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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OLD-TIMEY CARS VISIT HAVANAHavana Herald, March 6th
The drizzly, chilly weather Saturday morning didn't dampen the spirits of an antique car club touring group although they would have preferred some of Florida's famous sunshine. A group of the cars, all Model T and Model A Fords, was parked in front of...Read more
MODEL Ts TAKE HAVANA BACK IN TIMEHavana Herald, March 6th
The pair also has a 1929 Model T pickup for touring and enjoying life. Michael Kimsch said the group on the Tallahassee trip ... They were on their way Saturday to visit the spectacular Antique Car Museum. Other cars were from Illinois, Indiana, North...Read more
Time to register your Dream MachineHalf Moon Bay Review, March 5th
It will display more than 2,000 antique, vintage, classic, custom, ultramodern, exotic and, above all, cool motorized marvels from the 20th to 21st centuries. Cars range from Model T's to streamlined sports cars. Aircraft range from vintage warbirds to...Read more
In photos: A vintage car buff's dream come true in CalgaryThe Globe and Mail, March 5th
A steam train loops the village, the S.S. Moyie paddle wheeler plies the waters of the reservoir and antique autos and horse-drawn carriages share the dirt roads. With more than 180 attractions and exhibits, it's the largest living history museum in...Read more
Vintage photographs from Port Aransas portray early life of a budding Texas ...mySanAntonio.com, March 4th
Model T-like cars lined the entrance to the ferry, where now it's a heavy chain of Ford F-150s and SUVs. The archived photographs of Port Aranasas in the gallery above date as far back as 1923. They feature a nearly unblemished coastline just as it was ...Read more
In Garland County, theft of 3 antique vehicles investigatedArkansas Online, March 4th
The other two vehicles taken are a black 1925 two-door model T truck with homemade wooden box seats and a 1933 Dodge two-door Sedan with a damaged front left fender. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators with the sheriff's office...Read more
Ernie Hemmings, Founder of a Bible of Classic Cars, Dies at 88New York Times, March 2nd
In 1945, when Ernie Hemmings took over the auto parts business his father had founded in Quincy, Ill., Model T and Model A Fords were still too contemporary to be called classics. But popular interest in collecting and restoring vintage ... As thick as...Read more
Antique Model Ts may offer historic downtown toursChattanooga Times Free Press, February 23rd
A couple of vintage Ford Model Ts and an antique Model A may soon be carrying visitors around Chattanooga in the city's latest downtown travel venture. But before the nearly century-old, rebuilt vehicles ... Needham joined with Hal Everett, a self...Read more