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Ford Model T

Model Year: 1914

Location of Manufacture: Walkerville, Ontario


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The Ford Model T, nicknamed Tin Lizzie or Flivver in the United States, is a car pro- duced by Henry Fordʼs Ford Motor Company between 1908 and 1927. For many, with the arrival of the Ford Model T, 1908 was regarded as the historic year in which the automobile was established as part of everyday life in America. It is generally consid- ered to be the first car affordable enough for most of the population, the one that would put America on wheels.

In building the Ford Model T, Henry Ford was highly innovative: The use of assembly lines, rather than individual and manual assembly (though Oldsmobile had already used that method with the Curved Dash), and wages proportional to the cost of the car for the employees, so that they would provide a guaranteed market for the product. The first Ford Model T was brought out of the Picket factory in Detroit on September 27th, 1908.

From the foundation of the company in 1903, Henry Ford had produced and fine tuned many different car models. The first had been called Model A, but there werenʼt 19 other models produced ahead of the Model T. Many were just prototypes. The T evolved from the S, which had been derived from the best selling model until then, the Model N.

After about twenty years of Ford Model Tʼs, the next evolution wasnʼt a U, but a new type of Model A, which, by its name, was sending a message of renewal for the com- pany. As a competing business, Chrysler took advantage of this by introducing the first of its line of Plymouths, aptly named Model U...

In 1914, the procedure in assembling the T had improved to the point where it now took only 93 minutes to assemble a finished product. That year, Ford built more automobiles than all other car manufacturers put together. When the 10 millionth T was produced, 9 out of every 10 cars worldwide were Fords. In the end, over 15 million Tʼs were pro- duced, a single model record only surpassed by the Volkswagon Beatle, with 21 million units. Of course, there were also 31 million Toyota Corollas, and 25 million Volkswagon Golfs produced, but in both of these cases, you are actually adding the total production of successive models, which evolved over several decades.

The car initially carried an $850 price tag, at a time where few models where available for less than $2000. By the end of the 1920ʼs, the price had fallen to $300, which, if you take inflation into account, is equivalent to about $3300 today - thanks to savings at- tained through mass production and improvements in assembly line technology.

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