The car that truly put the world on wheels, the Ford Model T, built between 1908 and 1927 — the most popular car in the history of the automobile until it was overtaken by the Volkswagen Beetle in 1973.
The T’s production eventually stood at an estimated 16,561,850 and established Henry Ford as the world’s foremost car maker. The spidery, angular Ford was deceptively robust and powered by a 176 cid (2.9 liters) four cylinder engine, with detachable cylinder head, an unusual feature for the day A two speed epicyclic gearbox was fitted while suspension was by transverse springs located by radius rods.
The car was mass produced from 1914 in a purpose-built factory at Highland Park, Detroit, and black was the only color available between that year and 1925. Output soared: in 1922 a million Model Ts were built for the first time in one year and production peaked in 1923 when two million were built. The original price had been set at $850 but, with the benefits of mass production, the price progressively fell so that by 1925 a T tourer cost $250. Although electric starting was offered from 1920, the Ford never boasted such up-to-date fittings as front wheel brakes.
The Car that not only put the world on wheels but was also mass produced and gave the industry the moving track assembly line.
The car became progressively outdated, with production ceasing in 1927 The factory closed down for six months to re-tool for the Model A, the T’s replacement, but ford’s market dominance was lost and from 1931 General Motors and Chevrolet forged ahead Yet the Ts inheritance of low cost cars representing good value for money was to indelibly stamp itself on the Ford Motor Company’s products, which are all spiritual heirs of the ubiquitous Tin Lizzie.