Henry Ford plodded steadily through the alphabet, building Fords as disparate as the big, luxurious 40hp Model K and the diminutive 2-cylinder Model C, but all building up to his vision of a simple, reliable, rugged and modestly powerful car that could be produced cheaply and efficiently and maintained using simple tools by the agrarian society that dominated America in the early years of the 20th century. The Model R and S were introduced in 1907 with 149 cubic inch 4-cylinder engines, differing only in available body styles. With them, Henry was on the brink of his fulfillment, the Model T which would debut in October 1908. The Model R and S distilled Henry Ford's concept, a removable head cast iron four-cylinder engine, two-speed planetary gearbox, transverse leaf spring suspension. Only in drive to the rear axle did they differ, having chain drive instead of the Model T's enclosed torque tube driveshaft. The Model S, like this 1907 Runabout are particularly important milestones, not only in the history of Henry's Fords but also in the evolution of the automobile from the plaything and luxurious conveyance of the wealthy to a workhorse that would telescope America's enormous distances and bring every farmer and rancher within reach of town, railroads and markets. This 1907 Ford Model S Runabout has been restored to Concours condition and shows only a bare quantum of use. It is equipped with acetylene headlights, E&J kerosene sidelights, a Neverout kerosene taillight, Rubes bulb horn, red wood spoke wheels and black wall tires. Finished in bright red with black upholstery, its engine is lightly oiled, as it should be since the valve gear is exposed and drizzles oil out onto the road in a futile attempt to keep the dust of America's rudimentary roads down. Model T’s are frequently described as being essential to any collector's experience or to a collection that chronicles the automobile's development but few collections have the opportunity to own a show quality Ford Model S Runabout, the direct precursor to the Model T.
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