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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COMMUNITY EVENTS IN THE RIVER VALLEY & OZARK AREAArkansas Online, October 7th
MORRILTON — Author and screenwriter Jenny Wingfield will give a presentation at 1 p.m. at the E. Allen Gordon Library of the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. Her book The Homecoming of Samuel Lake is the 2015 selection for If All ...Read more
Go Guide: Food, bounce houses, wagons, beerRichmond, October 7th
You can even eat a s'more made with the help of the engine from a Model T Ford parked outside Richmond Square Mall. Local nonprofits will offer information, ... An antique-car, covered-bridge run takes place at noon Sunday. • When: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ...Read more
Fall fun comes to East CountyContra Costa Times, October 7th
On the weekend of Oct. 10 and 11, there will be antique tractors and the following weekend, there will be a magician and Model T cars. On Halloween day, there will be treats for those in costume. "We charge admission, but it includes everything," Smith...Read more
Car club calendarChicago Daily Herald, October 7th
Vintage MG Car Club of Chicago meets at 8 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at the Pizza Joynt, 39 W. North Ave., Northlake. For more ... Model T Ford Club International, Fox Valley Chapter: All makes and models of cars are welcome. Meetings are ...Read more
Waite Hill man builds on car collection started by his father in 1963News-Herald.com, October 7th
The 57-year-old Waite Hill resident isn't given to calling attention to himself or to his family-owned collection of antique Ford automobiles, pick-up trucks and tractors. But if ever ... “I call this the showroom,” Ruple said, looking out at an...Read more
Motors & Me: John Vahey's 1910 Model T TouraboutIrish Examiner, October 3rd
John Vahey shows us around his 1910 Model T Tourabout at the start of the Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club Brass Brigade Run at Dungarvan Park Hotel, Co Waterford. What are you driving? Rare 1910 Model T Ford Tourabout and Skoda Octavia ...Read more
Up for bids: One man's astounding antique car collectionDesMoinesRegister.com, September 22nd
He saved lunch money instead of eating, bought an old Ford Model T, learned to tinker with cars and eventually opened a one-man repair garage in Ames in 1945, thereafter championing horsepower over horses. Before he died in 2007 at age 91, he had...Read more
Antique Autos Brings Classic Cars to History ParkSanJose.com, September 9th
“I had not heard of an Elcar,” admits Allan Greenberg, a volunteer with History San Jose's restoration shop, who started the Antique Autos show 15 years ago with the help of his Model T Club. “I had to look it up on the Internet. We do get a lot of...Read more