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Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:15 pm
by Rob
Could this be an upper rear view of a Model T? If so, I think it’s the larger Ford special that ran in the 1911 Algonquin Hill Climb.

The back pumpkin, although larger, looks similar to a Ford, and it appears to have a single rear spring with the frame spring “hump.” It looks like a left hand drive, and the radiator filler neck and cap look right. There may be an upper reinforcing strap support to the top of the differential, but the remaining big Ford Special at THF has a top and bottom supporting strap. In think there is a leather “rebounder” strap on each side of the pumpkin.

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Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:59 pm
by DanTreace

From closeups of that photo, one can assume it is a Ford. The rear axle, the hood lines, radiator shape, overall size too, as a fast little Ford :D

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And this one, a well known as a Ford racer, very same rear axle size and shape. ;)
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Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:21 pm
by Rob
Thanks Dan. The big gas tank was throwing me. I have another photo showing Frank Kulick driving a Ford up Algonquin (1911) with a much smaller tank. It also looks closer to a stock size motor from the side view. However, maybe he was driving the other smaller Ford (driven by Gruener in the Hill Climb) during practices.

Here is another pic of Kulick just after cresting one of the hills in the 1911 Algonquin. While not very clear, it looks like a large fuel tank too. I’m working on an article and trying to get my “facts” straight.... :shock:


Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:31 pm
by DanTreace

That 'big' gas tank is just optical illusion from the high up rear view camera photo.

For hill climb race, you can for sure know Ford didn't put a heavy barrel of gasoline on the rear of his fast little racers!

I'll bet that tank is the tall thin oval tank, just happens to look like a big round in that photo. :lol:

It's a Ford Racer for sure!

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:07 pm
by wayne sheldon
A T for sure! (I think?)
Zoomed in, I can see the spring clamps, and the end of the steering tie rod and axle. I can see the end (and about a foot) of the brace rod that ran from the top of the pumpkin up to the U-joint bell (Rob has covered that item in the past). I might see some brace rod below the pumpkin running between the backing plates, however I think it is an illusion. What I find interesting, is that it appears a brake rod reaching the rear wheel comes in rather high, near the top of the brake drum. What I find interesting, is that in the closeup of Kulick sitting in a similar "special" also shows what appears to be the brake rod angled from down low near the front and up high near the rear. It also clearly shows a brace rod between the backing plates. I know there were differences between the various "specials", and am quite sure that certain changes were made between various races and/or exhibitions.
There are a couple things I cannot identify. And they could simply be flaws in the photograph. One almost looks like a "steering wheel knob", sometimes referred to as a "lovers knob". The steering wheel appears to be a polished brass spider. There also appears to be something standing up near the right side of the firewall. Could simply be something set there leaning against the firewall. It almost looks like it could be a speedometer. However I think not. Too high to be easily seen by the driver, and the shape doesn't look like it when I zoom in.
The "oversize" of the pumpkin also could very well be an illusion created by the (I think it is called) "depth of field" in many cameras of those days. In large area shots like this, they often exaggerate things around the edges of the picture. Consider the apparent size between the smaller Ford and the much larger car behind it!
All in all, a truly wonderful picture! I would so love to spend the entire day there, soaking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the race day! So MANY fantastic cars to be seen there!

Thank you Rob! I hope to read the article soon!

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:21 pm
by Rob
If this is the “big” Ford Special at Algonquin, I don’t think Ford had fully taken it to the final V nose version that’s at THF today (off display, unfortunately). The racer specs list it as a 389 cu. in. motor, and I’m not sure the frame was lowered yet, as it is on the last version. I agree, it is probably a bit of an optical illusion that’s making the tank and pumpkin look so large.

I think there is a speedometer on the right side of the firewall. At least several of the Ford Specials had it located there. I think you can just make out the spot on the right side of the firewall when the racer is crossing the finish line, if i don’t zoom in on the low resolution photo:


From a few pics of the last and largest of the Ford Specials, the 410 cu in version at THF, the brake rod is quite high over the wheel/hub on this photo looking down (barely visible at the right of the photo):


Thanks guys. It’s too bad the fender or piece of metal closest to the camera is restricting the view. I ordered a high resolution copy of the pic from THF. Hopefully that will give more insight.

