new 1912 styles came out but was dated 1911.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 05:29 pm:

Gary,

Short answer -- no.

Additional details: The 1911 advertisement above has a 1912 model year torpedo runabout (notice the standard 1912 Ford front fenders but still has the large gas tank mounted to the rear deck. That is also true for the Delivery Car -- a 1912 model year car (although some were assembled as late as Jan 1913 -- but that is another story.

Note there was field testing of the Delivery Car body with both the telephone company as well as well as with John Wanamaker's stores.

On page 499 of Bruce's book car # 68,900 manufactured Sep 15, 1911 was listed as a Del. Wag. with the note: Perhaps the first of the 1912 Delivery Wagons. And on the same page car # 69,506 manufactured Sep 25, 1911 is listed as a Del. Wg.

Finally the MTFCI Judging Guidelines 6th edition only has the Delivery Car listed under the 1912 model year.

So was a Deliver Car produced in 1911 -- most likely. Was it a 1911 model year or a 1912 model year? It was the new 1912 model year. Just like you can by next year's new car in the fall of most years.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 06:59 pm:

Charles Fay was a Ford Branch Manager. I would be surprised if the bodies he is referring to were anything other than Ford produced, but then again, nothing surprises me anymore about accepted Ford history.

I'll do more checking later,

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 07:16 pm:

Thanks for the replies. Looks like a little literary license was taken with the ad. So what's new with that? Anyway, it does point out Ford did make a few commercial style bodies.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 08:17 pm:

Actually Ford did not produce any of the bodies that it was furnishing on cars during 1911 or 1912 since they were built on the outside. It is also worthy to note that Ford sold a lot of "running gear only" type chassis which could then be equipped by the customer - perhaps with dealer help - to any body that was being made by any number of outside body shops.

With regard to a Delivery van for 1911:

Announced in October of 1911 they were called 1912 Delivery Cars. Ford built and sold about 2480 of them through December of 1912 which means the last 2 months of them were technically 1913 Models. I have one late August 1912 Delivery Car which is a Knock-down Body version being shipped to dealer for final assembly from a top, 2 sides, 2 doors, a Floor and seat assembly. I also have mostly all remnants of a very early Regular Body 1912 Delivery Car body which has details that exactly match the late October 1911. I built an exact copy of that delivery car body using it and factory drawings and research on found drawings at the Henry Ford Museum (now called BRC). The 2 bodies that I have were both manufactured by O.J. Beaudette Co. of Pontiac, Mich. I cannot comment on the Milburn version of the Delivery Car since I have not actually seen one nor is there much mention of them except I suspect they may have been the builders of the early versions and then Beaudette took over and produced the volume flow of them. I do have the drawings for the rear windows for the doors and Milburn windows were slightly different than Beaudette windows so Ford had 2 different drawings for them. All drawings of the Delivery Car parts and such never mention that the part is for either manufacturer other than the rear window drawing so it leads to the conclusion that either Milburn and Beaudette bodies were the same in all other regards or that Milburn dropped out since clearly Beaudette did not stop making them.

Hope this helps.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 09:51 pm:

Thanks John for the info. I got in a hurry and misspoke myself. I intended to say "...Ford did produce some vehicles with commercial bodies". I was not aware of the two sources for the bodies.
Gary


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 10:00 pm:

Well you got me to wondering so I searched Beaudette Co. and got some interesting reading.
http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/b/beaudette/beaudette.htm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 10:50 pm:

I have talked with Mr. Oliver Joseph Beaudette's great grand daughter and his namesake. They are just ordinary folks and fun to visit with The family basically lost their fortunes in the crash of '29 and later. Bruce McCalley and I had dinner with the lady and she was a big help in learning about the business. Mr. Beaudette was beloved by his townfolk workers and was not at all like Mr. Ford. His employee's loved the guy but everyone agreed that O.J. Beaudette was never the same after the second fire since some of his employees died and he was just unable to forgive himself. Still he did rebuild and everyone rallied around him and invested in his rebuild to get the place going again. His employee's called him "The chief" and he would joke with them on the elevator and ask his people "how many are you going to build today?" There were lots of production records set by that factory. OJ invested in Pontiac too and built roads and parks at his own expense. He gave back to his community. When he sold his business in 1922 to Fisher Body company he AND his son both retired together at the same time. Lots of people prospered since OJ himself did not hold that much stock in his own company and controlled it merely by the force of his good will. That is the way that really successful companies are controlled. People flocked to his company and he treated them all with respect.

