1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

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Rob
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1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Rob » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:29 am

While at the Detroit Public Library last week, I came across this unlabeled photo. The car on the left is a 1906 Ford Model K. The first 06 K’s had an upright crank holder, and this one is stripped of fenders. I couldn’t tell what the car on the right was, nor what the banner on the Ford reads.

Last evening, while going over photos from the trip, it came to me.................

Any thoughts about the type of car?

BF0325CE-0E4A-4BEE-9E37-ABCE371A05F2.jpeg

The back of the photo reads “Rough roads between Newerg & Kingston.”

86FFD322-D96A-44F7-96A9-4C9DA4D895BD.jpeg
Photo courtesy of Detroit Public LIbraries, all rights apply.


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:19 am

Hello Rob:
This is a 1905 Vanderbilt Cup entry by Thomas.
Regards
Scott
1905-Thomas-Vanderbilt-Cup-Racing-Car-at-the-Thomas-Garage.jpg


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:22 am

That you can faintly see the radiator numeral "8", suggests this may be this same car.
SR

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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Rob » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:38 am

Thanks Scott. The radiators do look the same. However, I don’t believe the car is nearly as long, although it’s hard to tell. I believe I know who one of the men is, and that makes me think it may be a prototype of an automaker Henry Ford knew well in 1906.

I’m off to run some errands, and will get back to this. Thank you for finding the Thomas (I believe the Thomas was a six, and the length of hood looks like it is).

Unfortunately I didn’t know the Ford people at the time I was at the library, because there were probably other photos of the mystery car in the box of unlabeled photos.

01E33CDD-6C3A-486F-A65D-75EC3D95EFB7.jpeg


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by dllr28bl » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:28 pm

Rob,

I agree with Scott on the identification of the car as a Thomas. That was my first thought also. The radiator shape, the faint number "8" on the radiator, the way the radiator sits in between the frame horns and the curved shape of the front axle under the frame horns makes me think it is the same car as the Vanderbilt Racer Scott posted.

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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Rob » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:13 pm

Thanks guys. According to an article on “The Old Motor,” the Thomas Flyer Six had a 750 cubic inch motor. I just don’t think it’s profile would have been so low and small in comparison to a 405 cubic inch Ford Six.

From the “The Old Motor:”

1F26B696-8DEB-4893-9117-2D7B33855EFD.jpeg
“The E.R. Thomas Company of Buffalo, New York, built this monster of a 60 h.p. 6 cylinder racer with hopes of entering it in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Specifications of the car are hard to come by, but we do know that it had a 750 c.i. engine with a 5.38″ bore x 5.50″ stroke and featured a 96 inch long hood. If that dimension is correct, and since the hood is about half of the length of the distance between the axles, the wheelbase must have been about 190 inches long.”
The Old Motor: http://theoldmotor.com/?p=99905

I’ll get back with my ideas, and supporting information.


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:38 pm

The OLD MOTOR article that these photos stem from talks about the unique quick release filling funnel mounted on the cowl and the incredible 190" wheelbase. Also talks about how this Thomas defeated a number of US entry qualification candidates, to have become one of five US entries that were initially sanctioned by the Vanderbilt Race Committee, to represent the US. For reasons not explained, this field of five cars was then reduced to two (a Pope Toledo and a Locomobile). Bizarrely, the same race committee then replaced these 2 qualified cars with a Christie, a White Steamer, and a Pope Toledo, that had not previously qualified. As if the event was not already a scatter-brained affair, the race had to be abruptly called to a holt after the first 4 cars finished, when spectators flooded out onto the track, creating a severe spectator and driver safety hazard. Not discussed in this article is whether the Model K was was one of the US car contenders.
Regards,
Scott


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by dllr28bl » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:09 pm

Did you notice the long crank on the Thomas that is attached and laying across the right frame horn? How would you like to be the guy that got to crank that engine?

Dan
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1905-Thomas-Vanderbilt-Cup-Racing-Car-at-the-Thomas-Garage.jpg
1905-Thomas-Vanderbilt-Cup-Racing-Car-at-the-Thomas-Garage.jpg (140.65 KiB) Viewed 737 times


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Russ T Fender » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:50 pm

Either that Thomas had a compression release or it must have come with a gorilla. Starting a 40h.p. car without a compression release is tough but that monster would be almost impossible!

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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Rob » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:05 pm

Russ,
I suspect the “big” racers were started by pushing. I have a photo of the 1100 cu in Ford six racer, with Henry Ford driving, being started by push start. I know from starting it that a 400 plus cu in motor is a load to ignite.

The Blitzen Benz and big motors of the period had compression releases to make starting easier. Unfortunately Model K didn’t.

https://youtu.be/xMa3_tT5mKA

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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Kaiser » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:55 am

The crank handle can be clearly seen in the sideways foto from the Old Motor, it extends along the side of the hood, apparently the engine is quite set back aways from the radiator needing such a long crank handle.
The radiator is relieved to fit in between the frame rails, it is that way in all pictures, and i've never seen it that way on another car, so guessing it must be the same Thomas in all pictures
When in trouble, do not fear, blame the second engineer ! 8-)
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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Russ T Fender » Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:00 am

Rob I have a 40 H.P. Chalmers-Detoit without a compression release and a bad back. I have priming cups on each cylinder and after I prime each cylinder I leave them open about 1/4 way to start cold and shut them right after it starts. Poor mans compression release!

