First released in October of 1908, the Ford Model T was designed to be a car for the people. Unlike cars that had come before it, the Model T was made to be easy to operate and inexpensive enough that any working person could own one. Ford’s redesigned manufacturing process made this possible. Instead being assembled in place, Model Ts moved along a monorail, with large machines placed in the order they were needed to produce individual car parts. This moving production line became an instant hit, cutting fabrication time in half. Within five years, Ford had adapted the method to each of its various assembly lines, minimizing the company’s expenses and revolutionizing the modern factory.
Ford’s most popular Model T, the Touring series, originally cost $850, or approximately a teacher’s yearly salary in 1908. Although this was a comparatively reasonable price, the Model T’s straightforward operation and ease of repair are what really made it sell. The Model T’s high clearance, light weight, and four-cylinder engine allowed the car to handle nearly any rough road surface. The vehicles traveled an average of 10-12 miles per gallon, and could sometimes reach speeds of more than 30 miles an hour, though only on the best roads. The worst that could be said for them is that their brakes were terrible.
The first Model T design came in green, grey, and red, and quickly gained the nickname “Tin Lizzie,” a reference to motorcars being cheap metal versions of horses, which were often called Liz or Lizzie. In 1914, Ford began its famous “any color as long as it’s black” strategy to minimize costs and improve durability. The Model T’s simplicity generated a huge aftermarket for accessories and parts, as most of the original vehicles didn’t even include an instrument panel.
Following World War I, Ford’s sales dropped during America’s postwar economic recession, and the company finally began to rethink its Model T design. Though business soon improved to reach a new peak in 1923, with 2.2 million cars produced, pressure from competing automakers’ yearly design upgrades pushed the company towards a new Model A.
During 18 years of production, Ford had created a stunning 16.5 million Model Ts. Named the “Car of the Century” in 1999, the Ford Model T is still the most collected and well-respected car ever produced.
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Redlands July 4th parade remembers 'The Good Old Days'Redlands Daily Facts, July 4th
REDLANDS >> The theme was “The Good Old Days” along the route of the city's Fourth of July Parade on Saturday, from antique Model A and Model T Fords and a restored Six by Six Jeep from World War II to the Kimberly Juniors marching unit's graceful ...Read more
Kicking off the Fourth of JulyDaily Commercial, July 4th
There was Uncle Sam, a live Lady Liberty waving from the back of a truck, President George Washington presiding over the signing of the Constitution and a red 1928 American LaFrance antique firetruck carrying Old Glory. “I never realized there were so...Read more
'Back to the Future' 30 Years Later, or Riding in Cars with MillennialsHyperallergic, July 3rd
Henry Ford conceived of the “5-Dollar Day,” which enabled his own factory workers to purchase Model-T's on their salaries, crucially transforming what had up until then been a luxury good into a middle class staple. Less well known ... Whether or not...Read more
Model A Fords meet up draws attention to 55-year-old drive-in restaurantThe Republic, July 2nd
He explained that the Model T required three pedals to drive it, and the Model A had a standard shift mechanism. "He can put 'em together and take 'em apart in his sleep," Teresa Newman said of her husband. The Newmans, who own many antique cars, ...Read more
Speedster reunion draws fans of vintage hot rodsLincoln Journal Star, June 25th
The Klepinger family, of Bradford, Ohio, mixes modern helmet technology with vintage Ford Model T engineering during a tour west of Lincoln Thursday as part of the 2015 International Speedsters Trials and Reunion, hosted by the Smith Collection Museum ...Read more
1965 AUTO SHOW Airflow Austin-Bantam Vintage Chevrolet Model T Ford ...eGMCarTech, June 23rd
MOTOR TREND The Complete Automotive Magazine ...NOVEMBER 1964... 1965 AUTO SHOW ISSUE 10 SPECIAL INTEREST CARS Chrysler Airflow American Austin-Bantam Vintage Chevrolet Model T Ford Franklin vvv-Essex-Terraplane Kaiser-Frazer ...Read more
Woman Jailed In Death Of Tulsa Man Driving Antique FordNews On 6, June 22nd
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Police arrested a woman for first-degree manslaughter in a Tulsa crash involving a vintage automobile. Police identify the woman as Whitney Tatum Wheeler, 41, of Tulsa. They say Wheeler had been drinking when she rear-ended ...Read more
Model T building, vintage bicycles featured at Stan Hywet's annual Father's ...Stow Sentry, June 12th
This annual Father's Day event showcases 400 classic, antique and collector cars manufactured between 1896 and 1990; the Inner Circle of notable vehicles from 1940-44; and the Fast Lane area of auto aftermarket vendors. In celebration of Stan Hywet's ...Read more