Beaudette built cutters (sleds) and gear wood before getting into automobile bodies.

One small error in the coachbuilt data is that the serial number on Beaudette bodies is NOT typically on the floor board but is on the front most seat board under the seat cushion. I have that marking in 3 of my cars and always in that same place on the Ford bodies I have seen. He built my 1911 Open runabout body too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 10:58 pm:

Not an area I am familiar with, so I don't have enough background to be dangerous. However, it does look as though Ford Delivery Cars were a subject of discussion in the Selden Patent Case in late 1910:




And later, in April 1911, according to this account, Wannamaker does place the order for 40 Ford delivery cars, and that others "have bought Ford delivery cars in large numbers."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Saturday, January 03, 2015 - 11:27 pm:

The evidence is pretty overwhelming.

https://www.mecum.com/lot-detail.cfm?lot_id=FL0115-203226


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 01:38 am:

Wannamaker is supposedly the driving force behind the Delivery Car. It does appear that he had a lot of sway with Ford since according to Bruce McCalley's research he once told me that Wannamaker was the only Ford dealer who was allowed to sell cars other than Ford. What I find rather interesting is the BS that is in the news compared to the actual data. It appears that for promotional purposes Ford generally added at least a zero to quantities when talking about numbers of cars sold to Wannamaker and Bell telephone. One of those was supposed to have bought 250 but the invoice records show 25. I saw this same inflation on another place once and it had to to with the open runabout where the fire department was supposed to have purchased 100 of the OR for 1911 but only 10 seem to have found their way to invoices. Remember how ford lauded the battery powered ignition on his early cars while in fact was working to get rid of the battery for the T????? Salesmen haven't changed too much. My opinion is that Wannamaker wanted a delivery truck and Ford made him one and thought it was going to be a big winner - it wasn't - yet it did outsell other cars like the town car which he did not discontinue while he did discontinue the delivery car. I think the problem was that he didn't sell his projected quantity which I take to be about 5000 based upon some info where he expected his sales to be 100K cars for 1912 and 5% of those to be Delivery Cars. When that didn't happen he made the usual deal with the vendors. That deal was to take all cars that were currently in progress but ask that no more be made. At the same time then offering a nice large contract for more Touring cars. I am fairly certain that phone call took place in November of 1912 since the largest single month of Delivery car production was in fact December of 1912 and then zero after that for the most part. That sounds like a typical "close out" deal when something doesn't go according to projection. I have been privy to 2 other deals like that myself personally when my company was sourcing some telephone equipment to AT&T. They projected 1000 of our systems. We built and shipped 350 and had 150 more in process when we got the call telling us that our customer (AT&T) was "drinking out of a fire hose" with production piling up. We let them out of the contract and they gave us a bigger contract on something else. Everybody was a winner in the end. This is not an uncommon event in the manufacturing world. I am speculating here as to what happened but it makes sense to me based upon research I did some years ago on the Delivery Car production. the truth is that most of the headaches on cars was with the bodies which were outside sourced. Ford very likely made most profit on the running gear portion and why then make the whole car with troublesome body for a commercial market (rough use) when he could sell those same customers a running gear and they could have their own body built for it by one of hundreds of commercial body makers. Why build anything that does not presell when orders were piling up for Touring cars and Roadsters???


