Henry Ford had one ultimate aim for his Ford Motor Company: he wanted to make a rugged car of a standard design that could be built in high numbers at low prices. Out of this policy came the Model T, and a revolution in 20th-century manufacturing.
Extensive use of vanadium and heat-treated steel made the car light but sturdy (hence its nickname “Tin Lizzie”), with 10.5in (27cm) of road clearance, and hefty suspension to cope with rough roads. The drivetrain was enclosed to keep out dust, and the model of the car Henry Ford Model T was 6.9ft (2.1m) tall. Ford and his colleagues created a manufacturing colossus that began feeding a production line in Detroit.
Employees added parts to Model Ts as they slowly rolled past them. A year later, Fords accounted for half of all American cars built.
“Any color,” Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “as long as it’s black.” In truth, the Model T did originally come in other colors until the introduction of moving-line mass-production. After that, “Japan black” was standardized because it was cheap and durable. In 1926, a choice of colors returned to the Model T for its final two years after the introduction of quick-drying cellulose lacquer paint.
Indeed, assembly took place all around the world, and by the time the Model T ended its incredible 19-year life in 1927, 15,007,033 models had been made.
“It is without doubt the greatest creation in automobiles ever placed before a people.”
A Ford Dealer, Commenting On The Model T
Video model of the car Henry Ford Model T
Specification model of the car Henry Ford Model T
- YEAR REVEALED: 1908
- PLACE OF ORIGIN: Detroit, US
- HISTORICAL STATUS: production car
- ENGINE: four-cylinder, 177ci (2,896cc)
- MAXIMUM POWER: 20bhp
- LAYOUT: front-mounted engine driving the rear wheels
- BODYWORK: two-seater runabout or coupé, four-seater tourer, seven-seater landaulette/saloon
- TOP SPEED: 40mph (64kph)
- NUMBER BUILT: 15,007,033