Letter from Henry Ford to Milton Bryant Concerning Auto Racing, 1902

Summary

Less than three months after defeating Alexander Winton, Henry Ford was anxious to stay in the forefront of American racing. In this letter, he explains to his brother-in-law, Milton Bryant, the potential for big money and advertising in match races and his desire to run a race against Henri Fournier, one of the world's fastest drivers at the time. Ford's interest in racing, however, soon put him at odds with the investors of the Henry Ford Company, Ford's second automobile company. Before the end of 1902, Henry was bought out of the company (which changed its name to Cadillac under the guidance of Henry Leland) and on his way to forming Ford Motor Company in June 1903.

Less than three months after defeating Alexander Winton, Henry Ford was anxious to stay in the forefront of American racing. In this letter, he explains to his brother-in-law, Milton Bryant, the potential for big money and advertising in match races and his desire to run a race against Henri Fournier, one of the world's fastest drivers at the time. Ford's interest in racing, however, soon put him at odds with the investors of the Henry Ford Company, Ford's second automobile company. Before the end of 1902, Henry was bought out of the company (which changed its name to Cadillac under the guidance of Henry Leland) and on his way to forming Ford Motor Company in June 1903.

Artifact

Letter (Correspondence)

Date Made

06 January 1902

Subject Date

06 January 1902

Collection Title

Fair Lane Papers Subgroup 

 On Exhibit

By Request in the Benson Ford Research Center

Object ID

64.167.1.408

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company.

Material

Paper (Fiber product)

Technique

Handwriting

Color

Black-and-white (Colors)

Dimensions

Height: 7.375 in

Width: 8.625 in

Inscriptions

Printed at top: HENRY FORD COMPANY. / BUILDERS OF / HIGH GRADE / AUTOMOBILES / AND / TOURIST CARS, / MAKERS OF / AUTOMOBILE / SPECIALTIES / AND / SPARK COILS, / OFFICE AND FACTORY / 1343 CASS AVE. / DETROIT, MICH. Handwritten text: My Dear Brother If I can bring Mr Fournier in line there is a barrel of money in this business. it was his proposition and I dont see why he wont fall in line if he dont I will chalenge (sic) him untill I am black in the face. as for managing my end of the racing business I would rather have you than any one else I know of. My Company will kick about me following racing but they will get the advertising and I expect to make $ where I cant make (cents) at manufacturing. we are writing to Mr. Fournier Henry

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