10-11 October 2013


Lot 101

1911 Ford Model T Runabout

  • Engine no. 76488

Sold for $38,500

20 bhp, 176.7 cu. in. four-cylinder inline L-head engine, two-speed planetary transmission with Ruckstell two-speed rear axle, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and a transmission brake and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 100 in.

  • The car that put America on wheels
  • Desirable brass radiator model with Ruckstell rear axle
  • One of the most popular Brass Era automobiles

Ford Motor Company began production with the two-cylinder Model A in 1903. Two-cylinder cars were built through 1905, and then, in 1906, Ford struck off in two different directions at once. Henry introduced the basic, low-priced, four-cylinder Model N Roadster for $600 and the impressive six-cylinder Model K, a 405-cubic-inch 40-horsepower machine for $2,400, which was a fair amount of money in those days, and it is equal to the price levels of various models of Winton, Stevens-Duryea, Thomas, and other highly respected marques of the period.

The Model K was a sales and financial disappointment to Ford, and he would not produce another six-cylinder car until 1941. However, the little Model N enjoyed popular acceptance and provided the basis for the Model R, which was introduced in 1907. Also appearing in 1907 was the Model S. These three models, the N, R, and S, provided the engineering platform and the cash flow that led to the development of the Model T, which appeared in October 1908. Otherwise similar to the S, the T had a monobloc engine with a detachable head in place of the two separate dual-cylinder castings in the earlier cars.

Henry Ford himself was somewhat surprised in 1908 by the immediate success of the Model T Ford. Orders poured in from all over the world for this simple, reliable automobile. Still, Ford realized that he must continually improve his Model T to be competitive.

January 1911 saw the introduction of a completely restyled Model T that featured new fenders, wheels, body and a new but similarly shaped brass radiator. Later in the year a new engine and front and rear axle were added. The lighting consisted of all brass lamps, including gas headlamps with oil (kerosene) side and tail lamps. The rear axle was now cast-iron, with the front axle design incorporating spindles with separate steering arms, and Ford bodies were now made with steel panels over a wooden framework.

The charming Runabout presented here is offered from the collection of its knowledgeable owner of some 35 years. It is the recipient of an excellent older restoration, which was been performed by the owner’s private staff, in charming red and black, with a black leather interior, and it features wooden artillery wheels and a “mother-in-law seat” behind the driver and passenger. The owner reports that the car has seen little use since its completion, having been on museum display, but that it has been well-maintained and runs and drives well. Wonderful, period-correct features include a rear-mounted spare and solid white rubber tires, which have been newly installed for this sale, as well as a great deal of beautiful brass trim. Importantly, for anyone who would wish to enjoy this Model T on the road, it is equipped with the desirable Ruckstell two-speed rear axle, which greatly improves its speed and drivability on modern streets.

This is a wonderful way to get into the driver’s seat of the car that put America on wheels!

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