12-14 August 2010
1906 Ford Model N Runabout
- Chassis no. 427
Sold for $42,900
- From the collection of Clyde Ensor, Sr.
- A wonderful example of one of Henry Ford’s first automobiles
- Older restoration and former AACA First Prize winner
- A great Horseless Carriage Club of America eligible tour vehicle
Ford introduced the Model N for 1906. Many would later consider it the precursor to the Model T. The base price was just $500 – Ford’s first high-value model. The N was found to be quite sturdy and reliable, boasting two important innovations in Ford’s advanced thinking about building automobiles. This was the first Ford to be constructed of tough but lightweight vanadium steel and also Ford’s first attempt to employ methods of mass production, though it was assembled at Ford’s Piquette facility with engines and chassis made at other shops.
The liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine is mounted under the square-shaped hood in front of the driver. The cast iron flywheel (with fan-like spokes) is fitted to the front end of the crankshaft. Developing a claimed 15-18 hp, the engine could propel the car upwards of 40 mph. Of interest is the car’s stylish boattail rear deck, quite the novel feature for a low-price automobile in 1906. The Model N sold like proverbial hotcakes and accounted for nearly all of the 8,828 units sold for the model year. Advertising copy was created to appeal to doctors and suggested that a Model N “would enable them to visit three times as many patients daily as with a buggy.” Production would continue through 1908.
An older restoration, this car wears its AACA First Place badge from 1974. It is painted red with black fenders while highlighted by yellow contrasting pinstriping. Attesting to the quality of the restoration, the black button-tufted interior is in excellent condition and still soft and shiny. Some paint and cracking issues are noted on the wood cowl, however the floor mats are like new, and the brass presents well too. The engine bay is clean and properly presented. From the collection of Clyde Ensor, Sr., receipts and letters regarding the restoration are available upon request. This would be a fabulous addition to an alphabet collection of Ford’s earliest automobiles.
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