Thursday, December 8, 2011

In the Shop: 1907 Ford Model K Roadster

by Willy Vinton

This is our 1907 Ford Model K Roadster, one of only 25 known to still exist and the oldest roadster known. It is powered by a 6-cylinder, 405-cubic-inch vertical inline L-head engine. Although conservatively rated at 40 horsepower, this sporty roadster is capable of 70 mph.


The upscale Model K was forced upon a reluctant Henry Ford by company directors determined to enter the lucrative luxury car market. Ford felt it was too expensive, too complicated for the average man, and too hard to maintain. The K was plagued by mechanical failures, and its production ended in 1908. Only 900 Model Ks, including 50 roadsters, were built during its two-year run.

As you can see, the engine was rather complicated compared to the type of car that Henry wanted to--and would--build. We are almost finished with the work on this car, so if we get some warm weather in the next week we might be able to run it around the parking lot. I don't think those tires will offer much traction, though!

* See an October 2012 update here.


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