I think this 389 cu in racer will have an extended piece on the right front hood or radiator shell, as the 410 cu in does, to allow room for the running shaft for the magneto. The motor is just too big to allow a mag under the hood with such a large engine. On our 300 cubic inch motor, there is just barely room for a mag and the carb within the hood.


Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:32 pm
by Rob
Found this. This may be the same location, before the other cars have arrived (or after they left). The caption reads “Algonquin 1911.” The over the axle brake rod is evident, as well as right side speedometer gears and cable. If this is the large motor Ford, the frame hasn’t been lowered as it will be when the Ford Special beats the Blitzen Benz late that summer. It looks like a T at the right edge of the photo. 2 Ford Specials and three stock T’s ran in the 1911 hill climb.


Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:14 pm
by Drkbp

Great photos!

In your first photo, it appears we are looking at the rear of the 389.9 cubic inch "42 car" after the race, or at least the morning run. That is the torn "tie on" 42 number hanging down on each side of the pumpkin. ;)

The "64 car" is the small fuel tank 389.9 cubic inch Kulick drove at that same meet.

Another way to distinguish between the two 389.9 cubic inch Non-Stock Ford Specials (at that meet) is the 64 car has the brass "Ford" script on the radiator core and the 42 car doesn't.

The "49 car" is a 176.7 cubic inch Stock Ford racer that Gruener drove. It's most likely the car photo with Frank Kulick and Bill Hatch making a test run/drive that had the three wire wheels and the speedometer road gear wheel was wood spokes. It was a stock chassis with a Ford magneto and the fuel tank on that racer has screw on caps unlike your first photo.

From the looks of it, your last picture above is a great photo of the 42 car.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:17 am
by Rob
I’ve “puzzled” over this hill climb for some time. I think the writer of one of the the magazines “got it wrong.” Some reports say it’s a stock T driven by Gruener. Other’s say it’s the 228 cu in. driven by Kulick. I think part of the trouble is that there were 5 “Model T’s” participating in the hill climb. Three, including one driven by Kulick, ran in the stock class early in the meet. Let’s begin disecting this.

First, the three stock T’s. Kulick’s ran last of the three, number 3. It looks to me like possibly #2, and #3 have front doors (Torpedo’s?):


From “Motor Age.” The three stock Model T, along with their combined time totals (right). All three are at a combined time of 1:20 plus. Class A were stock cars. I’ve included some Class B, the stock chassis class.


Then, the two Ford Specials, at 228 and 410 cubic inches. Some things to notice include the times (yellow). I also highlighted one National (green). It looks like the organizers had the cars change numbers as they competed in different categories. Both non-stock T’s are significantly faster than the stock T’s shown in the earlier chart. I think the organizers had the same car running in two or more classes (size class and unlimited class) change numbers, so each run would be documented, for the overall Agonquin Hill winner:


One other thing I hadn’t noticed until now. The other Ford Special is also in the photo showing Kulick at the wheel in town:


Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:08 am
by Kaiser
Rob, It keeps amazing me, every time you come up with little snippets of new information about the T racers and piece by little piece the picture becomes clearer every time, GREAT WORK ! please keep on coming, looking forward to the whole article !

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:34 am
by Rob
Thank you Leo. This forum helps motivate me to get to the bottom of some of these “mysteries.” A little more regarding the question of stock T motor specs listed in the non-stock class. Had this been a stock chassis, it would have been forced to run in the “Class B - stock chassis, 161-230 cu in class.

For some reason, some reports appear to have been incorrect. It’s not hard to imagine, considering all the classes and competitors in the hill climb.

