EARLY FORD MODELS 1903 - 1908
The Model R was an upgraded version of the popular Model N and had a short
production run from April to October 1907. In this short while about 2500 of these cars
were sold, enough to make you wonder why production stopped so soon.
The Model R featured the chassis and engine from the Model N, but with minor adjustments. The body was a bit larger and had running boards and improved fenders. It sold at $750, 50% more than the Model N. Apparently the added luxury was worth it.
The direct predecessor to the Model T was the Model S, again an adaptation of
the Model N, which slotted in between the Model N and R. Most notable difference was the
extra third seat behind the front bench that came as an option.
This model sold for $700 in its most basic form. The usual extras as gas lamps and a convertible top were supplemented by all kinds of other stuff ranging from fancy paint jobs to expressive horns and umbrella holders like you see on the car in this picture. Came in handy if you hadn't opted for the top and was surprised by a sudden shower while driving...
The bodywork of the Model S was more elaborate than that of the N or the R. It had a cowl-like cockpit where the N and R had just a wooden board and was fitted with improved fenders, complete with running boards and splash screens.
The model S was sold from 1907 till 1909, totaling some 3750 cars. Almost all of them were two or three seater runabouts.
Here you see a Model S complete with top, third seat and a swooping horn, but
without the gas lamps. It has a nice vintage look to it, but still it's amazing to see how
fast the developments went from the first Model A in 1903 to this Model S five years
later. 1908 also saw the introduction of the Model
T, which was again a big step forward
and will be featured in its own separate segment in RitzSite.
It must have been very exciting to be pioneer in an era in which such big steps forward could be made in such a short time. Can you imagine that in 1913, only ten years after its humble beginnings, the Ford Motor Company produced half of all cars in the United States? I think the only modern day equivalent to that could be found in the computer industry. As for cars it is disappointing to see how little progression has been made in the last decades compared to those tumultuous years at the beginning of the 20th century.
I want to extend my deepest regards to the Den Hartog Ford Museum for
having such a wonderful collection of early American Fords (almost a complete range of
models from the period 1900-1950). If you are ever in the vicinity of Hillegom (in the
scenic flower bulb-region) in Holland, this museum should definitely be on your list of
sights! Visit their website for more details: http://www.fordmuseum.nl
Finish the tour by clicking the arrows pointing right....