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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Former Cape May County resident's huge, and unique, auto collection up for ...Press of Atlantic City, April 17th
Items on the block will include a steam locomotive, a 1906 San Francisco cable car, an 1870 steam fire pumper, a Conestoga horse-drawn wagon, several antique airplane engines and various early-American vintage automobiles. ... There is a wide selection...Read more
E-Horse? A Proposed Electric Carriage for Central ParkWall Street Journal (blog), April 17th
The union representing the carriage drivers says about 400 jobs could be lost by abolishing the rides, but Mr. de Blasio has an idea for saving them: instead of horse-drawn carriages, tourists could be driven around the park in faux-vintage electric...Read more
'American Pickers' go 'Backroad Barnstorming' on History ChannelExaminer.com, April 16th
Then they saw something they have never seen before; skis for a Model T, where the front tires could be converted into a snowmobile using the skis with tracks for the back. Throughout the 1920s, the Model T ski attachment kits were popular among rural ...Read more
Model A and Model T era antique car show set for SheltonShelton Herald, April 16th
In an effort to promote interest in automotive history and to share knowledge, a Model T and Model A Meet will take place in Shelton on Saturday, May 10 at 9 a.m. in the Beardsley's Cider Mill & Orchard parking lot, 278 Leavenworth Road (Route 110)...Read more
Yorkshire Prepares for its Best Ever Tractor FestStackyard, April 16th
Highlights this year will include some iconic tractors and machinery including an exhibition of vintage Model T's and other Ford cars through the ages. There will also be an attempt at a world record with a mass gathering of turn of the last century...Read more
Powerful past preserved at Antique Tractors and Trains ShowSalisbury Post, April 13th
This vintage Oliver tractor and a Farmall tractor with planting attachments were on display through the Piedmont Antique Power Association, based in Mocksville — one of several groups with equipment on display. “We like to get together, have these...Read more
Greenfield Village opens for season TuesdayDearborn Press and Guide, April 9th
Soon the sounds of clopping hooves and the rumble of the Model T will fill the village as it revives to a recreation of an era gone by. The gates will open for the season Tuesday and visitors will return to many familiar faces and places, but there are...Read more
Vintage cars stop in DouglasDouglas Daily Dispatch, March 19th
Sixteen classic Model A and Model T Fords were parked in front of the Gadsden Hotel last week for several hours. The cars were on a tour of southern Arizona and one of their stops was Douglas where the tour had lunch at the Gadsden Hotel...Read more