I've worked for several years now to research sales of early Ford's, focusing on the Model K. Ford historians report that the K was not a good selling model, as well as many myths about the model (poor performer, financial drag on FMC, etc.). We've found good evidence (Ford audit, performance records and race results) to refute much of "history."
However, was the K hard to sell? Were NRS models readily snapped up by the public, with Model K left as the sole Ford products on the showroom floor? I've found reports and news articles to the contrary, but what to believe?
Below are examples of what Thomas Hay, Ford Chicago Branch Manager reported, as well as the first news report of the branches demonstrator T arriving in late 1908:
I believe if Hay had any cars to sell, he would have mentioned it. The entire article (not included, although I'll post it once it's resized) includes other automaker dealers reporting brisk sales, or that they too are waiting for cars from their factories.
I believe this report is somewhat corroborated by looking at Trent Bogess's Ford database of FMC ledger sales. Unfortunately few Branch sales are included in the ledgers, however it appears the first Ts shipped were to large dealers (and we presume, to Ford Branches):
It also shows almost no Ford's of any model were shipped in early October through mid November. In fiscal year 1909, many R, N and K's were sold, however it appears to me all production of 08 models stopped, at least shipments, as Ford tried to get their new T out the door.
This report indicates the first T demonstrator arrives in Chicago in mid November. The rest is "history."
Complete article, late October 1908 about Chicago area dealers selling cars: