The immediate predicessors of the Model T Ford were the Models N, R and S. The Model N was introduced at the New York Auto Show in January 1906 and deliveries began in July of that same year. This was the Ford Motor Company's first truely low cost car. It sold initially for $500, but by 1907 its price had been raised to $600. Ford advertised this car as being "Just Automobile - All Automobile". It was little more than four wheels, a motor and a seat. The Model N came equipped only with sidelights, tail light and a horn. Everything else was an option, including the headlights and top.
Despite its lack of amenities, the Model N is a delight to drive. The car weighs 1050 pounds. This light weight combined with its 15-18 horsepower motor make it quick and responsive. This Model N will climb most hills in high gear.
The Model N came with "plow share" fenders. Access to the seat was by two step plates, one attached to each side of the frame. The front axle bears a striking resemblence to that used on the Model N's successor, the Model T. The biggest difference between the two front ends is that the two front spring perches are forged into the Model N's axle body. The front spring perches are separate parts from a Model T's front axle. The Model N's front spring is of transverse design and is identical to those used on the earliest Model Ts. Wheels and tires are 28x3 inches all the way around the car.
The round brass disc under the starting crank is the water pump. This pump was driven by gears from the front of the crankshaft. As long as the car is running, the radiator will keep the engine cool. However, within a minute of turning off the engine on a hot day, the radiator will start to boil!
The Model N Engine