Media Release


Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona

Henry Ford’s 1903 Ford Model A Known As “The World’s Oldest Ford” To be Offered for Sale at RM’s “Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona” Auction in Phoenix, Arizona, January 19, 2007

BLENHEIM, Ontario (November 00, 2006) – Over one hundred years ago, Henry Ford unveiled the very first Ford production car, the Model A. From these humble beginnings emerged one of the most influential products of the industrial age. The oldest known example of this revolutionary vehicle will be offered for sale at RM Auction’s annual multi-million dollar “Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona” auction at the prestigious Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, January 19, 2007.

The Ford Motor Company at Mack Avenue, Detroit, was incorporated on the 16th June 1903 and started trading on July 13th. On that day the first three motor cars were sold, Car no 11 to Dr E Pfennig of Chicago, $850, Car no 9 to The Indiana Auto Company, Indianapolis, $300 deposit, and this Car, no 30, to Mr Herbert L McNary of Britt, Iowa, $170 deposit. The other two cars (nos 11 & 9) have not survived and making this car (no 30), the oldest surviving car built by the Ford Motor Company.

The Chamber of Commerce in Britt, Iowa, have records showing that Mr Herbert L McNary, was a butter maker at the Britt creamery. He and his car were the subject of an article in the 1978 Britt Centennial Celebrations. In a section called “Early Automobile Repair” is written: "Herbert T. Redmond operated a machine and bicycle shop in Britt in the early 1890s and was the first auto repair man in Hancock County. His shop was on the west side of the street, south of the old Milwaukee depot. His acquaintance with the horseless carriages began with a Stanley Steamer, purchased by John Benton, a barber, and a two cylinder Ford purchased by H.L. McNary in 1903"

The second owner, Harry E Burd of Waterloo, Iowa, acquired the car from the McNary family around or just before 1950. Harry took three years to negotiate the purchase at $400, and had it restored by Lloyd Sievers. The Grout Museum, Waterloo, have a file for Harry E Burd, who was a historic car collector with his father and an article was written in 1980, either for a speech or magazine, when Harry was 85, mentioning that one of Harry's biggest finds was the Model A Ford, the third car ever sold by Henry.

In the file accompanying the car is a letter from Henry E Edmunds, Manager of the Archive Department, The Ford Motor Company, dated 28th December 1954 to Harry Burd confirming that his car No 30 was the third car sold by the Company.

In 1961, Harry E. Burd sold this car to a Ford dealer in Switzerland for $6500. The Swiss owner loaned it to the Ford Motor Works in Cologne, Germany, in the late 1980s where for 15 years it was on display in the Company's foyer at the Museum of Nurburgring and the Engineering University of Aachen. The present owner of the car purchased it from the Swiss car dealer in 2001.

"The Arizona Biltmore event is known for its important historic vehicles and the variety of great cars,” mentions RM founder Rob Myers. "The “world’s oldest Ford” is one of the most historically significant automobiles we’ve ever offered,” adds Myers. The Model A joins other great cars from America’s past including President Roosevelt’s armored and bulletproof 1942 Lincoln Presidential Limousine, an extremely rare multi-million dollar 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible, a luxurious 1938 Duesenberg SJ Rollson Limousine, one of the last ever built.

“Vintage Motor Cars in Arizona” begins with a preview on Thursday, January 18 from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m followed by the auction on Friday, January 19th, 2007 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission is by catalog ($80) which admits two people. The complete list of cars for this sale and event information is available at

Celebrating nearly 30 years in the collector car industry, RM Auctions Inc. and its sister companies are responsible for acquiring, restoring and selling the world’s rarest and most expensive vintage automobiles. Renown for setting international records, RM has recently established offices in the U.K. to provide auction and restoration services for clients in Europe and Asia. In 2006, RM Restorations won the unprecedented "triple crown" for receiving “Best of Show” honors at the world’s top three international collector car events - the Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance. For additional information on RM Auctions Inc. and this event, visit: or call toll-free: (800) 211-4371

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more