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Model K Ford Question


1937hd45
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I've worked on a couple of these and have actually repaired one of those spring perches before.  The reason they look like that is an optical illusion when the photo is taken from a 3/4 view.  They curve out as much as they do down.  When you can see them dead-on from the front they are symmetrical.    

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Are you sure they're the same car?  The front fenders of the upper one appear to curve down in front; those of the lower car appear tp be straight.  The upper car has a varnished wooden dashboard; I don't see one on the lower car.

 

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder

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You are right!  I pulled the images based on location of display.  Essentially, when I found a pic looking at a K straight on I Googled the next image with the museum name added. I jumped too soon. 

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1 hour ago, W_Higgins said:

I've worked on a couple of these and have actually repaired one of those spring perches before. The reason they look like that is an optical illusion when the photo is taken from a 3/4 view. They curve out as much as they do down. When you can see them dead-on from the front they are symmetrical.    

 

And here's photographic proof of this info. Two photos of the same Model K taken at the same time in the same location, one from the right side and one from the left.

k.2.jpg

 

k.3.jpg

This was during the 2018 New London to New Brighton run BTW. At the time, I was told that there were five roadworthy Model Ks (with a couple under restoration) and four of them were on the tour!

This is the one that made me weak in the knees...

model.k.jpg

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This all started while looking at this photo of the Elmer Bemius Model K on the Anglo American tour in 1954. Figured that left front horn was bent after the run in with something. Also figured it was a way to ID the car today in the Fountainhead collection.

 

Bob 

 

437110.jpg

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This is a 1920s photo of the only Ford K that was ever imported to NZ. The dumb iron issue doesn't appear here. The car was turned into this speedster circa the WW1 era and was supposed to compete in a race at Muriwai beach in 1921 or 1922 but broke its crank on the way. The engine survived into the 1960s when it was on display at a local Auto Parts store but seems to have disappeared.

 

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5 hours ago, gwells said:

This was during the 2018 New London to New Brighton run BTW. At the time, I was told that there were five roadworthy Model Ks (with a couple under restoration) and four of them were on the tour!

 

The fifth running and tourable model K is the 1906 serial number 2 which has been in Australia for quite a few years. The Australian K was the first one put onto regular veteran touring some years back. Then Timothy Kelly (RIP) restored his onto the antique automobile tours. Those two encouraged others and research has found the Model K was NOT the loser car historians labeled it in the '40s and '50s. There is hope that as many as six may be able to be at the OCF in another year or two.

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What a weird optical illusion!  Its because as the frame horns turn down they also turn outward, making the one nearest the view appear more bent than the other. 

 

Its the same visual anomaly seen on the 1958-1960 Lincolns:  The forward fender-line is dead straight, no gentle arch downward as is normal practice,  At the same time, it angles outward making the front fenders appear as if they're rising in height from the cowl forward. 

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3 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Its the same visual anomaly seen on the 1958-1960 Lincolns:  The forward fender-line is dead straight, no gentle arch downward as is normal practice,  At the same time, it angles outward making the front fenders appear as if they're rising in height from the cowl forward. 

 

A very astute observation!  Easiest illustrated on a '60 Premiere because of the side trim -- from the trim to the top of the fender line front-to-back is a consistent seven inches, but to accommodate the canted headlamps the front of the fender bulges out and the surface area of the sheet metal increases by 1/2" over that same distance.  

Fender line.jpg

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Thanks Walter!  I discovered that drawing variations of the 1958-1960 Lincolns designs.  The gentle slope of the hood as it curves inward also re-enforces the visual anomaly of a rising fender-line.  Its just one of the styling features that makes these Lincolns so unique and unforgettable.

 

Sorry to divert from the original topic regarding Ford Model K, now back to the program in progress...

Edited by 58L-Y8
Sorry to divert topic momentarily (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, wayne sheldon said:

 

The fifth running and tourable model K is the 1906 serial number 2 which has been in Australia for quite a few years. The Australian K was the first one put onto regular veteran touring some years back. Then Timothy Kelly (RIP) restored his onto the antique automobile tours. Those two encouraged others and research has found the Model K was NOT the loser car historians labeled it in the '40s and '50s. There is hope that as many as six may be able to be at the OCF in another year or two.

 

Wayne, The Tim Kelly Model K was restored when it was part of the Bill Harrah collection, before that it was the Elmer Bemis K, (he had the Roadster & this Touring). It may have belonged to Henry Austin Clark at one time or on display in his collection. My 1912 T was the first car in the Bemis collection, and still has its 1950 restoration. I think it is special since it got his collection started, and was the very first old car I ever got a ride in. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

...My 1912 T was the first car in the Bemis collection, and still has its 1950 restoration. I think it is special since it got his collection started, and was the very first old car I ever got a ride in. Bob 


Bob, I find really old restorations very charming — I have an early restoration that is 15 years older than the car was at the time. 
 

You’ve  mentioned that T a number of times, but I’ve never seen it — could you post a couple  photos?

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Bob (1937HD45), I wasn't sure of where Tm K had gotten his model K, but thought I had heard it went through Harrah's collection. That is why I made my comment a bit vague. I got to know Tim K a bit through the mtfca forum. I never had a chance to meet him in person, but on the forum he was always helpful and encouraging to others. He and Rob H have done a lot to correct the history of the model K and show that they are every bit as good a tour car as most cars of their era, and actually better than many of the others.

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I believe that article was in the HCCA Gazette. I remember reading an article along those lines.

