This racer went through the fence at the Michigan Fairgrounds track 110 years ago, almost killing Ford driver Frank Kulick. Henry Ford reacted by declaring Ford Motor Co. was through with racing.
Is this an air ram or possibly an early blower? The racer had(has) a 6x6 inch bore and stroke.
According to Henry Ford (1909 article) the racer sat in a corner in parts as of the summer of 1909 when Ford said it would be rebuilt and race again. The racer didn't race again, but was rebuilt and is in storage at the Henry Ford:
Racer at Piquette
Closeup of carb and air hose:
1908 Ford Times photo and article about Kulick and the racer:
Photos courtesy of THF, all rights apply.
I would guess that it was meant to draw warm air from behind the radiator.
No tube on currently it appears.
Derek, it could be a hot air tube. I hadn't thought of that.
I believe the photo was taken before the wreck in October 1907. The 1907 Model K Buffalo carb used a hot air tube to the exhaust pipe, not an option on the racer.
I believe there are some changes to the racer now at THF, and suspect it was rebuilt in the summer of 1909 to run at the inaugural Indianapolis Speedway races (not 500 mike).