More than one might think:
Arnold Sammis lived a privileged life in the Huntington, Long Island area at the turn of the last century. He dropped out of Lehigh after two years, opening an automotive sundries and tire business in Manhattan in 1906.
In late 1907 Sammis and his business partner obtained a Ford contract, opening a store in Huntington:
At the end of 1907, the two new Ford dealers wheeled into Huntington with their Ford 6-40:
Often, when researching early Ford owners, I reach a dead end. In this case, I had found significant information about Arnold Sammis, when I came across the photo above online. Not only do we have a photo of Arnold, he is seated in his Ford Six-Forty:
Now, for "the rest of the story." Young Mr. Sammis and a friend took the Ford out on a run on the Vanderbilt Cup course when an accident occurred. According to reports, a back tire blew out or separated from the rim:
Arnold Sammis would recover after several weeks convalescing. Two days after the accident, the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race was held, and Old Number 16 would win, cementing it's place in racing history.
Poster for the 1908 Vanderbilt Race:
From "The Old Motor:"
Now we know, a Ford 6-40 led the legendary Locomobile on the Vanderbilt course.
By two days.........
The most interesting OT posts on this board are these from Rob.....Thank You!
Rob, thanks, neat stuff. I don't know how you manage to dig all these articles up but it's great.
Thanks for weaving the various sources into such a great story.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thank you, guys. It's my pleasure.
Wrapping this up.......
This announcement appeared in the local paper in February 1908, along with mention of runabouts and touring car (N, S and K), the last sentence alludes to the "new Ford touring car:"
Two Sammis and Downer ads that appeared during March 1908:
In April, 1908 a Car Carnival Parade was organized in New York City. Over 2,000 cars participated in the evening parade. Eric H., if you're reading along you'll be pleased to see Maxwells were the most numerous participant, although Ford probably had more cylinders in the parade:
Sammis and Downer participated in the parade as parade deputy marshals, driving their six cylinder Ford:
This portion of an article reporting about the parade indicates Henry Ford's quadracycle was in the parade, riding in the back of a "big Ford six." I wish I had a picture of that........
Sammis and Downer would add Chalmers, Hudson and Apperson to their dealership in 1909 and later. They continued to sell Ford's too.
Arnold Sammis passed in 1955 in his mid eighties. The business was unincorporated in 1987:
It is always nice to see Old "16". I was fascinated with it in 1966 and did a painting of it. I'm sure Mr. Helk enjoyed having it. I'm glad you see similarities with the K.
Rich, I've always loved that picture of "Old 16" and you did it justice. In 1966 I was chasing Peter down Route 22 in NY on his way to a car show in Ridgefield, CT. I was 17 and driving my first car a 1961 Falcon. I'll never forget seeing those drive chains arcing up off the sprockets as Peter pulled away from me at 75 MPH! Needless to say Peter got there first. I introduced myself later and remarked that his car was really fast and he said he was only running half throttle!
I can't believe that this incredible monster is now silent and future generations won't be able to experience the sights, sounds and smells of this automotive legend like I did.
Howard, I'm glad you got to see it running and up close. Rob is certainly making memories in his big K. There are folks being impressed by seeing these old cars out there that we will never know about. 50 years from now someone will be remembering seeing you and your Maxwell.
Rich and Howard,
I agree, what a great racer (and painting). This is probably as close as any of us will get to hearing and seeing #16 run:
There are a few other racers at The Henry Ford I'd like to see too. First, the 1907 six cylinder. With 6x6 inch bore/stroke, over 1,000 cubic inches.
This photo appeared in a 1914 article about the greatest racers through 1913:
The "six" today in storage at THF:
A few of us are trying to have the Ford six racer and Model K touring car present during the Old Car Festival this year. We'll have three Model K attending, and possibly a fourth if a nearby museum presents their car.
Fabulous video. Thanks. I never got to see "16" in person. You folks who did are truly lucky. I did see Stutz No. 15 run around Sun Valley, Id on an HCCA tour. I'm just thinking there are some youngsters today that would be just as impressed with a ride or close look at some of our Model T's.
Fantastic thread! Thank you Rob and all!
i would like to see more pics of the 6 cyl ford racer. charley
That gives me the excuse for another thread. I'll post pics of the three iterations of the six cylinder racer on another thread later this week....