The newspaper article below listed competitors for the next days hill climb, down to engine displacements and car numbers. This article appears to have it right, showing the Ford special in the non-stock 161-230 class with a 4 inch bore by 4 1/2 inch stroke:


Closeup of the non-stock 161-230 cu in class, along with the later published “incorrect” spec article, and a displacement calculator:


Below, a photo showing one of the Ford Specials attacking one of the hills. This negative evidently lists Lanahan as the driver:


Closer view:

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This is the first racing event where Ford unveils their largest Ford Special. As a result, Ford is now competing with the largest competitors in the Free for All and 300 cubic inch to 450 class. This racer will “morph” into the final 410 cubic inch giant killer Ford Special. It’s also important because Ford is now “stalking” the Blitzen Benz, and will attempt to take Bob Burman on with this same racer within a few days at Hawthorne track near Chicago. Henry Ford undertook the Ford Special program (according to head designer Joe Galamb) with the intention of beating the “Blitzen Benz.” Pretty heady times for Frank Kulick and Henry Ford.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:23 am
by Drkbp

I believe you may be confusing the 1912 Algonquin with the 1911 regarding the 228/410's. I'll check what I have.

Also, there were six different Fords that raced in the 1911 Algonquin. Lanahan was first listed as driver in the Stock Ford chassis 49 car but Gruener ended up being the driver of record. It's the one Jim Hatch and Frank Kulick test drove.

Who knows?? Maybe they decided to put Gruener in to race it!! He raced in the 1910 Algonquin and had experience.

I did notice that racer in the background after I posted yesterday. :o Congrats to Rob!!!
It is the small fuel tank "64 car" 389.9 cubic inch Non-Stock Ford Special!

Amazing what can be found in these old photos.

Great photos Rob...

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:54 am
by Rob
Ken, I think there was only one 389 racer. A few days later all three racers, the 226, 300 and 389 were taken to Hawthorne (Chicago) to race (the 300 was not at Algonquin). As I mentioned above, the cars were renumbered when racing in different classifications.

I’ll post the entire article link in a bit.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:39 pm
by Rob
For anyone interested, many of the photos above, along with articles that appeared an “Motor Age” and “Autombile Topics” about the 1911 Algonquin Hill Climb are included in this link: ... pages?dl=0

A little more information. I believe this photo shows Frank Kulick driving the smaller tank racer up one of the two hills during practice the day or two before. The Motor Age article mentions that it was expected Kulick would do well on the second hill because he had the fastest time of everyone during practice. I also think this is the smaller of the two Ford Specials, the 226 cu. in. racer, also the one barely seen in a post above (circled in red). While the photo isn’t very clear, I suspect it’s the smaller of the two special racers because the motor doesn’t look as if it sits far enough back, but that’s just a guess considering how poor the photo is:


Another reason I believe this was taken during practice is because photos showing the actual race, like the one below showing eventual winner Hearne and his Benz, also show a lot of people lining the route:


These next two clips taken from the “Motor Age” article write about Kulick “going up” the hill in multiple events. Again, no reason to have two of the large racers there, because one was eligible for both events, and was just re-numbered (as already specified the day before the race), I suspect, so the crowd and judges would know which class was being run. The second clip talks about Kulick having problems on the first hill due to his 1 1/2 to 1 differential ratio:



Lastly, there is simply no way a stock T could match the speeds of the two Ford Specials, and the times of the other stock (Class A) classes bear this out. I do think I have other reports with the proper specs on the Gruener car (if I can just find them).

Ken, have you by chance located a higher resolution copy of the Ford special you posted on the other thread. I’ll start a thread on that car and race, and would be grateful if you or anyone has an idea where an original might be located.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:38 pm
by Rob
Boy, you guys make me work hard.............

Actually, this thread has motivated me to try to pin down some things. Here are things I know, and things I think I know.

The pic that started this, and definitely the photo showing Kulick sitting with another fellow in his racer in town, is the large 389 cubic inch racer number 42 (in this pic). This newspaper photo form the Chicago Tribune the day after the hill climb shows Kulick driving one of the two hills, with crowd lining the route, and he’s driving the racer with the large fuel tank (not the one seen earlier in this thread with the small tank, and without a number and no spectators (a practice run?):


We know this is the larger racer for a few reasons. Kulick only drove the large racer in this competition. The other reason is, there is a “bulge” on the right side of the hood, just behind the radiator:


This bulge is particular to only the 389 and 410 cubic “big” Ford Specials. It was necessary to hide the driveshaft housing that had to be brought up and above the frame and run back to the passenger deck of the racer. There simply isn’t enough space on these two large motors to fit the magneto under the hood driving off the cam gear and for the oil filler. While not many have survived, a few critical Ford Special spec drawings have.

