1909 Ford Model T Trans-Continental Race CarSOLD
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Estimate: $30,000-$40,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

$30,800 Sold

20hp, 176.7 cu. in. inline four-cylinder engine, 2-speed planetary transmission, solid front axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring, live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring, hand lever operated rear wheel brakes and foot pedal actuated driveline brake. Wheelbase: 100"

Less than one year after the first Model T was assembled by Ford in Michigan, two such “ Tin Lizzies ” entered the first transcontinental auto race from New York City to Seattle, Washington. The race began on June 1, 1909 as President Taft pressed a golden telegraph key in Washington, signaling the mayor of New York to fire a starting pistol in lower Manhattan. As part of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, six cars crossed the starting line at 3:00pm, two of them Model Ts.

After braving the elements in Kansas and Wyoming and Washington ’ s difficult Snoqualmie Pass, the two Model Ts were the first cars to reach Seattle twenty-two days later. In fact, only four cars finished the race; the Itala arrived on a freight train and the Stearns never even made it through New York State. Unfortunately, the winning Model T was disqualified as the drivers replaced the engine during the race. The win was therefore handed over to the Shawmut of Bert Scott and James Smith.

The Model T presented here is a faithful recreation of the car that arrived first on June 23, 1909 and was purchased in 1997 from the Charlie Sens ’ Antique Automobile Museum. Finished in a light dove grey color, the paint is in very nice condition and is complemented by the correct red numeral 2 on the sides of the hood as well as a brass radiator shell, headlights, and steering wheel spokes, all of which have been polished to a high luster. Meanwhile, the black vinyl upholstery has been professionally fitted and remains in as-new condition. The steering wheel has been refinished in a gloss black and is also in very nice condition.

The engine compartment has likewise been restored and detailed and the engine block was refinished in black. With no dirt, grease, or grime, the engine compartment is clean and tidy, as is the undercarriage, which has been refinished in light grey and is in nice condition throughout.

Since 1909, shore-to-shore transcontinental races have become part of American automotive culture. As such, this Model T possesses a particularly exciting character that contributes to its inherent value and continued reputation for reliability.

Reference Number 14996

as of 11/4/2007

Car 1909 Ford Model T Trans-Continental Race Car
VIN 3707 
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