Throwback Thursday Redux

Originally, I was going to write about the 1961-62 Primetime TV season (which was 60 years ago, of course), list the top five shows in the Nielsen ratings and then write about one of them. Upon reflection, I decided that was inorganic and since the top three shows were Westerns, I didn’t want to write about any of them, anyway. (By the way, Wagon Train was the #1 show in the Nielsen ratings for that season.)

I could have written about Henri Farman who on this day in 1908 became the first person to fly an observed circuit of more than one kilometer, winning the Grand Prix d’Aviation. That also seemed forced to me.

I don’t know if this is more of a Throwback Thursday or This Day In History, but on this day in 1906 the newly formed American Motor Car Manufacturer’s Association (AMCMA) held its first auto show. The event was held at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. From Automotive History, a diagram of the layout:



Notice the mix of US and foreign manufacturers. The AMCMA shows were only held through 1910.

Although the Model T was still two years in the future, Ford led all American makes in sales in 1906 with the “lofty” figure of 8,729 cars. In some sources that number is actually shown as 2,798, quite a discrepancy and another reminder that record keeping has been imprecise for the vast majority of human history. At the larger figure that was basically equal to the combined sales for the next three makes: Cadillac, Rambler and Reo. (Of course, that analysis assumes the figures for those three makes are correct.) A far cry from today is that fewer than 1,000 trucks were produced compared to an overall industry output of over 33,000 cars.

Ford actually produced three models in 1906: the mid-level Model F, the low-price Model N, which could be thought of as the forerunner to the Model T, and the expensive ($2,500, about $80,000 in today’s dollars), six-cylinder Model K. From Wikimedia/Wikipedia a picture of a 1906 Ford Model K Tourer:


See the source image


The last year the Model K was produced was 1908, the year the Model T was introduced. By 1909, Ford was only manufacturing the Model T.

I have to admit that these brass era cars pretty much all look alike to me. Automotive styling before about 1930 is not interesting to me. Different strokes for different folks, DSFDF.







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8 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday Redux

  1. Most people do not know that Ford made those other models before they made the Model T. In the 1950s, a company by the name of Marmon Harrington converted Ford trucks into aftermarket 4-wheel drive vehicles. I do not know if they are a remnant of the Marmon company listed on your chart. REO, made the Speedwagon, not related to the rock and roll group.

    Armory buildings used to be the local gathering places not only for the local militia and national guard units but they usually had a large assembly hall that was used for large gatherings of the townspeople. When I worked for an architecture design firm headquartered in Cleveland, I had the opportunity to visit the historic armory building of the famous Cleveland Greys in downtown Cleveland. One of the engineers I worked with was a member of a local gun club and they had use of the basement gun range. One evening this engineer invited me to go to the range after work for some pistol practice. We had a lot of fun perforating paper targets and making a lot of noise. The smell of gunpowder can be intoxicating.


  2. Few might know that Maxwell, Stoddard-Dayton, Brush, Lancia and Fiat now reside under a single banner represent the roots of what we now call Stellantis. Of course the folks manning those booths back then had no way to know what would be…


    1. Great points, Mark! I wonder if Stellantis will brush aside (pun intended) the Chrysler and Maserati makes. I don’t think the Italian government could do much about a potential demise of Maserati and the US government would screw up a one-car funeral, so even if it wanted to save Chrysler, I doubt it could.

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      1. I can’t begin to figure out what they’ll do. As I think about it, they have ‘bread and butter’ makes like Fiat Peugeot Dodge Lancia, and ‘upscale’ makes like Chrysler and Maserati and maybe Alfa Romeo. But, none of those makes are globally successful. I mean Fiat and Peugeot sell everywhere but North America, while Dodge and Chrysler sell only in NA really. The exception I guess would be Jeep but, you won’t sell a Jeep branded compact electric hatchback.
        I think they have a real problem trying to mothball any of them without abandoning a market segment (because all their makes seem so specialized) or a market (because their brands seem to have major markets where the brand isn’t appealing).
        What do you think? Do you think one day Fiat or Citroen ever become brands middle America buys in volume?


      2. Thanks again, Mark. Citroën has been out of the US market too long to return successfully, in my opinion, and the same is true for Peugeot, although that’s a shame as it would have been great to have the RCZ and RCZ-R available here. I don’t think Fiat can ever overcome their reputation as being unreliable rustboxes.

        I thought Stellantis might try to occupy a niche as a supplier of ICE-powered vehicles in the US for the next 10-20 years, but I guess they have also succumbed to intransigent group-think. Back to the first point about Citroën and the like, it would be nice if the US government would allow the importation of cars like the Alpine A110. That I can’t buy one in Europe and legally bring it here is rank protectionism and narrow-mindedness.

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