This first one is of our “M-III” 300 cu in motor. The front motor cover has the oil filler located similar to a Model T, and the magneto drive gear is just right of the engine block (left in the photo). As a result, there is just enough room for a Bosch 2 spark magneto on the side of the motor beside the frame rail. The motor designator is located at the bottom of the drawings.
Drawings courtesy of THF, all rights apply.

The “M” and “M-I” motors were the 410 and 389 cu in motors. There just isn’t room for a mag under the hood, so designers lifted the cam gear housing up, above the frame rail. This motor then had a driveshaft running along the right side of the engine to the same Bosch 2 spark magneto mounted on the passenger floorboard:


Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:00 pm
by Drkbp
Rob, you're moving ninety miles an hour.... :lol:

To answer your Stock vs. Non-Stock question in your 9:34 am post...and your "renumber the cars" during the events comment a little later....

1911 A.A.A. Rules apply in this meet at Algonquin so:

1. A.A.A. Stock chassis racers qualify to enter BOTH Class "B" (Stock) and "C" (Non-Stock) race events.
Both the Abbott-Detroits in your example (see middle below) are Stock chassis racers as well. I didn't check the Velie but I bet it is Stock too.

HOWEVER, the reverse is not the case because Non-Stock can't qualify as a "Stock Chassis". Normally because of weight, lack of production, etc. If they could qualify.........they would be Stock! ;)

Therefore: Gruener's Stock 49 car Model T Ford 176.7 cubic inch racer has no problem being entered in that Non-Stock Race event as the race results show.

"RENUMBER THE CARS DURING THE MEET" ...See A.A.A. Rule 33 at the very bottom

2. Rob, that doesn't happen because of the AAA Rules unless I misunderstood you. The car numbers are provided by the promoter at the close of entries before the races begin (2 to 5 days) and stay with "that car" and "that driver". They are a "unit". A race driver CANNOT just take the numbers off one car and go put the numbers on another race car.


I'll stick with the 49 car being the one I posted above (the three wire wheels) because the equipment list was published. Ford magneto, Kingston carb and Firestone tires. You can see the coil box in the photo.

I am still looking for the 6 car

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:36 pm
by Rob
Thanks Ken. I’ll have to agree to disagree on the 49 car being stock. I think a writer assumed it was, and used standard specs to populate the article. In the pre-meet numbering the car was listed as a 226 cu in racer. Lastly, the time the 49 car makes is simply too fast for a stock Model T. It’s close to the leaders times, and far away faster than the three stock Model T’s ran, including the one Kulick drove.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:35 pm
by wayne sheldon
Hope I am not about to break open a can of worms here. But a couple things seem to be jelling in that dusty attic I call a brain.
Going back to the original posting photo of this thread, I speculated that the apparent size of the rear axle "pumpkin" may have been an illusion caused by the common lensing of cameras back in those days. However,in reading through the above reports of the races, it caught my attention that one of the Ford "specials" had a one to one and a half differential gearing. In order to accomplish this, the differential internally would have to be made only slightly larger than the pinion gear itself (a very unlikely probability because such a small size could not be robust enough to withstand the stresses of a hill climb!), OR, the ring gear would NEED to be moved outward quite a bit to accommodate a much larger pinion gear (to nearly the size of the ring gear!). Most likely a bit of both were done. A smaller ring gear, maybe about 33 teeth, coupled to a pinion gear of about 22 teeth (actual tooth counts would depend upon tooth size as well). However, to get that ratio inside the rear end housings would regardless require a special housing.
So, the question becomes "are there more era photos showing larger pumpkins?" I know from my own research over the years into era racing, that swapping of components of the cars was absolutely a method of operation of the sport. I have read in the past about racing teams that had entire rear ends set up with differing ratios for a car to be swapped from race to race to accommodate different road conditions. And it is now well established that the Ford specials had differing seats, gasoline tanks, and both wire and wooden wheels to be swapped between races. Some photographic evidence shown in the past has indicated that such pieces were sometimes swapped during a given day, and may be one way in the morning, and another later in the day (I don't recall what thread in the past indicated that?). As such, it would be likely that Ford had both a nearly standard rear end for some uses, and the super high geared rear end for others. Perhaps in some of the high speed ice runs the high speed rear end could be more clearly seen?

