<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160

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Lot 195
1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer

Sold for € 345,000 (US$ 386,641) inc. premium

Den Hartogh Sale

23 Jun 2018, 11:00 CEST

Hillegom

1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer
Engine no. K160

By 1906 there were a number of struggles of entrepreneur Ford with his finance or board, the sort that are so frequent with 'start ups' and particularly in the early days of the motorcar industry which was not unlike the internet development of the millennial period. The battle raged between directors Malcomson and Gray who were for building a car to satisfy their perception of a growing luxury market, countered by Ford with his own vision for his business. The Model B satiated one side of the equation for the short term and it was under further pressure that a larger replacement was built.

Depending how it is viewed, the Model K in concept mirrored and/or pre-empted the era of 'six- cylinderism' as it has sometimes been referred to, arriving around the same time, or even ahead of cars like those produced by Delaunay-Belleville, Napier and Rolls-Royce in Europe and in America Peerless and Pierce-Arrow to name but a few. Ultimately Henry Ford's vision was the same as Rolls-Royce in a single model, albeit for a different market sector.

Regardless of the internal politics at Ford, his marketing was vehemently pro the new car, and played on encouraging potential suitors to try them out 'A demonstration is a revelation' proclaimed some adverts. These were supplemented by bold statements that 'There is only one reason in the world why a designer like Mr. Ford has adopted the six cylinder type. It is because in his search for the nearest approach to perfection in an explosion engine – in his aim to produce a noiseless, vibrationless motor and one that would furnish ample power at slow as well as at high speeds, one that would almost if not entirely eliminate the gear-changing nuisance, and a motor that would live as long as the machine should live - be found, as all other engineers who have gone as far have found, that only in the even torque of the six could these qualities be obtained'. In line with his pricing to this point, adding two more cylinders added about $800 to the Model B price, putting the car in the market at $2,800.

Over the course of the next two years, and with various refining and attempts to fix the teething problems of this new venture, some 950 examples would be delivered, before production headed back to the path Ford wished for. The rest, as they say, is history...

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This magnificent Model K is the highlight of the Den Hartogh Collection and rightly so, it dwarfs so many of its predecessors and successors with its incredible presence and striking looks. By sequencing its engine number 160 with the known surviving information about deliveries it is possible to decipher that it would have arrived with its first owner in late June 1906, however sadly this is not a record that exists, so who that was we will never know.
Owing to the fashion of the day, early Model K cars, such as this carry a voluptuous body design, which in the local colloquialism was termed 'Tulip', Cadillacs of the same period are among others to have fitted these bodies to their cars. It was a small snapshot in the evolution of coachwork before they became more linear and then more closed in, but in retrospect they make quite a statement and none more so than on a large 6-cylinder car like the Ford.

Carlton Pate has kindly provided the specific information that he has on this car, stating that it is an example of the early pattern 4-inch deep frame model, and is fitted with Kristoffy transmission, Stromberg glass bowl carburetor, aluminium blade fan and two coil boxes, all signifying its 1906 year. Other detail features which draw the eye are its tiny diagonal Ford script across the radiator, and the large Gray & Davis headlamps as well as their matched sides on the dashboard.

He also notes its last few decades in the US to have included ownership by Al Garganigo in Massachusetts, Herb Bloom Arlington, Texas until 13th February 1989. At some point in that chain, the car was entrusted to W. Heater of Fleet Supply Co. in Detroit for its restoration. This would appear to have been a very accurate job, mirroring the specifics of these early cars including its impressive roof mechanism, a hallmark of quality American workmanship.
Latterly, immediately prior to its arrival in this collection it was with William 'Bill' Evans in California, who seems to have kept it for roughly a decade as the Den Hartogh import papers are dated in December 1998.

Today, its older American restoration has aged a little, but the car remains extremely handsome in its tasteful dark blue scheme, offset by black moldings and cream coach-lining as well as the plethora of brass accoutrements.

A worthy trophy piece, its sale provides collectors a rare chance to add one of these much-fabled machines to their collections, where it will command similar stature. In Europe it would be quite a sight on Veteran Car Club tours, as while they are rare with last estimates being around 25 cars known to survive outright, very few of those reside on this side of the Atlantic.
Contacts
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
<b>1906 Ford Model K Open Tourer</b><br />Engine no. K160
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