The Ford Model T is regarded by most as the first automobile, but just as K comes before T in the alphabet the Ford Model K hit the road first.
Though not the only predecessor to the Model T, the Model K was in a sense the line in the sand for Ford as they teetered on the cusp between high end and affordability. The K being significantly more expensive drove Henry Ford further from the car he wanted, a car for everyone, but one could argue that without the slow sales of the $2,400 K the Model T business plan may never have been adopted. History would prove Henry Ford right with his T moving around 15 million units in its near 20 year run verse the three-times expensive K’s 1,000 units in about a year run.
A response to the competition rather than the marketplace, the K would counter the Packard with its six-cylinder engine, but never evolve beyond that. In fact, by its introduction at the New York Auto Show in 1906 there would be at least eight companies producing a six-cylinder engine. However, this Model K Roadster represents a piece of American automotive history as a two-owner K surviving alongside just 10 others.
As it heads to auction at RM Sotheby’s in Scottsdale, AZ in just under two weeks, this Model K is anticipating a sale price of between $175,000-$275,000 with no reserve.
[Photography by Darin Schnabel for RM Sotheby’s.]