 

Not only do the horns appear to bend at different angles, they also appear to be of different construction. One appears to be a conventional frame horn while the other appears to be a casting. Very strange indeed.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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gwells - There have been several articles by Rob Heyen.  There was an article about his car in Antique Automobile.  There was one a year or so ago in Model T Times, the magazine of the Model T Ford Club International, specifically about the three Model Ks that toured together on the HCCA's BBC tour in Pennsylvania.  And Rob has posted original research about Ks for a couple of years on the Model T Ford Club of America web site.  These are especially interesting, because he shows where Ford's profits came from (mostly from the K), and refutes the old story that Malcomson, one of Ford's financiers, had forced Henry to build the K against his will (Malcomson was gone from the company by the time the K appeared).  He also tracks down newspaper articles from back in the day, describing trips the owners took in Ks.  They make fascinating reading for anyone who'd like to learn more about these potent cars.

 

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder

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The Antique Automobile had a great K feature 3 issues back with the red roadster on the cover. Tim Kelley lived two towns over and he really enjoyed the cars he had, I think the K was his favorite non Model A.

 

Bob

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Bob, Are you meaning the 1903/'04 model A? I know he had and drove a beautiful one of those quite a lot also. I think it was about a year before he passed that he shipped his '03 over to England for the London to Brighton Run. I honestly do not know if he had "modern" model A Fords or not? He was very into the early Fords.

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1 hour ago, wayne sheldon said:

Bob, Are you meaning the 1903/'04 model A? I know he had and drove a beautiful one of those quite a lot also. I think it was about a year before he passed that he shipped his '03 over to England for the London to Brighton Run. I honestly do not know if he had "modern" model A Fords or not? He was very into the early Fords.

 

Glad you picked that up. Yes he did have a two cylinder A and did the London to Brighton, think it was a 1904. Someone will confirm he had a four cylinder Model B that came out of Pennsylvania as well. Long before the Model K Tim was into rare bodied Model A Fords 1928-31 Town Cars and Town Car Deliveries, Deluxe Pickup trucks both A & AA. Really nice guy that we lost far too soon. Bob 

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40 minutes ago, AHa said:

So how many model Ks are known to survive?

Only one that I know of in Canada that is a blue 08 touring owned now by Hugo Vermeulen. I believe it was previously owned by the fellow of the red roadster mentioned earlier. Hugo also has the Model N 6cyl he brought back from Australia last year attending the HCCA tour there.

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

Just happened across this thread.  A few articles, one from AACA and a similar one with “Model T Times:”

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/92f1cuz799z63un/AACA “K” Article.pages?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t7wl7u9o97ms43c/MTT_Jul-Aug_2018_Model K_FINAL_HighRes with crop marks.pdf?dl=0

 

My interest in Model K began when I rode with Tim Kelly (RIP) in his beautifully restored K touring many years ago.  He owned a 1907 touring formerly owned by Elmer Bemis and Harrah’s, among others.  I had heard the stories that the Ford Model K wasn’t a good car, and that Henry Ford had been “forced” to build the higher end model by investors, primarily A.Y. Malcomson.  Upon hopping in Tim’s K, we were soon traveling comfortable on a Minnesota highway at 55 mph.  I said to Tim, “I thought these weren’t good cars?”  He smiled and said “yeah, right.”  That began my love affair with the model.

 

I’ve had the good fortune to own three Model K, two outright, and one with another enthusiast as we brought it into roadworthy condition.  Like Tim, I’ve logged thousands of miles on the two Model K I drove, first a 1907 touring, and now our 1907 roadster (noted in the above articles).

 

interesting tidbits about the often maligned model:

 In 1907, Ford entered two Model K in a 24 hour contest in Detroit, and the K responded by winning the competition, defeating well known and respected marquee including two 60 hp Thomas Flyers (same model that won the 1908 New York to Paris race),  two Pope - Toledo and several other makes .   To put the significance of this feat in context, 24 hour contests were listed as the most popular racing contests of 1907, with ten national competitions.  At the end of 1907, only one make, two Locomobiles, beat the Ford K’s record, by only 11 miles over the 24 hour period.  The Model K averaged 47.3 mph over twenty four hours, on a flat one mile dirt track (Michigan State Fairground).

 

Furthermore, the Model K was the worlds best selling six cylinder car in both 1906 and 1907, outselling well known six cylinder makes including the new for 1907 RR Silver Ghost, National, Stevens-Duryea, Franklin and all other six cylinder makers.

 

in early 1907, Motor Magazine conducted a reader competition.  The winner would receive any automobile of their choice, up to $3,000.  Readers entering the contest (over 6,000), chose the Ford Model K fifth among their choices, with over thirty cars to choose from.  As it turned out, four readers tied for first place, and Motor Magazine chose to give each a lesser priced car, delivering two Maxwell and two Ford Model R to the four winners.

 

Today, 23 model K are known to exist.  At this point, only three routinely tour in the United States, our roadster, my former touring car (now in Canada), and Tim Kelly’s touring.  Two Model K in Australia are roadworthy, while another in Alaska has been running.  

 

Our Roadster was owned by the same family from the time it was purchased in 1907 until it was donated to the Larz Anderson museum in 1964.  The owners were the Knight family, at the time the largest owner of textile mills in the United States.  They were the originators of the “Fruit of the Loom” logo.

 

thank you Wayne, and all who have shown interest in this interesting and storied model.

 

2909C5C0-AF57-4A16-B7CB-AD53467AF5B1.jpeg

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So nice to see you here Rob!

 

For those that do not know him, Rob H is one very busy person with a lot of passion for early automotive history, especially early Ford history. He has a few very nice cars, and tours with them often.

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