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Kudos to Lea, Kennedy on Vintage Lodi column

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Posted: Friday, December 13, 2002 10:00 pm

I read with great interest, as always, the Vintage Lodi column by Ralph Lea and Christi Kennedy.

The history of Ford sales in Lodi is particularly interesting, as was the photograph included in the article.

However, the automobile was mistakenly identified as a Ford roadster in a circa 1920 photograph. The car is (unlike the two-passenger roadster) actually a Ford Model T Town Car, the most expensive model offered by the company at the time and was claimed to have room for six passengers.

The example depicted in the story is unique to the model year 1914 and sold for $750 fully equipped with lamps, horn and kit of tools. Typical of the day, it sports the smooth white-rubber tires up front (where there are no brakes) and treaded tires in the rear. The car ha shad its original acetylene gas headlamps replaced with more convenient electric-powered ones-which were probably from the auto dealership's own accessory counter. Also barely visible on the front axle are a pair of KW accessory shock absorbers which, claimed the makers, smoothes bumps into Cloud-like ripples … ."

The Ford Town Car was sold almost exclusively for taxicab and car-for-hire work; a holdover from livery stable practice when a man might rent an automobile and driver for the day to provide personal transportation for him.

It is unlikely the photo was taken as late as 1920. License plates were issued annually and the plate on the car is, like the car itself, unique to 1914.

Dan Haynes


Webmaster's note: Vintage Lodi columns are not posted online at this time. However, anyone wishing to read a copy of the column referred to in this letter can request a copy of the column by sending an e-mail to

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