Well, it is extremely nice. Trouble is, everyone will come up to you and ask, "Is that a Model T" to which you will reply , "R Runabout". They will then say, "I can see it's YOUR Runabout but, is it a Model T"? Stick with what you got.
Awfully nice car. Looks like a Splitdorf coilbox which would be correct but then it should have a Splitdorf switch.
First a beautiful early Pre-T Ford. And most of the “Price Guides” lump all the Model N, R, S, and SR cars together at the same price for all three years with just a little variation for the S Roadster. The cars shared almost all the same chassis (some fenders and fender irons differed; some had running boards while the N had a step plate; the N had the force feed exhaust pressurized oiler the others had a mechanical oiler; the N & S runabouts had 28 x 3 clinchers (early N’s had double tube tires and clinchers were $50 extra); the R Runabout and S Roadster had the 30 x 3 clinchers etc.
In this case the car is apparently a Model S Runabout. The Model R Runabout had a rounded rear deck while the Model S Runabout used the same pointed deck body that the Model N Runabout used. It is not uncommon for many of the early cars to be off on the Model or year – especially if they were titled back in the 1950s. Our Model S Runabout is still titled as a Model N Runabout as that is what the Ford Dealer who sold it to my Dad had it titled as. And sometimes the DMV makes it not worth the effort to change minor things. Note the car also has the 28 x 3 clincher tires of the Model S Runabout rather than the 30 x 3 clinchers of the Model R.
Below is a page from the 1908 Price List of Parts and Instruction Book:
And below from the same Price List is an illustration of the R rear deck:
The NH carb will help the car run better – but hopefully they have the original carb to go with the car as they are a little pricey compared to the NH. And the magneto while I’m 99% sure it was not originally offered (there were plans and part drawings for a KW Magneto but not a Bosh to my knowledge) it adds to the ease of maintenance – less charging of a the battery etc. And the coil box switch may or may not be part of the magneto conversion. At least one company offered an add-on magneto for the Model N, R, S, and SR as well as Maxwells etc. But I do not recall a PFANSTIEHL company being listed. But perhaps someone else or the seller may have additional information on the PFANSTIEHL switch? The Ford Price List of Parts has the Splitdorf and Heinze coil boxes listed in several variations. From memory … I think the Splitdorf coil box is listed as used on the Model N and not the other cars – but I don’t have time to look that up and it was in the sales information which is not always the most reliable source.
Again from memory, I think the car looks very similar to the one that was sold in the same auction with a beautiful 1915 Model T screen side delivery a few ok probably several year ago by now auction. It was listed as a Model R in that auction also.
Again beautiful car and of course the price is always determined by what someone is willing to pay and someone else is willing to sell the item for.
Hap l9l5 cut off
The trunk on a R is rounded so a spare tire will fit in it. That looks like a N body with R fenders. Still a very nice car.
There's a nice partly restored 1906 roadster on the HCC website for 24,500 that would make a fun project.
In our world, $60,000 isn't a lot of money—not in the classic car world. -For instance, you'd never touch a 1911 Pierce-Arrow, Packard or Locomobile for that price. -Heck, that might not even be enough to buy a #2-restored 1958 Chevy convertible.
On the other hand, that kind of dough could buy a #3-condition, 1960 Chrysler Windor driver, a car heavy and powerful enough to tow any open trailer (and on top of that, looks like a Batmobile)...
... AND have enough legal tender left over to buy a darned good '14 Tin Lizzie AND an open trailer.
Sort of makes you wonder why anybody would buy a modern car.
You state, "That looks like a N body with R fenders."
That's what makes it an SR, (S Runabout). It also has "N" wheels, (28 x 3).
It would not surprise me if the owner of this car put $60,000 into the restoration. The craftsmanship is very high, and a lot of money went into the paint, upholstery and brass work on the car. The pictures are very pretty.
I have put in a lot of seat time in at the Benson Ford Research Center, and have spent a lot of time looking at the parts drawings, and the surviving set of Record of Change cards for the NRS parts. I have examined and inventoried every NRS part drawing in the Benson Ford's collections. I have tabulated every NRS Factory Part Number for which any historical evidence at the Benson Ford can be found. Here is a list of issues that I have with the car based upon what I can see in the pictures and the knowledge I have acquired from the Benson Ford.
