The timing seemed good for this one.
Lynch Davidson was a successful, wealthy Houston businessman. The son of a former Confederate soldier, Mr. Lynch served in the Texas Legislature and as Lt. Governor before running for Governor in 1924.
Mr. Davidson also owned early motor cars, including Ford. He competed with his 1906 six cylinder Ford in Houston races in late 1906:
In the sixth race, the Ford beat a National and Rambler to win the second heat. In the final heat, the Ford "twisted off a wheel, and wrecked:"
Later, a new car for Mr. Davidson, and his political legacy.
By the summer of 1907, The Davidson's have a new car:
A second Ford six cylinder.
Mrs. Davidson enters the car in a parade, "dressed in chrysanthemums of three shades of yellow, there being a perfect mass of flowers. At convenient points about the machine there were huge gauze butterflies on wires, and they bobbed as the machine moved...."
Tim Kelly, if you're reading this, just imagine doing the same decorating scheme to your Model K for the New London Parade next August......... I'd offer, but since this was a touring car, we should be historically correct.
Next, the Davidson's get a third car, and candidate for Governor Davidson takes a political stand.
Well Rob if you want Tim to put butterflies on his car perhaps you could put "rainbows" on yours! and make it a very "special parade"
(Oh I bet I get several private messages on that comment!)
Whats sad is up to just 5 years ago I had always thought that a rainbow flag was just an ornamental flag! But then I'm the same guy that back when I was just 19 and had just joined the Army I had a young lady ask me if I wanted to party, No one told me I had to pay for the party! Yup, I was just a dumb country boy back then.
Before this goes too far afield, the next car I'm able to find concerning the Davidson's is a 1912 model 30 h.p. Chalmers torpedo, purchased in 1911:
Lynch Davidson will go on to serve in the Texas Legislature, then as Lt. Governor. During the 1924 election for Governor, Davidson, along with two other gubernatorial canditates, declare against the Ku Klux Klan:
A more complete description of Lynch Davidson's carreer:
When these fellows purchased all these different cars were they all similar in price or did each car get more expensive as they moved up the social ladder?
It appears to me cars improved, while prices dropped. In 1906, a Ford Model K cost $2,500. The next closest six cylinder car in price was a 30 h.p. Franklin at $4,200. From there prices went up.
By 1909, Thomas offered a six cylinder, 40 h.p. Model for $3,000. While I love the 1906-1908 Model K, I think most buyers would have chosen a Thomas Flyer with roughly the same horsepower for $3,000 over the Ford Model K at $2,800 (1907-08 model):
My suspicion is, not only did Henry Ford realize the future was huge (Donald Trump HUGE) for the low priced car with an unlimited market. I suspect he also realized the high priced car market was going to become more and more competitive, with tighter and tighter margins in a market that was already defined.
The ad below shows the 1912 Chalmers 30 h.p. Torpedo the Davidson's bought listed at only $1,500.
At the same time, a high end marquee, the 40 h.p. National listed at only $3,000
Automotive technology was improving so fast at that time. Ford got in and out of the six cylinder semi-luxury car market at just the right times. And I think he knew it.
In 1915 Studebaker dropped the price of a large six down to just over a thousand dollars. $1050 for 122 inch wheel base, 355 cubic inch basically 50 horse power well built six seven passenger touring car.
I miss my Studebaker.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
There was a time when I considered a 1916 Studebaker. It looked like a big, strong car. As things turned out, I've evolved into a Ford guy through and through......
I meant to add this from the 1906 race above. The newspaper said the fastest mile was turned in by a Pope Toledo. However, the four mile heat time turned in by the Model K set a slightly faster mile pace: