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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MY RIDE, MY STORY: Pint-sized powerhouse Marlborough man races in hand ...MetroWest Daily News, March 8th
The rear end was a cut-down 1927 Model T Ford with two wheel brakes (rear only). The front axles were custom made from steel tubing. I used 1933 Ford spindles. It has two leaf springs on the front and a single This club, established in 1983 and...Read more
Ford's first 'truck' was a car - and it floppedAutonet.ca, March 8th
RM says, “There was little left of the body, so an authentic reconstruction was done by Eric Edwards' Edwards Antique Auto International of Baxter, Ont., in 1975. The vehicle was later sold to renowned Model T specialist Bill Hardy, who undertook a...Read more
Marion hobby showcase shares oddities with the publicMarion Star, March 8th
Postell, a retired Marion Power Shovel mechanical engineer, showed off a collection of unusual antique toys and electronic devices at the annual craft fair. James Miller/The Marion Star / James Miller/The Marion Star. Vearl Gamble opens the door of one...Read more
West Grove fireman, head of pumper restoration, diesDaily Local News, March 8th
WEST GROVE — Mike Predmore, a volunteer firefighter known through the community for playing Santa Claus and restoring the West Grove Fire Company's antique pumper, died March 6 after a short illness. Predmore, 55, was first assistant engineer of the...Read more
Pa. clockmaker restores family heirloomsWPXI Pittsburgh, March 7th
Mostly, though, he has revived antique clocks, his knowledge gleaned from membership in a couple of professional guilds, trial and error, and dogged research. "I got all the books that I could," he says. "I got them out, read them, sent them back...Read more
Mandeville Lions Club holds second annual Antique Car ShowThe Times-Picayune, March 5th
Among the cars scheduled to be on display are Lion Nick Maniscalco's 1930 Model A Ford pick-up, Lion Joe Johnson's 1938 Model A Ford Tudor (two-door) sedan, and Mandeville Fire Department's Model T fire truck. Sponsors are being sought for the event, ...Read more
Swap Meet attracts hundreds of antique car fansMarietta Times, March 2nd
"I have been part of this swap meet all five years - selling mostly Model T memorabilia - and won't miss it," said vendor Brent Mize, owner of The Coil Doctor in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. While Mize specializes in rebuilding transmission coils for Model T...Read more
Century-old bike, car steal the vintage showIndian Express, March 2nd
The 98-year-old Ford Model T car and the 102-year-old Indian motorcycle, both on their maiden public display, stole the show at the second vintage car and motorbike exhibition organised in Ahmedabad on Sunday where more than 40 heritage vehicles from ...Read more