As has already been pointed out, this is not a Model R. It is a Model S Runabout, as indicated by the pointed turtle deck and the 28x3 tires.
The radiator bottom tank should be painted black, not polished brass. Similarly the water pump support box in the radiator should be black, not have a polished brass bezel. The radiator and water pump drain petcocks are modern replacements, and do not resemble the originals that were available at that time. Cars built after March 1908 should have a brass plated starting crank which matches the brass plating on the high/low shift lever on the right hand side of the vehicle.
The side door locks on the hood should be body color, not brass plated. Similarly, the hood handles should be body color.
The rear wheel brake drums, and all four wheel hubs should be the same color as the wheels. They were painted together, not painted separately before assembly.
The front head light forks resemble the 1907 style, not the 1908 style used on the production 1908 N, S Runabouts and S Roadsters.
In the engine compartment, left side, the Bosch DU-4 magneto is incorrect. DU-4s came out well after NRS production ended. The valve plugs should be cast iron, not brass, and only 4 should be drilled for spark plugs. The spark plug wires and holders are incorrect. And $700 dollar Fords did not come with dual ignition. The radiator hose should be red rubber, and modern stainless steel hose clamps are not correct.
On the right side of the engine compartment, the commutator and throttle rods and swivels are modern, and do not even begin the resemble the original style.
The dash is pretty, but it should be painted body color, not varnished. The hood blocks should have been made from poplar and painted body color. The hood blocks on the car do not even resemble original NRS hood blocks.
In the driver's compartment, the floor mat is made from a sheet of ribbed black rubber. The correct floor mat should be embossed with the name Ford and molded to a shape to fit the floor area. The locking mechanism for the foot hub brake is nothing like what actually was used by Ford, although it probably holds the hub brake much better than the original system.
The coil box should be a Heinz. Splitdorf coils were only used on Model N cars, and are inferior in quality to the Heinz. I think I have seen only one or two sets of original Splitdorf coils that were still capable of working. There are many sets of original Heinz coils on R and S cars that still function well.
The door sill plates are a work of fiction. Sill plates on surviving NRS cars are made from 1/2" half rounds, drilled for oval head screws.
The front and rear spring shackles did not originally use oilers. Instead they used slotted head brass plugs that are identical to what is found on Model T aluminum fan hubs. These were used because there is supposed to be a piece of square felt under each of the spring shackle oiling points. The NRS owner was suppose to go over the car with an oil can, remove the brass plugs and oil the felts, then replace the plugs. The NRS spindle bolts, like their Model T counterpart, did not use oiling felts, so they used oilers. NRS spindle connecting rod bolts, like their early Model T counterparts, did not use oilers. The NRS owner was just suppose to oil the tie rod bolts liberally.
The E&J running board mounted gas generator is also from the early Model T brass era. Headlights and gas generators, or Prestolite tanks, were usually purchased after the car left the factory, although it appears that FMC did issue an accessory catalog during the NRS era which offered a variety of headlights and gas sources.
Finally, the tires should be smooth, not ribbed.
Again, the restoration craftsmanship on this car is beautiful. There really are not that many people who can produce such cosmetically beautiful restorations. However, in my opinion, this is not a very authentic restoration. If I had $60,000 in my pocket, I think I could find something better to spend it on.
Again, this is just my opinion, and you are entitled to an entirely different one.
Thanks Trent, always well researched and always backed up with facts. Love your work, please keep researching!!!
Hap, thank you for all you do too. Your posts are always informative with references. I always like to read your postings too.
I may never have the opportunity to own one of these fine little cars, but I do like reading about them. And I very much appreciate the research into their history.
Thank you all.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
It's nice to have dreams. I wanted a 1913 Mercer for many years. You should restore your Maxwell Stan. It's a better car.
Holy smokes! Now I know where the seat and steering post on my new speedster came from. A model R, I guess.
Here are some pictures:
I wondered where the curved seat and funny all-brass steering post came from.
I guess I will keep 'em.
What do you think?
Thanks for any comments.