The Ford Motor Company was incorporated on June 16, 1903. The first automobiles were built at Ford's small plant on Mack Avenue in Detroit. The first model produced by the new company was logically called the Model A. It was powered by a two-cylinder, eight horsepower engine that was coupled to a two-speed planetary transmission. The engine and transmission assembly were located underneath the body and connected to the rear axle by means of a chain. Nearly 700 Model A Fords were built and sold during the first year of production.
In early 1904, the Model A was improved by increasing the size of the engine to ten horsepower and adding a bigger flywheel and radiator. The new model was called a Model A/C and was built for only a few months during 1904 before it was replaced with a new model, called the Model C.
This rare 1904 Ford Model A/C was purchased by the current owner's father in 1961 from the Collingwood Ford Dealership in Findlay, Ohio. While largely complete, the vehicle was in need of a total restoration. Family and work commitments prevented the restoration of the rare Ford and in 1983, the vehicle was sold to another collector. The vehicle remained in unrestored condition was purchased by the current owner and given back to his father in 2000, who was finally able to complete the restoration in 2004.
Sold for $93,500 at 2009 Gooding & Company
The 1904 Ford Model C was mechanically identical to the 1903 Model A and thus is commonly called the Model AC. The difference was its six-inch longer wheelbase that enhanced the ride qualities of the car. It had a new front-mounted hood that allowed the fuel tank to be enlarged and moved up front from its previous position of under the seat. These changes gave the Model C additional space in the front floor area.
There were two bodystyles available on the Model C, a runabout or a rear-entrance touring car with room for four. The final drive was through the planetary transmission by chain with engine lubrication supplied by a six-point drip oiler.
The rear-entrance touring car sold for around $1,000 and included a horn, sidelamps and a brass rail accenting the dashboard. The engine was a horizontally opposed two-cylinder unit that offered 10 horsepower. The car rode on full elliptic leaf-springs and had internal expanding brakes on the differential band.
Much of the early history of this car is unknown. After World War II, it was purchased from C.A. Trussell Motor Company in Athens, Georgia, by Tommy Protsman. It was shown in his museum, the Stone Mountain Auto Museum in Georgia, for over 5 decades. It was then purchased by the current owner.
This Rear-Entrance Tonneau is finished in the correct shade of red with black diamond-tufted leather upholstery, has the correct original Dietz bail-handle sidelamps and is complemented by the Gray & Davis self-generating acetylene headlamps.
In 2009, this Model C Rear-Entrance Tonneau was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was estimated to sell for $100,000 - $150,000. The lot was sold for the sum of $93,500, including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009