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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In 1903, 'auto age' ushered into Santa MariaLompoc Record, November 29th
His son, Jim, once told me that Fred sold all of his antique cars when it was time to send his kids off to college. Laughlin's interest in ... Henry Ford had added this special feature to his first Ford Model T just two years earlier. Since two-seaters...Read more
Model 'A's' converge on MagdalenaEl Defensor Chieftain, November 28th
Travelers and tourists stopping to look around Magdalena is not an unusual sight, but when the travelers are driving vintage Model “A” Fords, locals take notice, and the cameras come out. Ten such vehicles pulled in front the Magdalena Café last...Read more
For the holidays: A listing of eventsThe Providence Journal, November 27th
an exhibit of original lithographs of Currier & Ives winter scenes, antique carousel, holiday music and dance performances, marshmallow roasting at outdoor fire pits, seasonal treats and visits with Santa as he holds court in a vintage Model T. The...Read more
Gardens Aglow Opens November 27CapeNews.net, November 27th
Canal Railroad Bridge (suspended seven feet above the floor in the special exhibitions gallery) made of natural elements such as moss, twigs and branches from around the Heritage property, rides on the antique carousel which will be decorated for...Read more
America's Thanksgiving Parade: Part 2WDIV Detroit, November 26th
Rhonda: IT CAN. WITH A STORED MICHIGAN HISTORY, ABSOPURE WATER'S VINTAGE FORD MODEL T DELIVERY TRUCK WAS ORIGINALLY USED TO DELIVER THE WATER TO DETROIT HOMES AND BUSINESSES. OF COURSE, THEY STILL DO, ...Read more
Vintage vehicles join the Dungarees to re-enact historyThe Queensland Times, November 22nd
TWO special Model T Fords will this month help commemorate 100 years since the March of the Dungarees in Laidley. The two vehicles, from 1915 and 1917, are in mint condition and will further add to the authenticity of the event, which will re-create...Read more
Inmates restore vintage railroad cars in West BarnstableCapeCod.com News, November 20th
But that was in 1905, about the time Henry Ford was starting to mass produce his Model T. By 1920 or so, cars had so displaced steeds as a form of conveyance that it was converted to a baggage car. Here Jason Ribero and a fellow inmate (orange watch ...Read more
Car restorer's life's work fit him to a (Model) TAllentown Morning Call, October 18th
Thus, the Smiths' Model T is black. It has a leather roof and a brass radiator, a complicated transmission operated by foot pedals and a 21-horsepower, four-cylinder engine that can bring the car to 40 mph or so. It's hard to say, because it has no...Read more