1908 New Zealand Ford Dealer.--Is this correct John ?.
Someone was quick off the mark ordering 12 Model Ts in October 1908 - from Canada!
The Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd was founded on August 17, 1904. It was originally known as the Walkerville Wagon Works and was located in Walkerville, Ontario (now part of Windsor, Ontario) The founder, Gordon McGregor, convinced a group of investors to invest in Henry Fords automobile being produced across the Detroit River.
So . . . did Rouse & Hurrell get their dozen '09s ?!? Is there a way to know how many of the earliest Ts they did get ?
A few of our friends from Australia and New Zealand (NZ may still be busy cleaning up from the recent Earthquake?) may need to post better information. I know that a few two-lever model Ts did end up down there, and have heard of at least two of them being found and restored. As I recall, one of them was pretty well scattered on a few different ranches, but reassembled and restored several years ago.
Hap T may have a list of them.
If you can share your reference source(s), that may or may not help us with research in the future. But it could allow us to note that part of that source appears to possibly contradict some of the following. Or perhaps they are both correct and I need to look at it again when I have a little more time? The question in my mind is: Did Ford USA sell USA Fords to NZ initially and then later found out NZ was part of the British Empire? And then Ford of Canada supplied them? Or did Ford of Canada supply NZ from their first shipment in Nov 8, 1905 and they used Peabody’s as a shipping agent?
Roger Gardner in his excellent book “Ford Ahead – a History of the Colonial Motor Company Limited” (yes that’s in New Zealand) has some great information. I nicely had it typed up and my computer ate it…. At lease with a dog you can tell it to go to its kennel.
On page 9 Roger has:
“Rouse & Hurrell ordered the first 12 Model T cars through Peabody’s, the New York Ford agents, in 1908.”
Last time I had a couple of paragraphs. But Hap’s paraphrase of the story from pages 9, 11, & 12 follows: The full name of the company was: The Rouse & Hurrell Carriage Building Company Ltd. Hurrell retired later in 1908. The company was having financial problems so they fired one manager and hired Charles Larmour. Larmour turned things around. He contacted Peabody’s and complained about the intermittent shipments and wanted a guarantee of a regular supply of cars in the future. As a result, Ford discovered that New Zealand was part of the British Empire. Things then continued to improve. Larmour also convinced the company to sell off all their carriage building equipment and focus on cars. And on Aug 15, 1911 the name of the company was changed to The Colonial Motor Company Ltd.. Which is why the information was in Roger Gardner’s book. A hard copy of his excellent book is now available. Details are located at: http://www.modeltford.co.nz/small-gallery-article/ford-ahead-a-history-of-the-colonial-motor-company-ltd/99059/321515/ (Thank you Roger for all your help and support!)
Some additional information on Rouse & Hurrell is from the Evening Post.
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Page 16 Advertisements Column 5,Evening Post, Volume LXXVIII, Issue 27, 31 July 1909
JAPANESE IN HAWAII., Evening Post, Volume LXXVIII, Issue 27, 31 July 1909 -- If you use the link -- scroll past all the Japanese & Hawaii to the paragraphs below that.
I suspect the “Evening Post” could also help with information on when the various shipments of cars arrived. But I need to stop for the night.
So much more to discover and sort out.
Note, there is a 1913 History of Ford Canada pamphlet or something similar to that title that says Ford of Canada did not produce any Model Ts in 1908. Which makes sense the USA only produced 309 in Oct - Dec 1908 ref page 502 of Bruce McCalley's "Model T Ford."
There are also a couple of postings on when was the first RHD 2-lever produced etc.
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Re. source of the ROUSE & HURRELL 1908 ''T'' order
came from "the New Zealand Book of Events". Published 1986.
It's interesting to see from the assemble line sheet records show that my 1909 pre -production ''T'' was manufactured in the USA plant on the 4-21-09 in LHD form .The order came from CROSSMAN and was shipped by LOCKWOOD shipping agents. on 4-21 -09 .
For Bob Trevan - I'm unsure if your question was directed at me, but I would be very doubtful of the accuracy of the timing of that statement. I think it is another example of sloppy writing - someone saying what was when in actual fact their claims are unsupportable.
