The Ford Model N,introduced in 1906, can be said to be the director precursor to the Model T. It was Henry Ford’s first serious attempt to build a small, lightweight, nimble nad affordable car and it was built with many of the features that would contribute to the T’s success. Also, while Ford built Model R and Model S cars before the T, both of those models were heavily based on the Model N, which cost $500 when introduced. The N featured a 15 hp inline four cylinder engine, replacing the horizontally opposed twins Ford had previously been using. The engine was no longer under the seats but rather it was placed up front and drove the rear wheels via a driveshaft. It wasn’t luxurious, headlights and a top were options, but it proved that Ford Motor Company could build reliable and inexpensive cars for the mass market. Ford would go on to sell about 7,000 Model Ns and about 3,750 Model Ss. While those numbers made FoMoCo a success and Henry Ford wealthy enough to pursue his dream of the Model T, they’d soon be dwarfed by the T’s success. Within six years Ford would be selling more than 200,000 cars a year.
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