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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Rob » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:08 am

Scott and all, I’ll be darned! Sometimes a person (me) is so confident they try to make a square peg fit in a round hole, even when they can see it won’t fit. I smugly was confident I knew what the other car was, and who was driving.

I think Scott nailed it. I’ll explain my thinking, and then my “conversion.” You guys are good........


I thought I’d seen the two men on each side of the Ford Six in other photos. However, it took awhile to find them. They were the two men below. This is the “after” photo. The driver (seen on the right side of the Ford in the first photo of this thread) is Ford New York Branch manager Gaston Plaintiff:

ED349BD0-FBCF-41CF-B2C3-D84AF21D9434.jpeg

The men have just finished a relay of several makes of automobiles that transported Lt. Basta, U.S. Army, from Chicago to New York to determine how quickly automobiles could transport a military courier and document:

699314FC-BEAE-4C1D-AAC0-4853B95D68E2.jpeg

The article tells us the Ford carried the courrier the last leg of the journey, from Newburgh to Governor’s Island, New York. We know the back of the first photo reads “rough road between Newburg(h) and Kingston.” I also knew the leg of the relay before the Fords took over was from Kingston to Newburgh, and guess who ran that leg?

But first, another photo with driver and courier Basta and his satchel of documents:

C7BBEC1F-F770-459E-861B-EBC6179BAC56.jpeg

The Kingston to Newburgh leg was transported by none other than Percy Owens, eastern sales manager for Aerocar, A. Y. Malcomson’s new upstart company, and now direct competitor with Ford Motor Company:

7F6A9AA5-93C1-437D-AAF9-BDD5B4E8D2AE.jpeg

I tried to look at the car beside the Ford in every which way as the Aerocar that met our Ford Six at Newburgh. However, it had a similar front axle, and what looked similar radiator to later Aerocars. But still, it didn’t look right.

Thanks to Scott, I think the mystery is solved. I’ll post another photo when i get back to my computer, and put this story to bed.

Thanks guys.


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by dllr28bl » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:09 pm

Rob,

Attached are a couple of pictures of Aerocar automobiles, both the water cooled and air cooled versions. The radiator on the water cooled Aerocar looks somewhat similar to a Packard.

Dan
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1906 Aerocar Touring - Water cooled.jpg
1906 Aerocar Touring - Water cooled.jpg (81.71 KiB) Viewed 484 times
1906 Aerocar - Air Cooled.jpg
1906 Aerocar - Air Cooled.jpg (20.32 KiB) Viewed 484 times


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by dllr28bl » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:31 pm

Here is a photo of an Aerocar (water cooled) that is presently unrestored.

Dan
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fullsizeoutput_8ec.jpeg

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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Rob » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:44 pm

Dan,
Thanks. Yes, I thought it was an Aerocar because I knew one made the Kingston to Newburgh leg of the relay. The curved front axle and kingpins worked, and radiator shape somewhat looked like the later 40 hp Aerocar. Add to that, Aerocar came out with a 1907 model year roadster that showed up in NY a month later and I thought it was some kind of stripped down Aero.

That’s what happens when I try to make something fit that doesn’t. Fortunately, stronger minds prevailed..... :shock:


As it turns out, I already had information that a six cylinder Thomas was on the run. I’ll post when I get back to my iPad.

Also, the new owner of the 40 hp you posted is well into the restoration. I suspect we’ll have a big Aerocar on the New London to New Brighton Tour in 2021.

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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Rob » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:33 pm

Below is an article about the finish of the relay in the Elmira Gazette:


1D83FBBA-ACAB-4516-8A02-4AF5C3B2DA43.jpeg

The caption below reads in part “Ford Six-cylinder...........” “Pope -Toledo and Thomas Six-cylinder Flyer, which accompanied it to the Governors Island Landing.” We now see what the banner read that is seen on the original photograph above:

B5FEB376-3AB9-409F-95D3-9393B1814DF9.jpeg

I tried to improve the photo to get a better look at the Thomas. Unfortunately there isn’t much to work with from this copy:

9B3428E1-261C-4571-9359-D3475252B6F2.jpeg

Thomas didn’t have a production six cylinder car in 1906, and I don’t know if they produced more than one six cylinder racer. It does appear that it was a Thomas in the original photo, and we now know a six cylinder Thomas arrived with the Ford six and Pope Toledo. Our Fords were traveling in good company.

Cars on the relay included a 50 hp Thomas that left Chicago on the run, but stopped after suffering a bent front axle, Cadillac, REO, White steamer, Buick, Columbia, Frayer-Miller and the Ford and Aerocar.
Last edited by Rob on Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: 1906 Ford Six and another car. What are your guesses?

Post by Aarongriffey » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:39 pm

Is the M
New Brighton to New London run also gonna be on Wear Funny Hat Day?

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