With 99.9% certainty I can say that New Zealand did receive one two-lever model T (mid-1909, without checking). Some months later (early August, 1909) saw the first arrival of Model Ts - probably the order of 12 cars - we suspect all were LHD but can only say with certainty that two were LHD.
For Hap. It is certain that NZ received their Fords from Ford of Canada, at least as far as the paperwork is concerned. It had to be that way to take advantage of the tariff regime.
Peabodys were not Ford agents!
Robert M Lockwood was the New York City-based export agent appointed by Ford-US. When Ford-Canada decided to get into exports, they also appointed Lockwood. This was early in the Ford-canada history although is was possibly not until November, 1905 that they exported their first car. Lockwood was largely left to his own devices - his income was commission-based. In turn, Lockwood appointed the shipping agents (as distinct from Lockwood, as the export agent). Different shipping agents were appointed for different markets. For the NZ market he appointed Peabodys. Peabodys handled a variety of shipping lines and they exported a great variety of products, including Fords. Peabodys is still in business today, as a shipping agent.
Orders were sent from Rouse & Hurrell, as the NZ distributor of Fords, to Lockwood. Here it becomes a little untidy. It seem some ordering may have also gone directly to Peabodys. That impression could be the result of further examples of sloppy recording though! There is also some thinking ('evidence' is too strong a word) that cars were also shipped directly to some sellers or, perhaps more correctly, Peabodys received orders directly from some sellers). This was all tidied up when McGregor visited NZ in 1909, as part of his extensive tour of his Empire markets.
Roger would now agree on this.
Back to you Bob: As Peabodys was the NZ shipping agent, Crossmans (more correctly, Crossman and Seileken) were the shipping agents Lockwood appointed for his exports to Australia.
I dare not venture into the whys and wherefores of your car - or bits of it - coming from Detroit or from Walkerville! April 1909 seems late for 'pre-production' though?
I hope this helps.
I am seldom on the forum these days - so busy with rental cars - but I am still around. Feel free to alert me to posts by email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm late to this thread (and the forum in general). It has been my suspicion that Lockwood and Ford Canada may have had some interchangeable cars and shipments. I don't have the supporting evidence at my fingertips, but my suspicion is that some cars designated as Ford Canada Walkerville were actually routed through or by Lockwood. I'm thinking of pre-T cars, yet I suspect Ts may have been in a gray area too.
It seems it would have been tempting for Ford Detroit to ship direct through Lockwood, as the New York Branch was well established and Lockwood had a shipping site nearby. Meanwhile, Ford Walkerville had growing pains and were not very well equipped for quick shipment and delivery.
Just my guesses. Were I James Couzens and Henry Ford, with an eye on worldwide distribution, I would have used the path(s) of least resistance.
Rob, I agree that it is highly likely that early t were imported directly from USA to Aust & NZ with paper work going through Canada.
Here is the first documented evidence of a T Import to Australia, dated 20th March 1909. Allowing 5-6 weeks for shipping and customs, this make it a Jan 1909 Built car and definitely a 2 lever.
Bob Trevan - I suspect the green car shipment reported in the Hawaii newspaper in July 1909 would contain your April built car. I would not call an April car a pre - production car though. There were two thousand Model T's built before April 1909.
What color does the build sheet call out for your car?
Next we have two T's arriving in Sydney by the 18th May 1909. Take away 5-6 weeks by ship and customs plus another 2 weeks before this article as this article suggests, makes it a late March 1909 Build. Definitely a water pump car but possibly not a 2 lever
Then there's Bob Trevans Water Pump T. Most likely from this group. Bob's Touring was assembled on April 21st 1909. Firstly the next group of imports. This is as close as I can get to an actual date they arrived. Expected arrival date of July 2nd 1909. Take away 5-6 weeks for shipping and customs, makes the car leaving USA or Canada in mid May
Bob's Touring #2436 Job Card says it was built on the 21st April 1909 as a Left Hand Drive and Shipped to Davies & Fehon (D.F.) Sydney by Lockwood.
Having trouble downloading Job Card pictures at the moment. They are under 200k. Have tried twice. It does look like a fancy "RED" word. Card is hard to read. Pity because I have more photos on 09 imports to Sydney Australia. Will try later.
Also I would like to say that Perth Motor house in West Australia and Tarrant in Victoria (Also covering Tasmania in that era) did their own thing and most likely imported T's in the same era. They are not so well documented and still looking.
