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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Jam-packed pioneer store on the auction blockNapa Valley Register, August 30th
There are hundreds of items that have been preserved like mini-time capsules, such as California bottles, dolls, antique brewery and Coca Cola advertising, a Wurlitzer jukebox and player piano. “As people moved away, they left their treasures behind...Read more
Vintage cars gather for hot-rod cruise in MarinKTVU San Francisco, August 30th
Tony Rossi, 16 is just old enough to drive and his first car is a 1927 Model T Ford hot rod. "My dad and I restored it. it took us 3 years. I paid my dad off so I could buy the car," Rossi told KTVU. Bill Olivo of Novato has had his car for 55 years...Read more
Pope Valley treasures headed for auction blockSanta Rosa Press Democrat, August 29th
Kirkpatrick left everything pretty much as it was the day his father-in-law died, from the turn-of-the-last century furnishings and animal head trophies on the walls right down to the antique cash register and canned goods on the shelves. There's even...Read more
49th annual Antique & Classic Car & Truck ShowDaily Local News, August 29th
A model train setup housed in an antique Model T Truck will also be running throughout the day at the Museum. Also of note in the Museum's newly air-conditioned gallery are several new exhibit cases featuring the history of the Pennsylvania Turnpike...Read more
Gallipolis to host 26th Ohio Model T JamboreeHuntington Herald Dispatch, August 28th
The 26th Annual All Ohio Model T Jamboree comes to Gallipolis, Ohio, Aug. 29-31. The antique vehicles will be traveling throughout Gallia and Mason counties during those three days, according to a news release from the Gallia County Convention...Read more
Vintage motorcycles and antique aeroplanes at Owls HeadPenBayPilot.com, August 25th
In addition to assorted vintage motorcycles of all kinds, an array of family activities will include demonstrations, dirt track racers, free Model T rides and (weather permitting) antique aeroplane demonstrations. Young children are encouraged to...Read more
1923 Model T stars at Antique Truck Show in MadridWatertownDailyTimes.com, August 18th
MADRID — A vehicle that was produced just five years after the end of World War I highlighted an array of vintage automobiles, tractors and trucks on display Sunday in Madrid. The St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum, Route 345, played host to this ...Read more
Model T added to auction, slot machine discovered in contents of nineteenth ...ArtfixDaily (blog), August 14th
one of the antique advertising signs being auctioned in Pope Valley stage coach stop contents Sept. 6 in Napa Valley. ... Stage coach stop owner and mechanic, Bradley Kilpatrick, kept the Model T running and was known for driving it around the historic...Read more