Sears Model K

1909 Sears Model K

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

It may seem strange today in a world of store closings and impending bankruptcies, but Sears was once a titan among businesses. So big, in fact, that they decided to sell cars under their own name between 1908 and 1912.

Highwheelers were their specialty and this 1909 Model K is likely identical to the Model K they offered in 1910 through 1912. The major difference being that the 1.8-liter flat-twin only produced 10 horsepower in this early form.

Model differentiation came in the form of options. In this case, the Model K received mudguards, a convertible top, running boards, and cushioned tires. Price when new? $475. Price today? Between $21,000-$28,000. This one has been in a Belgian collection since 1978. You can find out more about it here and more from Bonhams here.

Update: Sold $22,181.

Four Cars From RM in Auburn

Four Cars From RM in Auburn

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | August 30-September 2, 2018


1913 Maxwell Model 25 Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Maxwell was founded in 1905 by Jonathan Dixon Maxwell and Benjamin Briscoe in Tarrytown, New York. It was the only surviving marque of Briscoe’s disastrous United States Motor Company conglomerate and would become known as Chrysler in 1925.

The Model 25 was actually sold in 1914 through 1924 but this car is apparently titled as a 1913. Power came from a 21 horsepower straight-four backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. This car is unrestored and would make a great driver. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,200.


1914 White Model Thirty G.A.H. Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The White Motor Company was around for 80 years, but only produced passenger cars for the first 18 of those. And the earliest examples were powered by steam before they focused on gasoline power (and ultimately diesel trucks).

White had a very strange model naming system going from about 1910 through 1916. Take for instance, this Model G.E.D. Touring. The 1914 model range consisted of the Model Thirty, the Model Forty, and Model Sixty. The Model Thirty was broken down as the G.A.F. Touring, Roadster, and Coupe. G.A.H. cars were actually built in 1916 so it’s hard telling why this is titled as a 1914. At any rate, it should bring between $45,000-$65,000 and you can read more here.

Update: Sold $29,700.


1919 Cole Aero Eight Sportster

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Cole Motor Car Company was founded by Joseph Cole in Indianapolis in 1909. Their claim to fame was that they were one of the first companies to offer a V8 engine in their cars. It debuted in 1915 for the 1916 model year and would last through the end of Cole production in 1925.

1919 Coles were dubbed the Series 870 and featured a 39 horsepower version of the company’s V8. In 1920, the “Aero Eight” moniker was introduced and the $2,750 4-passenger Sportster would’ve featured an upgraded 80 horsepower version of the engine. If this is a true Sportster, it’s going to have the big engine. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $28,600.


1920 Buick Model K Roadster

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Buick only offered six-cylinder cars between 1919 and 1921. 1919’s Model H would become 1920’s Model K. For 1921 Buick moved to the Series 21 and would continue with numerical sequencing through 1924.

A 4.0-liter straight-six created 27 horsepower in the Model K and this 2-door, 3-passenger Roadster was the cheapest model offered at $1,495. About 19,000 of them were made in 1920 and this one should bring between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $14,300.

Ford Model K Tourer

1906 Ford Model K Tourer

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

Photo – Bonhams

Not too long ago we chronicled the reasons as to why Henry Ford built a massive touring car before the everyman’s Model T went on sale in 1909. Basically: his investors wanted a luxury car. And so Ford obliged. Between 1906 and 1908, the quite large Model K was sold.

It was available as a two-door, four-passenger Touring or apparently as a Roadster. It was the first six-cylinder Ford (and the only one they’d offer until 1941). That six is a 6.6-liter straight-six good for 40 horsepower. In 1906, the Model K cost $2,500. This was the most expensive product – by a good margin – that Ford had offered up to that point. The ’06 model line consisted of the entry-level Model N and the upscale Model K with the Model F floating somewhere in the middle.

This well-restored Tourer is being offered out of a museum and is a beautiful example of an early, large Ford. It’s expected to bring between $270,000-$400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $401,856.

Ford Model K

1907 Ford Model K Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Before Henry Ford conquered the world with basic, affordable transportation, he spent the early years in his company just trying to keep it going (after two failed attempts). In 1904, he introduced the Model B which was Ford’s “upscale” model (because it had brass and wood trim and a decent engine). In 1906, it was replaced by the Model K, which was positioned at the top of the automobile market.

Ford didn’t really want to build this car, but his investors did. Featuring on the first  commercially available six-cylinder engines, the Model K is powered by a 6.6-liter straight-six that makes 40 horsepower. Priced at $2,500, it was the most expensive Ford product to date. Different body styles were offered and it was available through 1908. In 1907, the Model K was the best-selling six-cylinder car in the world, with nearly 500 sold.

Ford offered three other models in 1907: the Model N, Model R, and Model S. Come 1909, they would be selling only one model: the Model T. About 1,000 Model Ks were built in total and only 10 Roadsters are known to exist. This one has been only owned by two different families in the past 110 years. It was restored – nearly half a century ago. It’s a really cool, rare Ford from the pre-T era. In this barn-find condition, it should bring between $175,000-$275,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Arizona lineup.

Update: Sold $252,000.

1906 Winton Touring

1906 Winton Model K Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6-7, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Scotland’s Alexander Winton built some of America’s greatest early cars. They weren’t the most luxurious or the most powerful, but they were well made. And Winton knew it. He entered his cars in just about every conceivable endurance event he could just to prove it.

For 1906, Winton only offered a single model, the Model K. It was available as a Limousine and this five-passenger Touring. This K is powered by a 35 horsepower, 5.8-liter straight-four that drives the rear wheels via shaft drive and a two-speed transmission.

