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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Harold LeMay to be celebrated in Tacoma, Spanaway this weekendTheNewsTribune.com, August 27th
The Marymount event will feature a two-day auction containing 150 lots, among which bidders will find, according to its list, “Pepsi Cola Vintage Sign with Thermometer,” “1984 Porsche 944,” “1977 Ferrari 308 GTS,” “1939 Rolls Royce,” “Collection of...Read more
Winnsboro Prepares to Host 57th Annual Autumn TrailsKSST (press release) (registration) (blog), August 27th
Antique Car Weekend draws thousands from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Winnsboro is well known for sporting one of the State's largest Antique and Classic Car Parades. This Winnsboro Tradition features Model A's, Model T's and Classic ...Read more
Family Fun to be Had at Farmers' Market and Antique Truck & Tractor ShowHartford Courant, August 27th
The antique trucks are new this year. Last year, there were a few Model A and Model T trucks, but Pierog said that more are to be expected this year. Tractors are still the star however, and last year, there were at least 25 tractors surrounding the...Read more
America's Longest-Running Antique Car Show, Old Car Festival, Celebrates 65th ...Midland Daily News, August 27th
Throughout the weekend, guests can speak with the proud owners of the vehicles themselves, watch as the drivers show off their skills in early motor contests and witness the assembly of an actual Model T in minutes. On Main Street, guests can join The ...Read more
HAMB Drags: A Step Back In TimeSpeedhunters (blog), August 27th
This Model T roadster, aka the Kansas Tornado, is owned by Seth Schroer from Kansas, and is a real-deal vintage drag car. It was originally built and raced in the late '50s by Bud Susank and is still powered by a Flathead motor and a transmission with ...Read more
Vintage Radio: Going MobileWSHU, August 26th
Ignition noise could be horrendous. The Model T, for example, featured a continuously firing "spark coil" which, when coupled to steel or copper spark plug wires, splattered noise across the broadcast band. Atwater Kent's invention of the breaker point...Read more
Antique Fire Trucks Attract Crowd in N.H.Firehouse.com, August 24th
Nearby, Alton Fire Department's 1917 Ford Model T truck was on display next to the extremely contrasting 1930 model which replaced it. "This was the first motorized piece for Alton," firefighter Patrick O'Brien said of the Model T. "It stayed with us...Read more
Century-old Model T rolls into SF after 3600-mile road tripSFGate, August 19th
A vintage Model T Ford rolled into San Francisco this week after a 3,600-mile trip from Detroit on dusty back roads to commemorate a nearly forgotten road trip — and to make a point. “We are here to celebrate and promote our national automotive...Read more