Edsel Ford's 1915 Detroit to San Francisco Tour

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Edsel Ford's 1915 Detroit to San Francisco Tour
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 05:13 pm:

Found these pictures from the Detroit Free Press on Facebook. Notice how the T wheels are changed, wire at the start and as they fail, they are changed to wood. I wonder what caused the axle problem?

At the Benson farm at the start








































I have tried to put captions on but I get lost between the pop number and the preview, sorry I failed....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gilbert V. I. Fitzhugh on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 05:21 pm:

Several of these pictures, and a bunch of others, were in a scrap book that Edsel made up. He gave a copy to each of the five friends who accompanied him on this trip. I saw one of the scrap books, shown to me by the son of one of the participants. We had it copied, and many of the pictures appeared in the Horseless Carriage Gazette several years ago. The scrap book itself is in the HCCA library in Hershey.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Stewart -Calif. on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 06:53 pm:

Great pictures, what an adventure in 1915!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 07:50 pm:

Ooooh,.....that mud! I can't imagine dealing with that! I think I'd leave the car at home all Winter and Spring, and take the train!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 07:57 pm:

It must have failed from driving through all that mud.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Brough on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 08:22 pm:

In 1972, I graduated from Edsel Ford High School in, you guessed it, Dearborn, MI. Two other High Schoolds were Dearborn High and Fordson. Henry Ford Community College was the two year college in town.
Really a company town at that time.
Nice to see a photo of 'ol Edsel.

In 1919 and 1920, the military was exploring routes to transport military vehicles from one coast to the other. One convoy was led by Dwight Eisenhower. The military determined that the rural roads, not the vehicles were the obstacle. After WWII and Eisenhower became president, he was so impressed with the German autobahn, which was created to transport German military troops and eqiptment, that he initiaed the National Highway program in the 1950's with the Federal Government providing 90percent of the funds used to create 43,000 miles of highway.

And now you know the rest of the story . . .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 08:25 pm:

Tony,

Thank you so much for posting the photos. The link with the captions as well as the photos is at: http://www.freep.com/picture-gallery/money/2015/07/11/edsel-fords-1915-detroit-t o-san-francisco-tour/30028659/

Gilbert -- just in case someone would like to track down the scrap book, -- is it the library of the AACA Antique Automobile Club of America at Hershey, or the Horseless Carriage Foundation Inc way out west that has one of the original scrap books?

Note, it looks to me like the wooden front wheels on Edsel's car are the same size as the rear wheels. Does that look that way to others or am I just seeing things again.

Perhaps another contributing reason the rear axle failed was that Ford switched from the bronze thrust washers in the rear axle to the babbit thrust washers in the rear axle. With all that mud they may have possibly had one fail? See: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax1 Rear axle thrust bearings.
If it was a new 1915 for the trip that started Jun 17, 1915 ref the date on the scrap book at the site above then it was almost a 1916 touring. I was hoping to see if it had a horn button on the steering column or not. But I did not see a good shot of that or I missed it.
And if someone knows which Horseless Carriage Gazette the article and photos were in, please let us know.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Magee on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 09:37 pm:

Hap,

Thanks so much for posting the link with the captions.

It is really amazing to be sitting in my back yard on 7/12/15 looking at a photo of Edsel's Model T taken at the Grand Canyon lodge on 7/12/15.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gilbert V. I. Fitzhugh on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 10:09 pm:

Hap -

Yes, the original scrap book (and, I believe, one of the CDs) wound up in the AACA library, even though the article was in the November-December 2009 Gazette. I was advising the son of the original participant, and my reasoning went like this: The trip was in the horseless carriage era, and it really was just a lark by a few well-off young men, one of whom would later have great impact on automobiles. The AACA's main interest comes much later, and I doubted their magazine would give this story much ink. I was submitting articles to the Gazette in those days, so I offered John Meyer, the editor, one of the CDs and my article. We got 11 pages of ink! On the other hand, Edsel Ford's important contributions to the automotive world happened much later, after the period of interest to the HCCA, so I thought researchers using the AACA library would find it of more interest along with all the other material about Edsel.

So, why not one of the Model T magazines? Because it wasn't really a Model T story. These guys had three cars, a Ford (with some custom features, like a cowl vent), a Cadillac and a Stutz. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 10:20 pm:

On closer inspection of the exposed rear axle photo, it appears that the axle halves are not broken, so I would agree with Hap about the Babbitt thrust washers being the cause of the cause of failure.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 02:02 am:

Pulling hard in that kind of mud, I would suspect a pinion gear key failure. Whatever broke, it looks like an under car repair with the torque tube and drive shaft still connected to the motor. The right side housing is in place, but disconnected from the torque tube, generally necessary with the enclosed spool rear ends.
When I sheared the pinion key in my boat-tail, I pulled the entire rear end out. But I was at home with the convenience of all my tools, stands, and blocks. If I was on the road, and it happened, if I decided to do a roadside repair? The way the photos show is how I would do it. (Just always be careful to block the vehicle solidly!)
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 09:01 am:

With all the mud it looks almost the same as the 09 race.I can't help but wonder in the pictures were they waiting for Lizzie to cool?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Eastern Nebraska on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 09:08 am:

I wonder if the T was changed to wood spoke wheels because the heavy mud was tough to clean/pick out of wire spokes?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 10:40 am:

Makes sense to me and i wonder if Henry was waiting on better roads before he offered wire wheels?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 10:47 am:

Picture seven has the car with wood wheels on the passenger side (at least the rear) and wire on the drivers side.

Ken in Texas


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Wightman on Monday, July 13, 2015 - 11:04 am:

Great post! great to see photos of Arizona and a car just like mine. I need to go drive my 15.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Saturday, January 02, 2016 - 11:04 am:

Here's another photo from the start of the same trip.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Owens on Saturday, January 02, 2016 - 08:04 pm:

It seams like sitting on the hood was the standard of the day.


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