Everyone has heard of Ford’s iconic Model T – the vehicle that took the automobile world by storm. And while everyone has heard of this vintage car, not many people know exactly just how it managed to change the automotive scenery forever.
The story of the Ford Model T began over 100 years ago in 1908. Production on this car ran until the year 1927. The Model T didn’t even need two decades to wedge itself into the automobile industry history books.
Many attribute the first affordable production vehicle to Ford and their Model T. Conceived by Henry Ford himself, the Model T broke through barriers that many weren’t even aware existed at the time. This just goes to show how significant the Model T is and was to automakers and the public.
If a car with the features and specifications of the Model T came out today, it would get laughed out of the production line. The Ford Model T has the power of twenty horses, and two gears. The Model T may not be winning any drag races anytime soon, but it takes first place when it comes to cars that have had a monumental effect on the automotive world.
Let’s learn about what Ford gifted us with the introduction of the Model T, and how the ripples of this classic car are often felt to this day.
How The Ford Model T Reached The Masses
The Ford Model T is synonymous with the automobile as being the car of the people. This definition of the classic car kick-started its venture into the industry in 1908, and Childe Wills, Joseph Galamb, and Eugene Farkas are who we have to thank for its design.
To give you the scale of the Model T’s popularity, about 16.5 million vehicles sold in the span of time between 1908 and 1927. The Ford Model T held the spot of the most sold car for 45 years. Cars had been in production as early as 1880, but they were expensive, rare, and not a reliable means of transportation. Automobiles that came before the Model T were more for show or flaunting of status. Here came the Ford Model T, ready to change all of that.
Why Was The Model T So Successful?
The message Henry Ford put out to the world was his desire to have a car for the average family. He wanted it to be suitable for the family, yet small enough for a single person. A car that could be straightforward to maintain, affordable, high quality, and simple. Easy enough, right?
Henry Ford wanted the masses to be able to explore and take families on outings without the limitation of their salary. Because of this mission and his follow through, he lived up to the promises he made – producing a car that was affordable to almost everyone.
The moving assembly line helped keep costs down, with the process becoming refined more and more over time. The larger orders placed meant that producing in bulk became cheaper. All the effort of creating a well tuned production line with an eye on reworking the design resulted in taking what is by today’s dollar a $24,000 car down to $5,000. The Ford Model T was an incredible feat of engineering and innovation, for this fact alone.
How Much Is The Model T Worth Today?
Classic cars and anything vintage are usually rare, expensive, and sometimes in rough shape. The Model T is still surprising many by being an abundantly available vehicle, given its age.
Outside its availability is the price point where you can purchase a Model T, in very good shape, for an average price of about $25,000. Not only are they easy to buy, but there are many hot rodded modern versions that take the Model T and elevate it into a completely different world. Imagine being the proud owner of a car that had the power to change the automotive scenery.
Lessons Taken From The Ford Model T, And How It Shaped The Automotive World
The impact of the Ford Model T wasn’t limited to just the car itself, but also bled into other avenues of the industry, such as manufacturing.
Ford showed the world what mass production and assembly lines could be when used effectively. During the time of the Model T’s production, other manufacturers were benefiting from what Ford was doing. This is because the cost of parts and goods was being driven down, which meant more competition. This resulted in companies trying to get customers to their side by way of a more attractive price.
The idea of being able to buy a vehicle to transport your family or goods in a cost-effective way permeated America, and in turn, spread through the world. In a vehicle, the iconic Ford Model T, the possibilities grew and became almost endless.
Sources: Ford, Britannica, History