than half the world's cars were nearly identical Model
T's during the mid 1920s.
car was introduced with a price tag of $850. The model t
later sold for as little as $260, because Ford passed
along the savings from his production innovations.
The car that established a mass market
for automobiles, the Model T, was introduced on Oct. 1,
1908. The first Model T had a 20-horsepower,
four-cylinder engine, reached a top speed of about 45
miles per hour, got about 13 to 21 miles per gallon of
gasoline and weighed 1,200 pounds. It was the ninth of
Henry Ford's production cars.
More than 15,000,000 Model T's were built and sold. The
Model T was the first low-priced, mass- produced car
with standard interchangeable parts. The Model T
popularized the left-side steering column. The engine
design, a single block with a removable cylinder head,
became the industry standard.
Henry Ford's initiation of mass production of vehicles
on the moving assembly line led to lower car prices and
the $5 workday.
Henry Ford called the Model T "the universal car," a
low-cost, reliable vehicle that could be maintained
easily. It successfully traveled the poor roads of the
era, thanks to its three-point suspension. The Model T
came in nine body styles, all on the same chassis.
"Lizzie" was one of the most popular of the dozens of
nicknames for the Model T.
The Model T's agile planetary transmission enabled
novices to operate the gears, and was a forerunner of
modern automatic transmission designs. Vanadium steel,
an alloy manufactured for the company at the direction
of Henry Ford, gave the car great strength and
durability without extra weight.
In 1914, Ford with 13,000 employees produced about
300,000 cars, while 299 other companies with 66,350
employees produced about 280,000 vehicles. A modest
ceremony on May 26, 1927, marked the formal end of Model
For its 100th anniversary, Ford Motor Company built six
Model T's, called T 100, based on the original 1914
model. There are no original Model T parts on these
cars, but each is interchangeable with the original,
including the hand crank located under the radiator. Top
end speed of the T 100 is about 55 mph, and they get
about 18 miles to the gallon in their nine-gallon tank,
about the same as an original 1914 Model T.