Sports & Classics of Monterey

12-14 August 2010


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Lot 112

1909 Ford Model T Aluminum-Bodied Touring Car

Sold for $55,000

20 hp, 176 cu. in. side-valve L-head four-cylinder engine, two-speed planetary transmission, hand-operated mechanical brakes, rear wheels only, foot-activated contracting bands on driveshaft, transverse leaf springs and solid axles front and rear. Wheelbase: 100"

- From the collection of Clyde Ensor, Sr.

- Rare experimental aluminum body

- Purchased new for “Lincoln’s Rebel Niece” Kate Helm

- 1960s restoration that presents very well attesting to the quality of restoration

This Model T has known provenance from its original purchaser. It was purchased from the Bayliss Motor Company in May 1909 for the princely sum of $985 for Miss Kate Helm of Bowmans Mill Pike, Fayette County, Kentucky. It was paid for by check (oddly, written in pencil) by a Mr. W. F Hieatt. Miss Helm was the daughter of Confederate officer Ben Hardin Helm, who was killed during combat in the Civil War. In addition to being a brigadier general, politician, attorney and son of the Kentucky governor, Helm was also the brother-in-law of Abraham Lincoln. Nicknamed “Lincoln’s Rebel Niece,” Kate Helm went on to become an accomplished artist, painting a portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln in 1925 that hangs in the U.S. Capitol. The original check for the car (framed under glass) is included with the purchase of the car.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that this Model T, one of approximately 10,000 produced in 1909, is one of an unknown number built in Pontiac, Michigan prior to September 1909 with a body constructed of sheet aluminum panels over a hardwood frame. From the collection of Clyde Ensor, Sr., this is a former AACA First Prize winner. The restoration dates to the mid-1960s and presents remarkably well with any cosmetic issues only visible upon close examination. The button-tufted black leather interior is in very nice condition, as are the floor mats, the varnish on the wood cowl and artillery wheels, and all exterior brass. Its unusual aluminum construction and known original history make this an incredible opportunity to purchase a spectacular and rare Model T Touring car.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more