I put this video together several years ago and felt like resurrecting it. The Ford six cylinder racer first ran 113 years ago this month. The idea of the Ford six was first mentioned in a news article in August of 1903, when Barney Oldfield remarked he had commissioned Henry Ford to build him a racer along the lines of the best European machines.
Henry Ford began work on the six in earnest in the winter of 1904. To put this in perspective, Ford Motor Company sold its first car in the summer of 1903, and Henry Ford drove his famous racer 999 to a world record on an ice lake in Feb, 1904.
A few pics from the video. I'm hopeful we can persuade THF to display the six cylinder racer at next years Old Car Festival.
Below, Henry Ford drives as the racer is push started:
That thing is SO neat! Thank you for bringing it back up again.
From 1906 Ford catalogue...
The 'Light Weight Racer' looks very, very similar to the 6 cylinder racer!
Rob, all going well including acceptance we hope to show the Wikner Ford Special at the OCF 2019, suggest they have a Ford racer theme or similar & show how the Model T & the V/8 changed the motorsport sport thinking of the common folk. Doug
I'm looking forward to seeing you and along with your racer and crew at the OCF in 2019! It would be great to see the Ford racers featured at the event.
I agree, similarities exist between the lightweight four cylinder (two 10 hp Model C engines) and the six cylinder racer. I think the frames, under trusses and other similarities exist.
There were three variations of the six cylinder racer. The first
"six" racer is pictured above with Henry Ford seated on it. The second racer is pictured above with Frank Kulick driving. It is lowered and the horsepower was increased.
The last "version" is pictured below. This racer was wrecked in October, 1907. According to news articles it was rebuilt in 1909 in preparation for the first Indianapolis Speedway races, however didn't run. On the third version the Ford three point front wishbone is used: