Time to go antiquing, and what better way to enjoy a crisp fall afternoon than at the wheel of a rare and charming early Ford that pre-dates the ubiquitous Model T.
For Pick of the Week, we have a splendid 1908 Ford Model R in restored condition advertised for sale in ClassicCars.com. The Model R was the upscale version of Henry Ford’s first economical car, the Model N, which was introduced in 1906.
The Model N was a big success, with reportedly 8,000 sold in 12 months, and moved Henry Ford closer to his dream of a car that would be affordable for mainstream America.
The Model R was introduced with better trim and equipment and it, too, sold well. Though not nearly as well as the subsequent Model T that sold in the many millions and put America – and much of the world – on wheels.
The Model N (and Model R) set the stage mechanically for the Model T, with a 149-cubic-inch inline four-cylinder engine that produced 15 horsepower attached to a two-speed planetary transmission and shaft drive.
According to the seller, a dealer located in St. Louis, Missouri, “This 1908 Ford Model R Roadster, formerly part of the Winthrop Rockefeller collection, is a particularly pretty example finished in the attractive color combination of Brewster Green with black accents and a gold coachline, which complements its black top, black button-tufted leather interior and white wheels with white rubber tires quite well.
“Typical of the period, it also has lovely gleaming brass headlamps, cowl lights, horn, steering column, hubcaps and speedometer. Its restoration was very correct and thorough to begin with, so it is still a gorgeous car that runs and drives very well.”
Asking price for the Model R is set at $64,500, which is not a bad deal for a real piece of American automotive history as well as an entry into the exclusive club of antique automobile drivers.