A side step into our current hobby. I learned long ago when talking with elderly survivors of early day racing, and many articles I read in hobby magazines fifty years ago, that most model T racing cars back in the day, did NOT have Ruckstells and especially NOT auxiliary transmissions! The added weight and power loss through the added gearing was enough to make one lose a lot of races! Vic Sala personally (among several others!) told me this! Some times, a Ruckstell would be used as the power loss in direct was not a problem (Ruckstell in direct actually has a lower resistance than a stock rear end), the weight was not significant, and using the Ruckstell in place of the removed low band offered some advantages (Ruckstell was used in place of low gear). Vic Sala restored one of his cars in this way, no low band whatsoever. And WOW could that car GO!
The T racing car I had years ago had a drain plug in the rear end to help with swapping the gears, commonly done between races on lesser cars where an entire rear end was not ready and waiting.
Today, we love our Ruckstells, and a lot of us run an overdrive auxiliary in addition to the Ruckstell. But, we are not needing that other half second on a turn to win a race.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:18 pm
by Drkbp

Others will probably have photos even though that history is hard to come by. Rob is the best in getting great photos!

However, the 1911 A.A.A. Rules allow "Stock Cars" and "Stock Chassis Racers" to have any ratio that will "fit in the standard production pumpkin". The sky is the limit on the "Non-Stock Racers" which is anything not 176.7 cubic inches in the case of Ford Motor Company.

Henry Ford had declared the two racers he sent to New Orleans that ran the Mardi Gras Races February 26, 1911, would qualify as "Stock Chassis Racers" for the 1911 racing season. The displacement has to be 176.7 cubic inches. It's the 12 car Stock Ford Special in the first race on that day that has been posted before. Not sure what you can tell from the photo.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:33 pm
by wayne sheldon
Ken P, I knew that some classes such as "stock chassis" would not allow an oversize differential, but did not know for sure that special gearing could have been used so long as it fit inside the stock housings! I did know that additional special gearing could be used in various "unlimited" classes, so enjoyed reading your clarification there.
I always enjoy reading your contributions on these threads, and look forward to your participation here! Era racing has been a long time passion of mine with which I wish I could have spent much more time. I am still trying to learn more, and really do like Rob's research and resulting threads sharing his findings!

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:25 am
by Rob
These were not “stock” chassis. The cars sent to the Mardi Gras “Carnival of Speed” were not stock chassis. They were capable of 80 mph on the straightaways, and no stock chassis, regardless of gearing, would be capable of those speeds, and certainly not at speed.

Ford, just as Buick, National and other companies, said they used stock cars and chassis in advertising to promote their brands. The first non-stock chassis we have documentation on in 1910 had a 201 cubic inch motor. From there, we went to the 226 and 300 cu in motors that ran in Mardi Gras. Finally we ended with the large motor 389/410 motor that was used at Alongquin, and then taken to Hawthorne (Chicago) Track a few days later. All three were not seen again until late in the race season, at the Michigan State Fairground track in late September, when the large racer (that’s when I believe the final 410 cubic inch v nosed racer appeared. This is the same racer that achieved 109 mph on the ice the following winter (1912) and ate up the competition at the 1912 Algonquin hill climb.

Below I’ve separated the classes Fords ran in and highlighted the higher speeds on the long hill. These contests were on steep hills with switchbacks. In fact, one article says Kulick had trouble with one switchback (the first hill) because his gearing was wrong for the hill. The following year, 1912, the Ford’s both had 2 to 1 ratio rear ends. Wayne, I suspect your correct and Ford and the other race teams would change gearing to suit the particular event. After driving our racer, that we geared 3 to 1, I wish we had a way to go to a lower ration, maybe 2.5 to 1. However, the standard 1910-11 pumpkin won’t allow it. This may be the reason for the additional differential support brace on the two larger racers seen in some photos.