The current owner acquired the car in 1982 and took over 20 years to restore it, completing it in the 2000s. It’s a large, early American tourer – and the only thing that can make that better is white tires, which this car has. It would be a great acquisition for anyone and you can read more about it here.

Update: Sold $160,000.

Stoddard-Dayton Runabout

1907 Stoddard-Dayton Model K Runabout

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 21, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

I’m trying to think of a good comparison… what company from today is the modern equivalent of Stoddard-Dayton? They were sporty, luxurious cars but not extraordinarily extravagant. If they were still around they would probably compete against the likes of Maserati or Cadillac. Somewhere in there.

In 1908, Stoddard-Dayton would move to a number/letter model name combination (think the last number of the year in front of the model letter, like Model 8-H, for a 1908 Model H). But in 1907, the models were standalone, and the Model K was the top of the range. It was only offered in this three-passenger Runabout form.

The engine is a 30 horsepower 5.5-liter straight-four. The Model K, new for 1907, would continue on through 1911 (albeit, with a numerical prefix). This example was discovered in a barn in South Dakota and the engine was overhauled in 2015. It’s a quick, rare early sporting machine (with white tires!) and is one of three known to exist. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $200,000.

Update: Sold, Worldwide Auctioneers, Auburn 2017, $118,800.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017, $190,400.

1910 Chalmers-Detroit

1910 Chalmers-Detroit Model K ’30’ Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | May 31, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Ready for a history lesson? Erwin Ross Thomas had his hand in the automobile industry almost from the beginning. In 1900 he founded two companies: Auto-Bi (which sold motorized bicycles) and the Buffalo Automobile Company, which built cars (they were pretty much the same company but made different products). Buffalo only built cars through 1902 before Thomas re-named the company after himself and got pretty famous with his Thomas Flyer.

That’s Part I. Part II involves two former Oldsmobile workers on a train in 1906 who had just failed to secure funding for a new venture. When they met Thomas in the dining car, he bankrolled a new company in Detroit, called Thomas-Detroit. It only took two years of the former-Olds employees to tire of Thomas’ manage-from-New York-even-though-the-company-is-in-Detroit style and they convinced Hugh Chalmers, vice president of the National Cash Register Company, to buy out Thomas. So the Thomas-Detroit became the Chalmers-Detroit in 1908. In 1911, the Detroit suffix was dropped and Chalmers soldiered on until they merged with Maxwell in 1922 and ceased production in 1923. Then Maxwell become Chrysler. And here we are today. Ta-da!

Anyway, this beautiful old touring car is powered by a 30 horsepower 3.7-liter straight-four. The Model K ’30’ was the first car designed under the new ownership and they were expensive. Chalmers-Detroit-branded cars were only sold for three model years, making this car rarer than later Chalmers cars. It has been fabulously restored and is gorgeous. It should sell for between $75,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $69,300.

A Pair of Schachts

1910 Schacht Model R Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10, 2013

1910 Schacht Model K Runabout

The Schacht Motor Car Company of Cincinnati, Ohio (nothing like a really solid German name like Schacht to be able to guess this was built in Cincy), built high-wheelers from 1905 through 1909. Come 1910, the company switched to more traditional cars like this all-original Model K Runabout.

This car uses a steering wheel instead of a tiller (popular at the time) and a water-cooled 3.0-liter two-cylinder engine producing 18 horsepower. The engine has not been run in over 20 years and some mechanical work will be necessary in order to drive this car.

Schacht soon turned to commercial vehicles and was able to soldier on until 1940. This car has been in the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum since 1996. It should sell for between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,800.


1909 Schacht Model K Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10, 2013

1909 Schacht Model K Runabout

Really? Another Schacht – and another Model K Runabout at that? Why am I featuring this? To show you the difference a year can make.

Schacht started by building high-wheelers just like this. They were referred to as the “Invincible Schacht” because they were apparently so rugged (the Titanic was also considered invincible, FYI). This uses the same engine as the car above (perhaps it would’ve made more sense to feature this one first and do things chronologically, but oh well). The major difference is the size of the wheels. The cars have the same wheelbase.

Another major difference is that this example is in full running and driving condition. And that is apparently only worth a $5,000 premium – as this car is expected to sell for between $25,000-$30,000. It was restored in the early-1990s. Over 8,000 Schacht road cars were believed to have been built before the full-time switch to commercial vehicles occurred in 1914. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $41,250.

Lincoln Model K Sport Phaeton

1931 Lincoln Model K Sport Phaeton

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 27, 2013

1931 Lincoln Model K Sport Phaeton

This beautiful Lincoln Model K is from the first year of K-Series production, 1931. The cars would be made through 1939 and offered for the beginning of the 1940 model year. All cars built in the first year were offered with the 145 inch long wheelbase.

The engine was an improved version of Henry Leland’s original 6.3-liter V8 that was introduced 10 years prior. It made 120 horsepower and would be replaced for 1932. The body on this thing is gorgeous though. It’s a dual-cowl phaeton built and designed by Lincoln and it very much rivals some of the great coachbuilt bodies of the era.

This car was restored for the first time in 1975 and again in 2005. It was acquired by the current owners shortly thereafter and expertly maintained since. It has been shown at numerous shows and has only covered 23 miles since its restoration (!). I understand show cars and why they are so babied, but this thing begs to be driven. It’s amazing sitting still and cars always look (and sound and smell) better in motion. It is expected to sell for between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM at St. John’s.

Update: Sold $165,000.