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The History of the Model T

On October 1, 1908, the infant Ford Motor Company, which had been established a brief five years before, announced its newest entry into the growing automobile market. It was named the Model T. Equipped with a 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, the Ford Model T, at just 1200 pounds, could reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour.

Mounted at the front of the car, the one-piece casting engine block with a removable cylinder head was not only innovative for its time, but remains the design for most engines today. The engine was interchangeable with all 9 models, setting an industry standard for building different car models on the same chassis. Other innovations were to follow during the Model T Ford's 19-year production. Electric lights were introduced in 1915, and an electric starter and generator were made available as options in 1919.

Fun Facts

Prior to the production of the Model T, the location of the steering wheel was as varied as the cars of the era. The wheel may have been located at left, right or center of the front seat. The Model T Ford set the standard for the steering wheel location at left hand drive.

The goal to make a "universal car" was rapidly taking place. By 1921, Model T Fords accounted for nearly 57 percent of the world's auto production.

Model T

In 1905, just prior to the production of the Ford Model T, the number of registered vehicles in the US was about 79,000. By 1925, with the Model T Ford nearing the end of its 19-year run, there were 20.1 million registered vehicles in the US.

An ad for Ford Charcoal

Letting nothing go to waste, Henry Ford had the scraps of wood left over from the production of the Ford Model T collected and turned into charcoal. With the help of relative E.G. Kingsford, a charcoal manufacturing plant was built and the newly formed Ford Charcoal would eventually be renamed Kingsford Charcoal in his honor.

The Model T holds the honor of being called "Car of the Century"

In December of 1999, an international group of automotive experts and journalists selected Ford's Model T as the "Car of the Century."

 

Shop from MAC's vast selection of engine parts for your Ford Model T today.

Body styles for most years included the Roadster, Touring, Coupe, and later, the Fordor. Although the running changes made in the Ford Model T between 1909 and 1927 were incomprehensible in number, almost all the basic and critical parts of the car were interchangeable from one model year to any other.

MAC's has one of the largest selections of Model T parts, including sheet metal, on the market today. Shop here.

Henry Ford's goal to create a "universal car" was not limited to the car's design. Aiming for a vehicle that would be reliable, easily maintained, and affordable, the Model T Ford was introduced in 1908 at a price of $850. Ford's implementation of assembly line manufacturing in 1913 would drastically reduce build time, as well as production costs. As a result, the price of the car dropped, selling as for as little as $260 in 1925.

The efficiency of the assembly line allowed Ford to price the Model T within reach of the average American, fueling sales for the car. Despite the famous quote, "You could have any color you want - so long as it was black," the early Model T Fords were available in green, red, blue and gray. It was only after the introduction of the moving assembly line in 1913 that Ford switched to all black Model Ts. Ford missed no opportunity to reduce the cost of production, and black paint was a logical choice at the time. Cheap and durable, over 30 different varieties of black paint were used on various components, each chosen to meet specific production needs. Colors other than black would not be offered again until 1926, one year before the end of the Ford Model T's run.

MAC's own Cartouche brand upholstery offers an extensive selection of authentic and non-authentic fabrics for your vintage Model T Ford.

By 1924, sales of the Model T Ford began to decline. Model T trucks were made available from the factory in 1925. The Runabout truck marked the first time Ford had offered a factory installed a pickup bed. Responding to increased competition, Ford launched the 1926-1927 Model T Fords as a "New Ford," but in effect, under the surface, it was the same old Model T. This attempt at image rejuvenation was a failure and sales continued to fall. The decision was made to halt production.

MAC's carries parts for your Ford Model T and Ford Model TT truck.

When the 19-year production run came to an end on May 26, 1927, a virtually unbroken line of over 15 million Model T Fords had been produced. An era had come to an end. It is generally accepted that never before, and not likely ever again, will any product made by any manufacturer have the impact on our way of living as did the wonderful Model T Ford.

The Ford Model T, the foundation of the Ford Motor Company, had set a new standard for both automobiles and manufacturing. Ford moved forward, entering a new era with a true "New Ford," the Model A. Released in 1928, the Model A was an instant success.

Let MAC’s help you make the most of your restoration. Whether you need a few finishing touches for your completed classic or are just beginning to sort through your collection of vintage parts from your soon to be Concours or Custom, we have what you need to complete your dream car. MAC’s has been serving the Ford restorer since 1978 and we carry an extensive collection of Ford Model T parts, including parts for Model TT trucks, as well as accessories, supplies, manuals, and literature. Our fully illustrated 1909-1927 Model T Ford parts catalog lists 4,431 parts. You will easily find what you need including part numbers, prices, descriptions, number of parts required, and the years of application. Our catalog is free if you have a 1909-1927 Ford Model T. Outside the U.S. we do require a payment of $5.00 U.S. to cover the cost of postage.

Restore your Ford Model T Roadster, Touring, Tourabout, Torpedo Runabout, Open Runabout, Coupe, Town Car, Landaulet, Tudor Sedan, Fordor, Center Door, Delivery Car, Commercial Roadster, TT Truck, Roadster Pickup, or C-Cab Pickup with classic, vintage car and truck parts from MAC’s Antique Auto Parts. We carry Ford Model T/TT parts for 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927 Ford Model Ts and TTs.

This 1909 Model T Touring lives in our Lockport, NY showroom. Find out its story here.