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Rob H.

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About Rob H.

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  • Birthday 03/14/1956

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  1. Walt, great experiences and story. Thank you for sharing!
  2. In FY 1907, the Model K was greatly improved upon, including increasing the wheelbase from 114 to 120 inches, stronger frame with support (truss) rods, flex added between the flywheel and output shaft, higher horsepower, more modern styling, and in February of 1907 addition of the 6-40 roadster. Individual oil lines were added to the thrust side of each cylinder, and the unique magneto improved upon. The magneto was designed by Ed Huff, and was the first and only production CDI (capacitive discharge ignition) used on cars until well into the 1950's. After selling over 300 Model K in 1906,
  3. Walt, Wayne has seen a lot of this before on the Early Ford and MTFCA forums. However, I've found a new audience here. About ten to twelve years ago, my good friend, the late Tim Kelly, introduced me to the Ford Model K. He gave me a ride in his beautifully restored 07 K touring car. In a matter of moments we were zipping along at 55 mph. I was amazed at the power and quality of the car. That started it. Now, after owning an 07 touring, roadster and for a short time co-owning an 06, I've learned much about the "Ford six." One of the things that stand out, and beg for history
  4. Walt, I'm going to "get down in the weeds." A short time ago on a cold wintry afternoon, I decided to do a none-too-scientific survey. I was curious how many mentions of the Ford Six (Model K) there were in a newspaper service I use during each year of production (1906, 07 & 08), compared with other domestic six cylinder makers of the time. Ford advertised, and was referred to, in both 1906 and 1907, as the largest six cylinder car maker in the world. I searched "six cylinder Ford," "six cylinder Franklin" etc. etc., as well as "Ford six cylinder," National six cylinder" on and on. Be
  5. Walt, thank you for the post. I never cease to be amazed at the wealth of information that is "out there." We are fortunate to live in the digital age, and to have had many libraries and institutions save, then catalog and digitalize so much information. And, if the materials/papers/photos survive, so much more to eventually be discovered and made available. I first began searching early Ford generally, and Ford Model K specifically, for period information. One thing I had to learn before finding information, was to search in the vernacular of the day. When I search period new
  6. Greg, one other thing. You mentioned the tall gearing that must be required. The largest (at the time) 389 c.i. racer was listed with 1 1/2 : 1 diff ratio at the 1911 Algonquin hill climb races. The Ford lost by a fraction of a second (overall place) to a 120 hp Benz. At the time, Ford officials said the racer was geared too high, and would lose traction on the hairpin turns. The following year, with a larger 410 c.i. motor, the diff was lowered to 2 : 1. We currently have 3 : 1 gearing, but I think 2.5 or 2:1 would be better an allow good speed at low rpm. There is certainly no lack of
  7. Thank you Wayne. From Greg: "relatively few people at the time would have known how special the engine was compared to a production Model T engine. For speeds like that the final drive ratio must have been a lot taller than stock as well. Were parts like this ever offered for sale to the public by Ford?" It's been interesting to research the Ford Specials. What little I know about them includes the Reminiscence of Ford engineer Joe Galamb. He said (Reminiscences were typed transcripts from audio recordings of early Ford Motor Company employees, agents and people who knew
  8. Thanks Aha, it is fun. So far, we've run up to the low 70's, with lots left. Then I learned a lesson about not enough clearance with aluminum pistons. It's about back together now......... 😞 When you "kick" open the auxiliary exhaust ports, it's like adding a higher gear.
  9. Thanks Layden, great pics of shocks. I had not seen that brand before. The 300 cu. in. racer with Frank Kulick driving. This photo appeared in newspapers in early June, 1911. The racer drawings remaining at THF (photo and drawings property of THF, all rights apply) include a "dashtank" fitting for racer M-III. I believe this is the opening for cylinder number 4's exhaust pipe in the false tank on the dash. This allows the large motor to fit under the Model T hood. The third photo is our racer today.
  10. Aha, the photos above, except for the 1905 six cylinder racer on the mag cover, are all the French Ford Special racer. It was just under 3 liters, to allow it to compete in the 3 L and smaller Balougne races. The wreck photos allow us to see the different (from standard Model T) lower crankcase. There were at least 5 Ford Special racers that I'm aware of. First, in 1910, a 201 cu. in. racer ran several late summer events. By 1911, racers of 228, 300 and 389 (later expanded to 410) cu. in. competed, plus the racer sent to France. The 389 c.i. racer and the 410 were quite different in appe
  11. More Ford Special pics. The photos below show the racer sent to France in the spring of 1911. The first, second and fourth are from a collection at The Henry Ford (rights apply). The third is a post card I own, and the fifth is from a French 110 year old magazine. The first photo shows the racer with it's "clothes" on. It was entered in the 3 liter and less race at Balougne France. On race day, the racer was denied entry because it was determined not to be a stock motor, and so was required to take on several hundred pounds, and the French driver (and Ford agent) Henri Depasse
  12. Wayne, as always, you bring a wealth of information to the table. Thank you. Staver, yes, the head is iron. The entire car has been stripped of paint and looks almost like aluminum, but is just polished tin. The lower crankcase and hogshead (top and bottom) are all aluminum. This is what the racer looked like after the Blitzen Benz race. It was parked in the Ford Detroit Branch display window, still wearing it's #5:
  13. Aha, my guess is not. I've found two "specials" that may have escaped Ford Motor Company, as well was the big racer that is still at The Henry Ford, unfortunately off site. We are fortunate to still have several of the parts drawings for the special racers, as well as designations (M, M-I, M-II thru M-V). The special racers looked very much like stripped down Model T, with a few differences, such as dual ignition. I'll post more tomorrow, as well as a few pics of our racer. thanks, rob below, a pic of the 410 ci racer motor at THF:
  14. Finally, it was time for the match race between the Blitzen Benz, a 200 hp Benz driven by Bob Burman, a 200 hp Hotchkiss and the largest of the Ford Specials, a new 410 cubic inch Ford. The frame had been lowered, with a V nose radiator, allowing the engine to be pushed forward, still concealing it beneath the Model T hood. These special racers used Bosch dual ignition magnetos, with two spark plugs per cylinder. Henry Ford was about to get his wish, taking on the fastest car on the planet with one of his Joe Galamb designed special racers. Additional breathing was allowed with four "ports"
  15. Soldiering on............ The second Ford Special to race this day in 1911 was the 300 cu. in. racer (we own the motor, currently finishing our racer project). This has been the most difficult one to find a photo of. All I have for certain is a poor quality Detroit newspaper article (courtesy of The Henry Ford, rights apply). The reason we know it's the 2nd largest Ford racer is because it was matched against this Case racer, also entered in the 230 - 300 cu. in. race. Below the news clipping is a photo of one of the Case racers from 1911 (courtesy of Detroit Public Libraries,
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