A 109-year-old Ford motor car, the world’s oldest surviving model, is expected to fetch over $3,00,000 when it comes up for auction in the US next month.
The vehicle known as Chassis 30 can also be credited with having saved the fledgling firm from bankruptcy.
The antique automobile will go under the hammer at RM Auctions’ Hershey sale in Pennsylvania on October 11, the Daily Mail reported.
It is being offered with an estimate of between $3,00,000 and $5,00,000. The ‘Model A’ was Ford’s first design, and Chassis 30 was the third of 1,750 units rolled out between 1903 and 1904.
With its two predecessors consigned to the scrapheap, the vehicle takes the title of the oldest surviving Ford. If it wasn’t for this particular vehicle, then the company might have gone bust before it had even got off the ground.
In July 1903, the newly established Ford Motor Company was in dire straits with cash reserves of just $223.65. Deposits received on Chassis 30 and two other Model As helped see it through to the end of the month.
With a 1668cc, two-cylinder engine, the four-seat Model A put out a mere 8bhp to give it a top speed of 28mph. Chassis 30 was bought new in 1903 by butter maker Herbert L McNary, and stayed within the same family until 1950.
Despite its age it has had just five owners in 109-years and underwent a full restoration in 2007.
“Chassis number 30 is one of three Fords sold on the first day the Ford Motor Company recorded orders,” RM Auctions said.
“It is the only survivor of the three, has had only five owners in the nearly 110 years since it was built, has been carefully maintained and restored, and its history and provenance are impeccable,” they added.