The Ford non-stock racers achieved 58 - 63 mph on the long hill, while the stock T’s were all in the 30’s. To add context, the 120 hp Benz that won the meet (due in part to a record time on the short hill) ran a 58 mph second hill. The smaller of the non-stock Fords ran only 3 1/5 mph slower than the Benz with 54.87 mph:


Ford came back the next year (1912) with the same two racers (except the v nosed 410 with lowered chassis replaced the 389 cubic inch flat radiator version). We see now (1912) Ford has changed both racers to 2:1 diff ratios. Also, as with 1911, different numbers are issued for each class (unless Ford now had three 410 cubic inch racers in the climb).


If my math is correct (and it may not be), the smaller Ford Special (now listed at 228 cu. in.) hits 56.6 mph on the long hill, a couple of miles per hour faster than in 1911. Again, no stock T is making these kind of numbers in my estimation. Kulick is driving both racers, and this year there are no stock classes listed. It looks like Kulick’s fastest time with the larger racer reached 66 mph, almost 3 mph faster than the year before.

Two of the cups fro the 1911 hill climb, off display at The Henry Ford.

161 - 230 cubic inch non-stock class:


301 - 450 cu in non-stock class:


Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:27 am
by Rob
Sharpening my pencil a bit...........

Ford did compete in a few road races with stock chassis. One example was the 1911 Elgin road race. Several classes raced, and the stock Ford completed in the 161-230 class. The course was about 8 1/2 miles long. Only three cars competed in the class, two Abbott Detroits and Frank Kulick with his Ford. We probable know the chassis used, #62,200.

Production card courtesy THF, all rights apply.

On the same day as the shipping slip, this article ran announcing Ford had shipped a racer for Kulick:


As this excerpt from “Automobile” along with stats read, Kulick and the stock Ford weren’t a factor in the race. At just over 135.6 miles, the Ford finished 2nd out of 3, and averaged about 50 mph:


Interestingly, Ford was denied entry the year before (1910) due to being too light. Below are two photos taken during the road race. The Ford’s fastest lap was just over 52 mph (if my math is to some degree correct.. ;) )


My wordy/lengthy point being, I don’t believe the same stock chassis could go up a hill with switchback at 54 mph. Time for more coffee........................

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:03 pm
by Drkbp
The New Orleans Mardi Gras racer, 12 car pictured above, was a A.A.A. Class 2B "Stock Chassis Racer". There is nothing in that photograph that I can see that would indicate otherwise. Please comment if you see something.

The term "stock" doesn't mean a chassis off the assembly line in a literal sense. A.A.A. defines exactly what a "Stock Chassis Racer" was (link below, 1st page). They were permitted to do all sorts of things when converting a production line chassis to a racer! The list is about a full page long and all you had to do was "start off with one"!!

In the case of a Ford Motor Company Model T, it doesn't even have to be 176.7 cubic inch displacement engine! A displacement of 170 cubic inches would be OK. :o

Just go read the A.A.A. Rules for 1911 and you will see why the emergency brake handle on the 12 car is that tall (unlike most of the Non-Stock Ford Specials Frank Kulick drove).
A.A.A. Rule: That brake handle has to be "standard" as supplied on a production Model T! :shock:

The only pick I can see is no floor board around the pedals...but they might be there ;)

A.A.A. 1911 Race Rules: ... up&seq=648

It's about exciting as reading a dictionary so if anyone has a general question I will try to help find the section :?

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:27 pm
by Rob
I’ll get back to this later, but the cars ran in C Class. Had they been stock, they would have competed in A or B classes. Furthermore, no stock T would have put the times up, nor won against the competition did.

In several , but unfortunately not all, the displacement or bore and stroke were listed.

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:44 pm
by Rob
Below are a cutoff of the #12 racer, one of two sent by Ford to the Mardi Gras races. Both racers ran in, and won, their Class C (non-stock) divisions. One other local Model T was entered in the races, as a stock T chassis (Class B) racer.

