I just got this as part of an email about automotive firsts. ANY truth to it??
Ford, who made the first pick-up trucks, shipped them to dealers in crates that the new owners had to assemble using the crates as the beds of the trucks. The new owners had to go to the dealers to get them, thus they had to "pick-up" the trucks. And now you know the "rest of the story."
As Ray and Tommy used to say, that is BO-gus. Ford didn't sell pickups until 1925. The term was used by Studebaker in 1913.
I miss those guys.
I just got back from Cape Coral Florida last week where I toured the summer homes and laboratories of the Ford & Edison estates. As we were looking at a TT truck the tour guide explained that the word pickup truck came from people having to "pickup" their TT truck kit and assemble it themselves as this was the only way Ford sold them. Maybe someone should advise them they don't have the story quite right!
Wow ! How hard did you have to bite your tongue??
After-market "pickup" conversions were made by many individuals and small companies well before the model T was first sold. I have seen original era photos of NRS Fords with pickup boxes on them, and if I recall correctly, a 1905 Cadillac, which looked to be only maybe a year old when the photo was taken.
Studebaker is the first use of calling it a "pickup" that I know of by a company that actually manufactured such a vehicle for first sale. However, numerous small manufacturers of small and medium size trucks built what we would today call a pickup beginning shortly after 1900.
Ford did in fact sell some model Ts in a "knock-down" (only partially assembled) form. I would imagine that some of them may have been TT truck chassis. But this was NOT a regular or Ford-demanded usual sale. It was to out-of-the-way places where no local dealer was available. The cars (truck?) was ordered direct from the factory. Then shipped by rail (or ship) to the nearest rail freight station (or dock) to be picked up by the purchaser and assembled. (Assembly directions were included.)
I once read about such a car being sent by ship to somewhere near the Klondike (This could have even been a Canadian Ford, I don't recall if the article said). The purchaser had hired a local freighter to pick the car up at the docks and deliver it to where the purchaser was. So the disassembled car (crates and all) was loaded onto a wagon and pulled by an ox team for another hundred miles before it was finally assembled.
While there MAY be a grain of truth to part of the tale as told by the docent? It is far and away a rare tale. NOT the way Ford was really doing business.
That's what happens when you live in the "information age". Every bogus factoid gets amplified a million times and everyone is anxious to believe it without question. I personally believe the Russians are behind this story. Trying to destabilize the Model T hobby and cause division and polarization. Does anyone REALLY use water pumps, or is it Russian meddling???
Jerry, Definitely LOL
A little of track, but a Ford fact that crates where used to serve purpose in WWI. Canadian Ford Times, Special War issue.
Love the pick-up story. I may borrow that and spread some mayhem!
Wayne, not such a rare tale the Fords delivered overseas were always packed in a crate and most often delivered to the Ford dealers by horse draw wagon. Often 100's of miles from the shipping dock.
These went first by rail and then by wagon in Victoria Australia
And these went on a much longer trip of about 300 miles by wagon from Sydney.
It seems that such mythical stories are many and common, further to Jerry's mention of water pumps when we were driving across the USA in 2011 we stopped off at the Smith Museum in Lincoln Nebraska.
The guide for the tour group that day explained when we were in the Model T section in front of a large collection of water pumps displayed that Henry was too mean to put a water pump on the Model T Ford and owners had to buy them aftermarket so their cars did not boil!!!!
Peter K, I knew you guys would have a lot more such "outback" deliveries than our continent did. However, I couldn't recall any specific stories there. The one to the Klondike area I saw in a hobby magazine about 45 years ago. As I recall, there was a photo of the crate on the wagon, but I have no idea what magazine it was or where it may be.
Those are fantastic photos of the wagons loaded with new cars in crates!
In the USA it was common for Fords to arrive at a rail freight depot in knock-down form. Then the Ford dealer would send a crew to do partial assembly, load up the rest, and drive the cars to the dealership for final assembly before sales.
Don't you just WANT to grab one of those crates, and have a brand new Ford to unpack?!
Another car that was also usually delivered crated, and not fully assembled was the Sears Autobuggy. I think several of the high-wheel gasoline carriages were sold and delivered that way.
I have never seen proof of it, but rumor is that one Sears still exists in its original crate. There was a "Horseless Carriage Gazette" issue some years back devoted to the Sears car, and a cover picture recreating a rail delivery of crated Sears cars, with two (restored) Sears cars in attendance. I am fairly sure that the crates were made up for the purposes of the photo. Regardless, I always loved that cover photo.
There was also a rumor (discussed on this forum some years back) of a model T still in its crate, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. I haven't heard anything about it for a couple years now.
Wayne you will like this one, I saw this article in a friends magazine when I was there in 2011.
Wonderful Pictures! Again, thank you Peter K.
But what I want to know? Is, why is the man sitting in the top Ford? Clearly he cannot drive it from there. It appears to be together enough? Maybe it is being taken in for repairs? I don't know. But I have seen a few (very few) other photos of cars (mostly model Ts) stacked and driven like that. Some I know were for delivery to the dealer as they were moving a lot of cars and maybe short on drivers. I saw a photo on this forum a couple years ago of four cars being delivered by two drivers done that way. Unfortunately, a partial computer crash has made most of my bookmarks go into hiding.
Wayne, the guy in to top Ford is the new owner, he was promised his car would have no miles on it when he picked it up from the dealers, having heard that it was a 50/50 chance his car may be a bottom one he went to the railroad to make sure his was on top.
Also he was taking no chances so decided to ride it back to the dealers and to be extra sure it was a new undamaged Ford he also kept his foot on the brake in case the lower driver accelerated or braked too quickly.
That is one sure way to keep your tires free of mud. Notice the top car has lipped front fenders and the bottom one doesn't. And this is before the dealer got the car and made owner-requested changes. Supports the idea that dating parts and style changes on Model Ts is futile. They used what they had until it was gone.