Duncan & Fraser 's first T's I believe were August 1909 imports?
the job card for Bob's #2436 is hard to read especially if you shrink it down to a suitable size for the forum. Here are a few shots of the card.
Definitely a left had Drive and looks like the word "Red" in fancy writing to me, for colour.
Here are some clips from Bob's #2436 Job Card. Very hard to read once shrunk to suit the forum in one piece. Definitely a left had drive and looks like "Red" as colour (with a big fancy "R")
In approx Oct 6th 1909, the first Right Hand Drive T's arrived to Sydney. all previous were Left Hand Drive. There may have been Towncars in this lot.
I suspect that 1909 Town Cars (Taxi Cabs) were in the last Shipment. Here is one of them and also refers to a 1909 Towncars as being in Adelaide South Australia about the same time. It's slightly possible that Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide and New Zealand were receiving cars off the same ship.
Above appeared in Papers on Oct 19th 1909.
Here is one of the 1909 RHD Towncars
Above clip appeared in the papers on Oct 26, 1909
Here is one of the RHD Tourings possibly from the same shipment, dated Nov 2nd 1909. Car looks to have Landaulet irons on the top
Not a very good shot, but here is another 1909 Touring in York St Sydney. it appears to only have one European headlamp, common for Davies & Fehon to sell like that
It's around this time the great NY-Seattle Ocean to Ocean race promotions hit the papers in Australia
Above clip dated Sept 7th 1909
1910 Model Tourabouts arrive. clip dated Nov 30th 1909.
And one from the latest shipment a week before the 21st Dec 1909.
Thank you Mark H! Print quality may be poor, but information is interesting regardless. I look forward to more.
Early Australian T info is scarce and photos few and far between. this is the best available at this time.
Left Hand Drive T's were here in 1909-10 era.
This is part of the remains of a 1910 LHD Square hole cover found in West Australia possibly in the 60's / 70's
And a complete LHD motor found on NSW / Vic border in 1957. Origin could be either Tarrant of Victoria or Davies & Fehon of New South Wales
Here is a picture of the original Colonial Motor Company building. It was scanned from The NZ Autocar which was produced in January 1912 by the Colonial Motor Company. The other picture is of a 3 year old Model T in the same booklet. This would make it a 1909 one of the early ones. It appears to be LHD
Thanks Justin, looks like a 1909 Left Hand Drive with USA body. Front Fenders look later so possibly arrived in NZ in later 09 but before the 1910 models. Has 30 x 3 inch front wheels.
Here is another early one from 1909.
Justin, you beat me too it. here is a larger but no clear photo of the first car in the above picture. It is a water pump LHD ford with early front fenders, low door handle. it is also a USA built body. A clearer photo might tell if it is a 2 lever or not, but it is hard to tell by the shadows. It is possible because of the sharp forward angle on what looks like the handbrake, could be the 2nd lever hand piece running parallel with the handbrake. The second lever has more of a bend in the top.
I'm not sure what the car is in the second of your pictures. I don't have a clear copy. Could be a water pump car.
Here is a nice photo of an 09 NZ Water pump possible single leaver Touring.
Note the low door handles, LHD USA body, early rear fender irons inside the fenders, early front fenders. Most likely has a factory top with Landaulet Irons. Great example!
Justin and Mark - almost certainly the photo of the car immediately above (taken at Hughans Garage) is the same car as the Progress review. Several of us, including Hap Tucker, have spent considerable time examining these two photos. None of us can say with absolute certainty that it is a 2-lever car - but almost certainly it is. It came to NZ as a demonstrator car for CMC.
The Booth car is one of the 12 that arrived in the first shipment. We don't know for sure but they may all have been LHD. I have only managed to find a photo of one of the others (also LHD).
Mark - the reference above to the first RHD car (October 1909) is the first time I have ever seen mention made to the location of the steering in either Australia or NZ. Even though the pre-T cars were RHD, the fact that the driving position was moved to the left in the T was never mentioned. I was ignored! Then 'our' cars finally arrived and, up until now, I thought the switch back had again been ignored!
The sea journey time from Walkerville to New Zealand was typically 2.5 to 3 months. Usually the course was out of the Great Lakes via the St Lawrence Seaway to the Atlantic, across to Africa to the Indian Ocean, and on to Fremantle, possibly Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Wellington etc. The shipping routes and timetables were published - I'd be surprised if anything got to Melbourne or Sydney sooner that two months after leaving Ontario.
John, thanks for the update on the 2 month trip from USA to Australia. This makes Bob Trevan's car most likely in the batch I said it was in and leaving as soon as it was built on April 21st.
T Land-Irons are hard to see in the Progress photo but I think I can make them out comparing them to the US factory photo.
Been looking through my NZ post water pump photos and most appear to be RHD and a couple of lefts.
Great thread and information. (How did it move from the 2016 to 2017 forum?)
I'm 99.999% sure that one of the cars discussed above and that is shown again below is a two lever:
For comparison I have included a photo of the T Zero - the one Henry Ford went on the trip with.
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Thanks Hap for the photo. you have a much clearer photo to study at than I have.
I think the early radiator caps were the same physical thread as later but much flatter on 4 finger webs on the top. The neck on the radiator was short.
Did you notice the low door handles. Long elaborate side lamp brackets typical of 2 lever water pump cars.
Hap, I would disagree on the tyres, front look 30 x 3 to me. This is a US Body and US cars used 30 x 3 on the front. Canadian cars did to till somewhere very early in 1910. Some were dished and some not (Supplier possibly)
Thanks for the better photo.
Re your post dated Monday, January 02, 2017 - 07:17 pm above - the same photo appears again on the 9th November 1909. Unfortunately its no clearer, but it does identify the driver. I suspect those may be Herm Reimann headlamps - from the elaborate shape of the chimneys.
My best guess at the text is: Another example(?) of(?) the(?) Ford <?> <?> Touring car, which recently accomplished a long country tour. The vehicle is an excellent hill climber. Mr. Frank Nattrass, manager of the Ford garage, is seated at the wheel.
I wonder where the long country tour was to, and whether there are photos from it somewhere.
Re the door handle position on the early cars - I've been trying to pin down when the change happened. #980 had the low door handle, #1212 did not.
Thank you for the correction on the front wheel size. I believe you are correct that the front tire size is probably the USA 30 x 3. (Actually looking at the photo I don't see that -- but looking at the PowerPoint image I think you are correct.)
The image I saved from several years ago where I was using PowerPoint to measure and compare the wheel size showed the wheels were about the same size. But when I went back and did the same thing tonight, I could not duplicate my earlier results. So I may have distorted something the first time or this time or both.
When I went to post the result from tonight -- I discovered that my computer "ate" my work. More likely I didn't save it properly (I hate it when that happens... Actually I'm doing good. I didn't say any bad words at the computer....)
If I have time later this week I may try to duplicate it again. But from what I saw on the PowerPoint tonight, I would say the diameter of the front wheel is larger than the diameter of the rear wheels. That would be the 30 x 3 are 24 inches in diameter up front while the 30 x 3 1/2 are 23 inches in the rear. So that lines up with Mark's understanding that the car has the USA size front and rear wheels.
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I do believe the radiator neck is shorter then the post #2500 odd water pump cars till possibly early 1911. That is why the diameter in the cap area of the neck looks larger in diameter. Hunted down a pic of an original cap to show you the swat ears on the very early caps. this is the best I can do.
Yes, I think you are correct about the brand of Headlamp. I couldn't remember the name. Have come across a few of them in second hand shops in past years. Must have been a common available lamp in the this period. Quite a few of the early T's in NSW only used one of these lamps, mostly on the left side of the car.
I am unable to find any info on T ford imports to Victoria prior to 1909-09-25. I know they were advertising fords 4 sale as early as Oct 1907 and advertised same for mostly every month in the papers until the mid 20's. Some articles say they were not ford agents prior to 1910 but this is incorrect. Do you have any other info on this?
Frustratingly, the Victorian agents didn't advertise like they did in New South Wales. Even the 1909-09-25 Tarrant ad doesn't specifically mention "20 hp" or "model T". It just says "The latest Fords have arrived". There was an ad in The Argus on 1909-07-10 relating to the ocean to ocean race across the USA, but even that is vague and doesn't mention model T specifically. So far I haven't found anything else to confirm when the first T's arrived in Victoria.
