Found a news article showing Henry Ford and Harry Cunningham's Model K in the "Detroit Free Press" newspaper:
This June 15, 1908 "Ford Times" front page shows a Model K at Piquette. On the left side side of the "K" is a man who appears to be a chauffeur beside the car. My suspicion is this is Henry Ford's car, and driver. It may be one of the Dodge brothers, or James Couzens car, or just one of the FMC too. It looks like the license plate may be 1212 or 1712. I'm trying to find a 1907 or 1908 Michigan or Detroit area license plate directory, so if anyone has any suggestions......
These excerpts from Mr. And Mrs. Louis Scott ("Remininces
," courtesy THF, all rights apply) describe the Ford family Model K:
In this portion of his interview, Mr. Scott describes the Ford "K" being maroon, with blue wheels and gold stripping. He also says the "K" was "Henry Ford's last car" and that it is "I think that six-cylinder is over in Greenfield Village now" (interviewed in the early 1950's):
Things I don't know, and would like to learn:
What did Mr. Scott mean by "That was Henry's last car?" Was this possibly the last car registered in Mr. Ford's name? Maybe after 1907-1908, Ford Motor Co. paid for/purchased cars used by the Ford family?
Is the Model K (and license plate) Henry Ford's car?
Is the Model K now at "The Henry Ford" the same car owned by the Ford family, or was Mr. Scott just referring to the model?
The Model K at THF (not on display):
This thread brings up more questions:
What color(s) are the K at THF?
Have you seen this car yourself, or is this just a file picture?
Is there any way to find out the history on this car? Does THF have a file on it? It might be interesting to know its' engine number.
Note that it does have a Prest - O - Lite tank.
Questions, Questions & unknown history....
A few other tidbits I've found.
First, this excerpt from a book written in 1923. Henry Ford is quoted about the Model K, saying he owned one until just a few years ago. Could this have been his personal car?
And from another Model K owner, a brief description of the K at The Henry Ford. I find it interesting the car was at THF since at least 1929. This may indicate the origin of the car may have been known by Henry Ford, as mentioned by Mr. Scott.
I have not seen the museum K in person, but as stated above, it is now dark blue, with cream colored undercarriage. I would like to check the car for original paint colors.
If by chance it proved to be Henry Ford's personal car, I would think the relevance of it would be elevated. If indeed it were also the same car Henry Ford reported owning until just a few years prior to 1923, even more relevant.
One never knows........
If the Ford Motor Company did provide a car for Henry would it show up in the board meeting minutes? The board of directors would have to approve that wouldn't they? Was Henry the only top executive or board member to receive a car as compensation? Perhaps you may want to research board meeting minutes and records as another avenue and look to see if others received a car also.
I think in those early days several of the higher up's drove during development or sort of a skunk work's?? It would be nice if The Henry Ford had a data base of what is in storrage and maybe if interested people group togather tours could be had?? It might prove to be as much fun as when Augie and i found a water cooled X engine in the basement of the Power House at Fairlane!! Bud.
Some of the "Reminiscence's" compiled in the 50s mention several Ford employees having cars provided including James Couzens, C. H. Wills and I believe a few others. We know John Dodge had a Model K as late as mid 1908 because it was reported stolen (an interesting chain of events). I suspect this Model K touring car in front of the main Dodge plant may be one of the Dodge brothers, although it could be Henry Ford's or just another K:
My guess is the car to the far right is a K roadster:
Ford Branch Managers also appear to have been provided Model K too:
L.C. Block was the Philadelphia Branch Manager:
Bud, I would certainly like to be on a tour of non display items at THF...........
I would also like to be on a small group tour of the non displayed items at THF.
It's common knowledge that museums don't make money, that they need to be supported usually by a government or private foundation. With that in mind, could THF make a few bucks offering tours of their non-displayed items? Has anyone in our car collecting hobby been allowed to see any of these collections?
The first person I'd ask if he's seen any of these items is Trent since he has a kind of "special historian" access to the archives at The Benson Ford Research Center.
Trent, have you seen any of this stuff? Just wondering...