The #12 lower crankcase/pan/transmission cover are different from stock T, and more angular and deep like the Ford Special racers. Bottom line, if they ran in non-stock, and won non-stock, and ran faster than stock Model T, they are non-stock Model T.


#12 Mardi Gras racer. It either ran in the. 161-230 or 231-300 non-stock class C division. Both racers won their division along with other wins and places during the three day meet in February, 1910.


Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:57 am
by Drkbp

You are absolutely correct that the 12 car had entered a (Division) C race.

You are also correct the Elis Joubert 13 car (Class B) was also entered in the same 161 to 230 displacement (Division) C races as Frank Kulick.

Elis Joubert didn't start but that makes no difference. He was registered, inspected five days prior to the event and given a car number 13. All he had to do was to present his "receipt" to the starter 30 minutes prior to race time. Nobody knows why he didn't :?

The Mardi Gras Division C races were NOT restricted to only Division C cars. If they had been "restricted", the Joubert 13 car couldn't have registered because he was already registered with A.A.A. in New York City as a "Stock Chassis Racer" and certified at least thirty days prior to the race meet in New Orleans.

If the race is restricted to Division B or Division C it must be clearly shown to entrants to comply with A.A.A. Rules, 1911, above link. A.A.A. Rule 78, 1911.

Therefore, any "Records" claimed by Frank Kulick were "Records Regardless of Class" because Division B and Division C cars were racing together in some if not all the events in New Orleans, February 1911.

Rob: The pan is of no concern to A.A.A. There are some restrictions under "Lubrication" regarding reserve oil supplies.


Division B cars (Stock Chassis Racer) can race with Division C cars (Non-Stock Chassis Racer) in the same event (race). Hence Rule 78 regarding how A.A.A. treats "Records" below.

The Elgin Aurora race Frank Kulick drove the 32 car (above on this thread) was a "restricted" Division B race. Records in that one would be "Class Records".

Re: Is this a Model T? Algonquin Hill Climb 1911

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:20 pm
by Rob
I’ll try to cover a few points Ken made.

Ken wrote:
“In the case of a Ford Motor Company Model T, it doesn't even have to be 176.7 cubic inch displacement engine! A displacement of 170 cubic inches would be OK.”

It looks as if smaller piston displacements were allowed, certainly no allowance for larger than factory standard.
“Just go read the A.A.A. Rules for 1911 and you will see why the emergency brake handle on the 12 car is that tall (unlike most of the Non-Stock Ford Specials Frank Kulick drove). A.A.A. Rule: That brake handle has to be "standard" as supplied on a production Model T! “

I have read the rules before, but it’s always good to refresh. Regarding the brake handle, having one that’s “factory” isn’t a reason a racer would be classified “stock.” In fact, any number of stock or factory standard features would not cause a racer to be classified “stock” or class A and B. Having non-stock equipment, except for the items listed in the rules, would force a racer to move away from “stock” or classes A and B, and into Class C, non-stock. I’m sure had Ford been allowed to place the non-stock racers into stock class, they would have, because like Buick and several automakers of the period who entered racers in contests, their intention was for the racers to “look” similar to the product they were selling on the market.

I think this paragraph is a good example of what the intent of the stock class was. The Ford Special racers used under the hood (or mounted beside the passenger, with the last big 410 cu in racer) Bosch magnetos, and are identifiable because they don’t use standard Ford coils and coilbox. According to this paragraph in the rules, just the absence of the coil box would be enough to disqualify the racer from “stock” status.


“They were permitted to do all sorts of things when converting a production line chassis to a racer!”

Actually, there aren’t a lot of things allowed. Additional oil tank, less spring leaves, (but stock or factory thickness, width and length).

“The term "stock" doesn't mean a chassis off the assembly line in a literal sense. A.A.A. defines exactly what a "Stock Chassis Racer" was (link below, 1st page). The list is about a full page long and all you had to do was "start off with one"!!”

To make this reasonably simple, I cut and pasted the primary stock chassis requirements. Not included are the factory production numbers required to make Class A and B stock requirements (since Ford was the largest automaker in the world, this isn’t an issue).