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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Henry Ford's innovation part of speaker seriesPeoria Journal Star, September 22nd
WASHINGTON — Ford Motor Co.'s ground-breaking manufacturing is the subject of the first program in the Washington Historical Society's 2014-2015 speaker series. Lifelong Washington resident Kay Gardner Lee will discuss “Henry Ford and His Model T's...Read more
Items Frozen in Time at Old California Stagecoach Stop Go Up for AuctionABC News, September 22nd
Imagine walking into a time capsule. It's a building, once home to a stagecoach stop, frozen in time. It was a general store, saloon and hotel. The items inside have not been touched in over 40 years. Antique collectors will flock to rural Pope Valley...Read more
Taylor's Vintage Car Collection: 'He wanted people to enjoy them'KVAL, September 22nd
South of Corvallis off Highway 99 sits Taylor's Vintage Car Collection, a private shop of antique and historic cars. Tony Logan Jr., the ... “This Model-T back here, the '13 Depot Hack, that probably has the best story,” Logan said. “That was his...Read more
Flood-damaged Ward County Historical Society Pioneer Village Museum in ...Daily Journal, September 22nd
A different era was highlighted each month, featuring things such as horse-drawn vehicles and antique Model T's. The historical society also has formed a partnership with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Representatives from the tribe set up a...Read more
Jenny's final flight up for bidsTimes Record News, September 22nd
“We'll also be auctioning an opportunity to ride in a Model T troop carrier and Model T staff car to the airport,” said Bob Seabury, museum supporter and volunteer. “But we know a ... “The pilots make the decisions about vintage craft like this. It's...Read more
Model Ts a tradition at Boonesborough DaysHerald-Mail Media, September 7th
Antique cars at Boonesborough Days. Bridgette Kinna of Thurmont, Md., and Ryan Uppercue of Boonsboro look over a row of Ford Model T antique cars Sunday during Boonesborough Days at Shafer Memorial Park in Boonsboro. Antique cars at ...Read more
Model T Ford marks its century in styleGladstone Observer, September 4th
Miriam Vale Vintage and classic cars show - Gordon Whittaker with his 1914 T Model Ford. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards. A FORD Model T owned by Gordon Whittaker is turning 100. Gladstone Vintage Car Club is tuning up to celebrate ...Read more
1923 Model T stars at Antique Truck Show in MadridWatertownDailyTimes.com, August 18th
MADRID — A vehicle that was produced just five years after the end of World War I highlighted an array of vintage automobiles, tractors and trucks on display Sunday in Madrid. The St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum, Route 345, played host to this ...Read more