Old Photo - Edsel Ford 1915 Tour Car

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Old Photo - Edsel Ford 1915 Tour Car
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Friday, November 13, 2015 - 09:22 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 12:46 am:

I think this a photo of Edsel's car before the cross country trip. What amazed me was that during the trip they change \d to wood spoke wheels. Maybe these failed due to the horrible conditions and wood spokes were the only ones available.
Does anyone any documented facts as to what caused the change?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 07:36 am:

Great pics!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gilbert V. I. Fitzhugh on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 08:04 am:

From Edsel's diary:

6/17/15 (first day out) "Ford had puncture and blowout on rear wheels."

6/19/15 "Ford skidded on wet pavement in East St. Louis, loosened spokes in right rear wheel. Arrived Hotel Jefferson in St. Louis at 4 p.m. Went to Ford branch, left camping equipment, procured new rear wheel."

6/22/15 "Sheared bolts off hub of rear wire wheel which finally dropped off leaving car in crippled condition. Secured a wheel from Arrow Rock. Delayed two hours."

6/23/15 "Slid into deep ditch on clay road two miles from Olathe. Stuck five hours in rain. Tried various means of getting out. Finally called garage at Olathe. Ford came to our assistance and with aid of five men, got out with cracked rear wheel only damage."

Since the trip had more than a month to go, and all this drama happened in the first week, I'm not surprised Edsel opted for Plan B.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 09:31 am:

They look a little on the "light" side. What's with the fronts? Looks like brake drums.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mikeska, Denver CO on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 09:42 am:

I like the combination Spare Tire/Gun Holder!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 09:50 am:

I see Edsel is using an aftermarket horn.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 10:22 am:

The car has a battery box on the running board and a large electric spot light. I bet it had a starter generator system too.

You can see a pin stripe just below the top of the door.

The wheels appear to use standard Model T hubs with six carriage bolts holding the wheel to the hub. Never seen any like that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 10:56 am:

Those 6-bolt wheels are early McLaren prototypes. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Miller, Mostly in Dearborn on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 12:58 pm:

John McLaren told me his wheels are copies of an original design. Something like Standard or Universal if I recall correctly.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor - Kenilworth, NJ on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 01:04 pm:

Ford using After Market parts? He should know better! That's a surprise.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 01:16 pm:

But Mike, he wasn't a Ford, he was an Edsel!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 02:57 pm:

At the time of his cross country odyssey Edsel would have been twenty one years old. EVERY twenty one year old knows So much more than their old man.

And, perhaps, Father Ford may have let his dear boy set out equipped as he so chose to allow him the full and complete benefit of the "learning experience".

Possible scenario:

Edsel: "Well, Goodbye Dad!"

Dad: "Good Luck Son!" Thinking: That flimsy junk won't last him two weeks.

(Message edited by bharper on November 14, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Phil Lawrence - Nevada City, CA on Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 04:10 pm:

Anybody notice the pin stripe behind the front seat and along the top of the body?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, November 15, 2015 - 10:14 am:

Yes, see the post above at 10:22 AM yesterday.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 08:09 am:

Jay -- we always appreciate the early photos you and others post. Thank you!

Does anyone know if the approximate date the car was manufactured is known? I.e. was the serial number of the car recorded in the diary etc.? Or what was the first entry in the diary? (That pamphlet about the trip is on my Christmas wish list, but I don't know if anything that would date the car as very early Jan/Feb 1915 or a very new car produced in late May or early Jun 1915. If we had that information it might be helpful in dating some changes. Note the car has the "L-shaped" headlight connectors. It also has the brass trim on the lamps.

Clearly as the son of the owner -- he could have a T outfitted anyway he desired (for example his speedsters) as well as the wire wheels above or the accessory windshield, cowl vent etc. shown at: http://www.freep.com/picture-gallery/money/2015/07/11/edsel-fords-1915-detroit-t o-san-francisco-tour/30028659/

I'm hoping to find a date or date range for when the car was likely manufactured to go with the excellent photos available about that car. Because he lived in the Detroit area and began the trip from that area -- it would be likely that the car came from the main plant rather than one of the branch plants.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson College Place, WA on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 01:13 pm:

Edsel started off with those sporty wheels, but pictures taken during the trip show that by Denver they had been changed back to more durable wood spoke wheels.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gilbert V. I. Fitzhugh on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 01:27 pm:

The first entry in the diary - a trip log, really - just says:

"Party consisting of Herbert V. Book and Robert T. Gray Jr in 8-cyl Cadillac and Thomas C. Whitehead, Horace J. Caulkins Jr and Edsel B. Ford in a Ford touring car left Dearborn at 7:55 a.m. (Central time).

Encountered some mud in vicinity of Saline.

Had lunch in Wauseon, Ohio. Ford had puncture and blowout on rear wheels. Bought some food at Fort Wayne; had supper at Marion, Indiana; arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana at 11:30 p.m.; stayed at Hotel Claypool.

Weather hot; roads good but dusty.

Day's run: 293 miles"

The Stutz joined them the following day. Sorry, Hap, no serial numbers from that source.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Eastern Nebraska on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 02:05 pm:

Maybe this link has been posted, but "The Detroit Free Press" made a video of the trip and re-enactment that is pretty good:
http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/mark-phelan/2015/07/11/edsel-ford-road-trip-model-t/29939487/

A few pics from DFP:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 02:39 pm:

Hap,

Ford made 36 Model T tourings in the month of January 1915. There were a paltry 5674 touring cars produced in February 1915. This compared to an average of 20,000 T tourings per month during fiscal 1915.

I would guess Edsel's car to be more likely built in March or April when production was starting to ramp up to normal levels. It appears to be the typical style of 1915 touring with the wood body structure and no visible rivet in the body side as appeared on the 1916 touring bodies.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 03:12 pm:

The front wheels look like they also have brake drums because they actually do. The wheel hubs have parking brake drums built into them for use with the T parking brake. In other words, to use one of those rear wheels, you had to remove the Model T brake drum, which was then replaced by the "drum" that was integral to the wheel hub. So as not to have to produce a different, unique front wheel hub, they used the same wheel centers, with the drum area simply unused.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 03:24 pm:

For those who get the Model T Times, there are a couple of great articles in it the latest issue on Edsel's journey and the modern re-enactment (just got my copy today). The modern re-enactment car had some updates that are sure to incite controversy. :-)

(Message edited by cudaman on November 16, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 03:36 pm:

Re. the Jefferson Hotel. The building is still there, but is no longer a hotel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Jefferson_%28St._Louis,_Missouri%29


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, November 16, 2015 - 09:11 pm:

Gilbert,

Thank you for looking in the diary trip log for a serial number. Maybe it was recorded somewhere else and will show up at a later date?

Royce,

I agree that the car could have easily come from the Mar Apr 1915 time frame when the production was running more typically. But if Henry wanted to give Edsel one of the first Jan or Feb ones he could have. And if we had an engine serial number that would give us a much narrower time frame. I plan to down load some of the photos and see if I can make out any other items that would help us date the car (for example how many rivets in the front fender brackets or did it have the normal 1915 style rear axle housing or the earlier 1913-very early 1915 style etc. Since the trip started Jun 17, 1915 we know it was produced before then or they would have had a very rushed time putting on the wire wheels, accessory windshield, cowl vent, etc. And normally you would want to break the car in before you took it on a long trip.

If anyone runs across other photos of the car with known dates that could also possibly help.

And of course what an adventure that trip would have been for any one!

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


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