Classics

Henry Ford’s Model T

By: Jag Dhatt

What better vehicle to include in our classic car than the one that began the automobile era by utilizing the mass producing assembly line? Sure, there were other cars built before the famous Model T, including ones built by Ransom Olds, Karl Benz, and Wilhelm Maybach; but Henry Ford perfected the assembly line and was able to produce a complete car in about 93 minutes.

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The Model T was not Ford’s first vehicle; in fact, Ford had designed close to twenty prototypes before the Model T, going as far back as 1903. But happy with the design and engineering of the Model T, Ford pushed production in 1914 to amounts never seen or heard of before. Not only was the Model T an attractive vehicle, it could be purchased by the average American with about four month’s salary.

Ford’s Model T could be bought as a convertible or hardtop and was fitted with a 2.0 liter inline four-cylinder engine that produced 20 hp and could reach a top speed lose to 70 km/h. The engine could be run on kerosene, gasoline, or ethanol, but gasoline became preferred due to its decreasing costs.

Since the Model T was “affordable” compared to other cars, they began to be seen all over. Sure, there wasn’t much competition either, but people enjoyed the comfort levels of this car and now, could travel at their discretion. The driver controlled the transmission by three foot pedals, while throttle was controlled with a lever on the steering column. Ride comfort was good, but increased significantly when balloon tires were introduced in 1925.

The Model T’s last year of production was in 1927. Not only had this car changed the automotive industry, but was instrumental in the use of vehicles in various industries.

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