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 03:40 am:

John R, Your speculation makes sense to me. It sounds like good reasoning to explain the known production. You also mention the town car. I would wonder if the mark-up on the town car was enough higher to have been worth the trouble to continue making them for a few more years while the margin on the delivery truck did not justify continuing to build them for the trouble they were.
I don't recall what the town car sold for.
Me. Just wondering.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen on Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 08:39 am:

John Wannamaker and Henry Ford seem to have had a close and special relationship. As one of Ford's earliest and largest dealers Wanamaker received one of the only Ford air cooled car (Model H) that i've found on record (1904), and was drawn into the Selden Patent case, along with one of his customers who purchased a Ford. However, I don't believe he was a Ford dealer after about 1905 or 06(?). Gaston Plaintiff, one of Wannamaker's agents, becomes Ford Motor Company branch manager in 1905 or 06, and I think this is about the time Wannamaker's quit selling Ford cars?

During this time, and up to at least 1909, many agents sold Ford along with other makes that I am aware of.

This Oct 1911 advertisement for the "new" Delivery Car mentions that Wannamaker and Bell Telephone have been using the DC for some time before it is offered as a standard model:



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 12:29 pm:

There is a lot of what south of the border is called "el toro poopoo" in this ad. The claim of 5 years of satisfactory service as of October 1, 1911 obviously then includes the earliest Delivery Car that was made in 1906 or so of which I have zero info other than a picture and I don't think it was a rousing success. The ad then quickly moves to the chassis and those claims are basically what is talked about. Note there is no exact mention of how many cars John Wannamaker "tried out" in both New York and Philadelphia which might very have been the exact same car taken to 2 different places ha ha. Lots of ways this could be true and yet be very misleading. As for Bell Telephone use "all over the country" I suppose that claim could be true if you took one car to NY, Chicago, and LA with a single long trip ha ha. These guys were selling horses just a decade earlier ha ha.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen on Sunday, January 04, 2015 - 04:24 pm:

Again, I have no idea of the credibility of these reports. However, it's been my experience, when there are several different sources, reporting similar information, there may be a shred of truth in them.

I suspect part of the reason the "Wannamaker" reports of purchasing delivery cars from Ford are dismissed is because John Wannamaker was a Ford agent. However, by 1910-1911, Wannamaker has ceased to be an auto dealer for some time. He is, however, a world known clothing and department store owner, and the purchase of these Fords were for use delivering goods, not for resale.

A few more related bits. From a book about the Wannamaker stores, published in 1911 on the Jubilee anniversary of Wannamaker stores (1861-1911):



On page 287 and 288, a description of Wannamaker delivery vehicles:



A photograph of horse drawn wagons waiting to deliver goods from one of the Wannamaker stores, 1878:



And a current (1911) collage of delivery vehicles used by the stores:



A closeup, showing the two Fords above. I don't know if these were two of the Ford "delivery cars" mentioned in other reports, or custom built bodies secured locally. I suspect the "delivery cars" referred to in different accounts may not have had the exact same delivery body as the 1912 Ford delivery car, but again, I don't have enough information to draw a conclusion either way:



Things I do know....

W. L. Hughson was one of Henry Ford's first agents, and built a hugely successful business that included agencies in San Francisco and Oakland CA. Hughson's and Henry Ford were close personal friends and visited each other both in CA and Detroit. Mr. Hughson's refers to the Wanamaker delivery cars in this news clip. I have no reason to believe Hughson's would fabricate or promote a fabricated story regarding Ford delivery cars on the other coast, but of course, it's possible.



And this May 1911 Ford advertisement in the Saturday Evening Post:



To the right of the ad, the following:



The ad reports that Wanamaker purchased 50 "Model T cars equipped for delivery purposes."

Again, I don't have a dog in the hunt, and don't know if Ford purchased the bodies and fitted them to these cars (sounds like it to me), or if Wanamaker purchased the chassis and bodies separately. However, it does seem as though there may have been Ford built delivery cars on a limited or exclusive basis prior to the 1912 delivery car.

Now, I have other windmills to slay....

:-)


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