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 Notes: April 19News & Observer, April 17th
The free event, presented by Wake Forest Downtown, showcases classic and antique automobiles, including custom, muscle, sports, pony, classics, street rods and custom trucks. There will be live music, food trucks, a Model T assembly demonstration, door ...Read more
Neil R. RoseThe Altamont Enterprise, April 16th
GLENVILLE — Neil R. Rose liked his work on tugboats and had a passion for history and antique cars. His funeral procession will include a 1917 Model T that he restored. He was a man who saw the value of tenacity. “One of Daddy's biggest sayings was, ...Read more
Classic Wheels father and son 1922 Model T Ford "T-bucket" hot rod and 1986 ...lehighvalleylive.com, April 16th
Joey is carrying the torch." To share your antique, classic or specialty car, truck or motorcycle, send a photo and information to: Classic Wheels, The Express-Times, 30 N. Fourth St., Easton PA 18042; Attn: Pete Brekus; or email pbrekus@express...Read more
Windsor man's hot rod heaven heats upSanta Rosa Press Democrat, April 16th
On a country road on the outskirts of Windsor, two engine casings mounted over the mail box are the telltale sign of the master hot rod and vintage car builder who lives down the driveway, in the modest, older home next to the vineyards. Vern Tardel...Read more
Marvel's collection gives glimpse of life before carsDelmarva Daily Times, April 16th
During the Roaring '20s, southern Delaware residents came to Marvel's dealership to trade in their old horse-drawn carriages for Model T's and Model A's. Marvel often accepted the outmoded vehicles as down payments on new cars; and he stored the old...Read more
Model A Ford to be featured at Heritage and Antique Machinery FestivalYourGV.com, April 15th
After a very long run in the production of the Model T Ford, Henry Ford's son, Edsel, convinced his father that it was time for change to keep up with the market and the ever growing list of new manufacturers that were offering potential buyers more...Read more
Pennsylvania: 1923 Model T Ford Skids Off Road, Kills CoupleHeadlines & Global News, April 14th
Peggy Forney, one of Ralph Cramer's first employees, said he was now semi-retired and spent time restoring antique cars, including the Model T Ford. "He loved playing with his cars and his grandchildren," she told Lancaster Online. "Family was really ...Read more
Mount Joy couple killed when 1923 Model T "bucket roadster" crashesLancasterOnline, April 12th
Stauffer said the Cramers had just left the Creekside Cafe and were heading north on Habecker Road toward home when the Model T left the road, flipped over and landed upside down in a ditch. The couple were dead when first responders arrived. Stauffer...Read more