1904 Ford Model B

1904 Ford Model B Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The first Fords, namely the Model A, were transportation. This was Ford’s way of getting into the market. After selling a few hundred, he was able to expand his focus. Naturally, the next car he would build would be the Model B and it was a much different car than the A (and AC) before it.

The Model B was Ford’s first front-engined car. And it was kind of luxurious, featuring brass trim with some polished wood throughout. Not just simple transportation. It was a relatively big car, too. Priced at $2,000 in 1904, the Model B was more than double the price of any other car in Ford’s line. It’s powered by a 4.6-liter straight-four making 24 horsepower. This made it Ford’s first four-cylinder car as well.

This car is coming out of a museum and sports white tires, something we love. The Model B was available in 1904 and 1905 before being supplanted by the even more luxurious Model K. Ford would produce another car called the Model B in the 1930s, but this one is much, much rarer. It should bring between $64,000-$82,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $488,924.

How Are These Two Cars Different?

1901 Crestmobile Model B 3½HP Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Founded in 1900 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Crest Manufacturing Company was a supplier to other early automobile manufacturers. They finally realized that they built so many parts that they could just build their own car – and so they did. The first “Crest”-branded automobiles were three-wheelers but by 1901 the four-wheeled Crestmobile was available.

Three models were offered at the start, with the mid-range Model B sporting a 3.5 horsepower single-cylinder engine mounted out front that can be pull-started with a leather strap. This car resembles many other cars from the period, including the Toledo Steam car below.

Part of this particular collection since 1943, the Crestmobile you see here has been restored (though the date is unknown). Crestmobiles were only offered through 1905 before the marque disappeared. This one, perhaps the finest in existence, should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $39,600.


1902 Toledo Junior Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Okay, so maybe this doesn’t look exactly like the Crestmobile above, but you get the idea that they are pretty similar – except that this is a steam car. The Toledo was built by the International Motor Car Company of Toledo, Ohio, between 1901 and 1903. Beginning in 1904, once the company had been acquired by Col. Albert Pope, the cars were known as the “Pope-Toledo.”

Five different steam cars were offered by Toledo in 1902, with this Junior Runabout being the cheapest, costing $800 when new. This was also the last year the company offered steam cars, turning to more conventionally-styled gasoline-powered cars in 1903 before their acquisition.

This car sports an older restoration and it probably hasn’t been used all that much. It will require a little attention (and a boiler inspection) before use. This is a great opportunity to acquire a well-built early steamer at a fraction of the cost of a Stanley. It should bring between $33,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $34,673.

Brush Runabout

1909 Brush Model B Runabout

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 7, 2016

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Brush Motor Car Company was founded in 1907 on the basis that a light car didn’t need as much power to do things just as well as big, heavy, powerful cars. So, you know, like a Lotus.

The problem became that Brush was backed by Benjamin Briscoe’s brother. And when Briscoe went marque collecting for his United States Motor Company, he grabbed Brush. But Briscoe’s venture was doomed and Brush went down when its parent company did in 1913.

In 1909, Brush offered a Model A and a Model B. The Runabout was the only body style offered on the Model B. It is powered by a 20-ish horsepower single-cylinder engine and cost $500 when new. Everything on this car is bright red and it just looks like a museum car – which it is. It should sell for between $20,000 and $30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $9,900.

Cadillac Model B

1904 Cadillac Model B Runabout

Offered by Coys |  Maastricht, Netherlands | January 10, 2015

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

This Lithuanian collection has a fairly impressive amount of old Cadillacs and Lincolns. And those two marques pretty much make up the entire collection. This is the earliest car in the sale and it’s a rare Cadillac Model B.

1904 was the second year of Cadillac production and two models were offered, the A and the B, both in a variety of body styles. The Model B was only available for 1904 and 1905 only. It uses a rear-mounted 1.6-liter single-cylinder making eight-ish horsepower. Prices were $900 – except for this Runabout, which came in at $800. The difference between the A and B was slight – this car’s slightly longer wheelbase is one giveaway.

Cadillac production for 1904 totaled 2,319 split between the A and B, making this very nice Model B quite rare. It should sell for between $75,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ lineup.

Update: Sold $54,440.

Queen Runabout

1905 Queen Model B Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9-10, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Queen was a short-lived automobile make from Detroit, Michigan, that was produced between 1904 and 1906. The company was founded and run by C.M. Blomstrom – but the company was one of those early manufacturers that was backed with dubious money. Thus it only lasted three years.

The Model B was only built in 1905 and it uses a 12 horsepower 4.7-liter twin (them are some big cylinders!). This car has never had a full restoration, but the interior has been re-done and it has been repainted. I think that means it qualifies as a survivor.

It is estimated that only 1,500 Queens were built in total, making this a very rare car. It will need a quick mechanical refreshening before it is road-worthy. It should sell for between $25,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $52,250.

Early Four-Wheel-Drive Truck

1918 FWD Model B 3-Ton Truck

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 22, 2014

FWD Model B 3-Ton Truck

In 1908, Otto Zachow and William Besserdich built a four-wheel drive car they called the “Battleship.” This led to the more-or-less immediate founding of their Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company. In 1909 they began producing cars under the FWD (for “Four-Wheel Drive”) marque. They dropped “Badger” from the company name in 1910.

The military loved four-wheel drive trucks so the company, sensing a huge opportunity (and perhaps an oncoming war) switched to just truck manufacture. They introduced two prototypes as war started raging in Europe. The U.S. didn’t place any orders, so FWD demo’d the truck for the U.K. where they did get an order. By 1916 the U.S. had come around and placed huge orders for a company that, up to this point, had only built about two dozen vehicles.

The Model B was one of the workhorses of the Allied powers during WWI. Production was about 3,000 for the U.K., 82 for Russia, and 14,473 for the U.S. They are powered by a 36 horsepower, straight-four engine. On the correct solid rubber tires on which this example rides, the truck could reach speeds of 16 mph.

After the war, many of these trucks were sold as surplus and entered service doing just about everything else in the civilian realm. That’s how awesome examples like this managed to survive. You can read more here and check out more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $23,000.

Jewel Runabout

1907 Jewel Model B 8hp Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1907 Jewel Model B 8hp Runabout

Jewel was originally known as Jewell – for 1906 only when the car was built in Cleveland, Ohio by the Forest City Motor Co. before they moved to Massillon, Ohio, to secure more funding. When production resumed in 1907, the name was changed to Jewel (with one “L”).

This car is an 8 horsepower model using a two-stroke engine (a 2.1-liter two-cylinder) that was touted as being extremely easy to use and maintain. It cost $400 when new and was well-engineered. Apparently, this little engine is torque-y enough to pop the front wheels off the ground if you launch it hard!

This particular example was in single family ownership for 50 years before Bonhams sold it in 2009. Jewel only built about 1,000 cars before going out of business in 1909 and being reorganized as Croxton-Keeton. This car should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $25,300.