Regarding the Ford Motor Garage's first T shipment (confirmed in your ad dated 20th March 1909 above) - there was an earlier ad (6th Feb 1909) which stated "We are now advised of the first shipment of FORD 1909 MODEL "T" TOURING CARS, which will arrive here about the end of February". It doesn't specifically say they were already en route but we can assume they were to fit in with your timeline. Is that the earliest reference to Model T's in Australia that you're aware of? See below.
Thanks Andrew. This ad mentions "shipment" of "cars" but I believe only one T arrived in this shipment. Possibly only one in New Zealand also.
As Hap says, there is some excellent historical information in this thread. Mark - you have clearly done a lot of work on this!
Thinking about Canadian production, the following is an excerpt from my own manuscript...
"By the close of 1908, Ford in Detroit had turned out 309 Model Ts. But Ford of Canada had produced none, instead continuing to build the earlier models to use up the parts. The 1913 Ford publication 'The Story of Ford of Canada' states that 1909 saw the manufacture of their first Model T. According to the book 'In the Shadow of Detroit', a handful of Model Ts were sent to from Detroit to Walkerville in the last days of 1908, followed by the technical specifications of the new car from mid-February, 1909. Model T chassis began arriving from Detroit in March. By August, 458 had been produced by Ford of Canada – 360 of those were five-seater Touring Cars. The new models were available with red, green or grey bodies.'
This would explain why the first cars to arrive in Australia and NZ were shod with US-made bodies. Ford of Canada (and the US) contracted their body-making to an outside supplier.
The first mention of a Model T being in NZ was one car, on 1st June 1909. We believe it is the two-lever car shown above (at Hughans Garage, not far from Wellington where the car was landed). The first shipment of cars is talked about in the manuscript as follows...
"On 31 July, 1909 an announcement was made in Wellington’s Evening Post. Rouse and Hurrell were expecting in August “a shipment of the new model T, 5-seater, 20 hp touring Ford cars… are painted green are fitted with both magneto and accumulator ignition, and are identical to the car that won the great 4,000-mile ocean to ocean race in June.” Almost certainly, aside from the sole demonstrator, this was the first stock of Model Ts to arrive in New Zealand."
This coincided with the release of the August, 1909 edition of Progress, which had the road test shown above, using almost certainly that sole demonstrator car. Although it is uncertain because of poor picture clarity, the accompanying photo appears to be a “two-lever” car.
I hope this helps with the dates jigsaw.
Mark would mind posting here your NZ post-water pump photos of LHD cars please? That would be interesting.
...and I meant to say, the photo of NZ Autocar with Mr Booth in his Model T - that car was in the first shipment to arrive in NZ!
We know that because it was well-publicised and the dates correspond.
Here is a better picture of Mr Booth and his T
Justin - thanks. That photo was taken when the car was new.
William Booth looks pleased with himself and so does the woman behind him. His wife? Behind every happy man is a woman, I understand!
His front-seat passenger is looking pretty nonchalant though! And the other two in the back seat - are they 'the kids'?
Thanks John & Justin for the info on the early NZ & Canadian T Production details. Great read. You most likely have seen the following 1909 NZ T Pics before.
Above.....Christchurch Taxi? hard to tell what body But RHD
The above photo I think is taken in NZ and looks to be just possibly a Canadian Body, RHD. Please correct me if I'm wrong
John, 2 more pics
This could be an updated LHD 09. Not the best of photos. Hard to tell. Definitely has the Buggy Rail. From "Proof is in the Pudding"
A 1909 RHD possible Canadian Body.
I'd say the last photo was later than 1909, as the radiator has the support bar across the core.
Radiator also has the later script, high neck and most likely has been changed
Thanks Mark. A great selection of photos.
The first of the four photos is a well-used taxi. Hap Tucker helped identify it for me some years ago, as a 1909-10, with fore doors added.
The second photo I've not seen before. She is an early car!
The third photo is Alfred Booth in his LHD 1909 Ford, which came here as part of the first shipment. The car was almost five years old when this photo was taken in 1914, and had now travelled 27,000 miles and had bits added to it. The hood is later, a screen has been added, fore doors too and accessory head lights.
I've not seen the fourth photo before; the car looks like an early 1910 to me, and now being built in RHD. Don't quote me on the year - Hap (and others are better suited to pin it down!).
Yowser! The fourth photo, sorry, should say early 1911 (maybe very late 1910) - be interested in what the experts have to say! John