EARLY FORD MODELS 1903 - 1908
First production model after the Model C was the Model F, although there was
a delivery car based on the Model C that was designated Model E by some, but Ford catalogs
simply describe it as "Delivery Car". The Model F was again a development of the
original Model A and its younger Model C brother.
The Model F was larger and more luxurious than its predecessors, and had a four-seater phaeton body with running boards as standard. It came into life in 1905 and it was last sold in 1906 after about a 1000 were made.
In the Model F the flat twin engine
was still located under the front seat, but the front sported an elaborate ornamental
hood to make it look more modern. The wheelbase had
grown by another 6 inches compared to the Model C, now totaling 84 inches/213 cm. This
model sold for as much as $1000, also a 25% increase to the original price of the
two-seater Model A within two years. But this is not a fair comparison, since the Model F
is much more car...
The Model F ended Ford's first model cycle that had started with the Models A with serial numbers from 1 to 870, followed by the Models AC and C with serial numbers from 670 to 2570 and concluded by the Models F commencing with serial number 2575; all these models were numbered more or less sequentially to each other.
1906 saw the introduction of what is considered Ford Motor Company's first
failure: the Model K. This model sort of replaced the Model B and was aimed at the luxury
end of the market. It boosted a new 6-cylinder engine that churned out 40 HP and the
chassis had a 114 inch/290 cm wheelbase. It could be ordered with standard touring (seen
here) or roadster bodywork.
So why was this Model K a failure?
Apparently there were two reasons for that: the high price ($2500 to $3000 depending on
trim level) and the lacking quality of the car. Also the fact that Ford had mainly
concentrated on affordable cars since the start in 1903 and therefore had neglected to
create a appealing image for its cars, wouldn't have helped matters (something that
remained a problem until the Lincoln marque was acquired in 1922).
Still the Model K holds an important place in Ford history: it is believed to be the reason that Ford didn't produce 6-cylinder engined cars again until 1941 and it formed the catalyst in the process of Ford becoming a mass producer of cheap cars. As a result of the failure of the Model K Alexander Malcomson, one of the founding partners of the Ford Motor Company and a champion of producing luxury cars, left the company. This gave Henry Ford the opportunity to become the major shareholder and president of the company in 1906, free to choose his own strategy.
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