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Ford Model T – Influential and Groundbreaking


Ford Model T – The beginning

The Ford Model T is probably the most important car in history.  Produced by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 to 1927, the Model T is considered to have been the first car which was affordable by the middle class American family.  This car, built in the early 1900s, is considered to have been the most influential car in the 20th Century because of its role in the overall development of the auto industry.

Making History

The designers of the Ford Model T Childe Harold Wills, and Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas, who were Hungarian immigrants.  The car was developed with a 4-cylinder front mounted engine, which could run on kerosene, ethanol, and gasoline.  The car was able to get approximately 15-20 miles per gallon.  The Model T was a rear wheel drive car, which effectively had two speeds.  Despite being billed as a three speed, it was really a two speed as one of the cars speeds was reverse.

The Ford Model T was considered to have been the first truly global car. The car was so popular that it was sold in countries as far away as Germany, Brazil, and Mexico.  Due in part to the mass production techniques developed by the Ford Motor company, the car’s price actually declined from $850 for the 4 door open tourer in 1909, to $440 in 19915.

It must be kept in mind that during the initial production of this car, the country’s roads were nowhere near as developed as they are now.  The original Model T was praised for its ability to navigate old country roads, and the generally inhospitable roads which were the norm in the early 1900s.  The Model T was renowned for its engine, which allowed the car to climb steep hills, and even travel across shallow streams.

Paving The Way For Ford

The success of the Model T saw Ford become the preeminent car manufacturer in the world.  The mass production advances which were made during the Model T’s reign helped Ford see this humble car gain such popularity that, by 1918, half of all cars on U.S. roads were Model Ts.  Though the early years of the cars production saw the Model T painted gray, green, blue, and red, the later models were almost all black.  Henry Ford famously quipped that a customer could paint the car any color they liked, as long as it was black.

The Ford Model T was a groundbreaking car in many ways.  Being the first truly global car, it was sold all over the North America, and Europe.  The development of the Model T saw the ushering in of vital assembly line technology and processes.  One of the most interesting fun facts about the development of the Model T is that leftover wood from the car’s development was processed into charcoal.  Today’s popular Kingsford Charcoal brand got its start as second hand wood from the Model T.  There are so many aspects to the story of why the Model T is one of the most important cars in history, it is almost impossible to recount them all in one blog post.  But, they can all be summed up in one idea: the Ford Model T is the reason there is a car industry today.

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