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.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Model T Ford Club of America

Model T Ford Club of America

An invaluable resource for anyone interested in Ford Model T’s. After checking out the photo gallery, dive into t… [read review or visit site]

Jersey Vintage Ford Collectibles

Jersey Vintage Ford Collectibles

Sam Baker's excellent collection of vintage Ford porcelain and neon signs and related memorabilia from the 1920s an… [read review or visit site]

Hemmings Auto Blogs

Hemmings Auto Blogs

This great (and frequently updated) blog from the folks at Hemmings Motor News is a visual feast of old and new pho… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Recent News: Ford Model T

Source: Google News

When GM Was Google
The New Yorker, November 23rd

He was finding that if you searched for Kawasaki H1B, the vintage motorcycle, you'd get ads for lawyers who would help you with your H-1B visa. ..... to what in Silicon Valley would be called “the user” than his main rival, Ford, by offering a range of...Read more

Full Throttle on a Motor-Themed Road Trip From Detroit to Milwaukee
Yahoo Travel, November 21st

Bringing on a rush of nostalgia were vintage, neon McDonald's and White Castle signs. Jubilation over the Oscar Mayer ... Two hours later, a Model T delivered me to the living history museum of Greenfield Village. Time had stood still at the 1831-built...Read more

'Signal Hill Speed Run' doc celebrates downhill daredevils
The San Luis Obispo Tribune, November 20th

The 90-minute film, narrated by singer-songwriter Ben Harper, combines vintage footage and photos with interviews with race organizer Jim O'Mahoney and several of the daredevils whose death-defying feats stunned onlookers and inspired athletes...Read more

The Story Behind Thomas Hart Benton's Incredible Masterwork
Smithsonian, November 20th

An illustration might not catch the swollen menace of the rattlesnake in the lower left, nor would it show well the boxy Model-T Ford that Benton used in his travels. “Changing West,” the next panel, is an .... Among the vintage memorabilia and...Read more

John W. O'Connor
Beloit Daily News, November 18th

John was well known for his expertise in antique cars and was referred to as “Mr. Model T.” He restored and repaired well over 126 antique automobiles. John was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, V.F.W. Post #1318 and St. Jude Catholic Church ...Read more

Gardens Aglow Set To Light Up Heritage Museums, November 18th

Visitors of all ages are invited to take a stroll through the gardens decorated with thousands of twinkling lights. Inside the automobile gallery, festive music and dance performances will provide entertainment, while St. Nick in the Model T makes his...Read more

Candy Cane Express celebrates holiday season, November 13th

The museum grounds open at 11:30 a.m. and Santa will arrive at noon in a vintage Ford Model T car. Santa will then be available for visits in a real railroad caboose. Admission is free and train tickets are $5 per adult ride and $3 per children ride...Read more

Detroit's Indian Village wants to restore its historic streetlights
WDIV Detroit, November 13th