The Ford Model T became a legend. Durable construction, remarkable appearance and low price made it the car of choice for average American families in the early 20th century
The beginning of the Model T dates back to 1908. Its main designer was Henry Ford, whose basic idea was to create a car for the needs of the average American family. The car had to meet several requirements – have a simple structure, be easy to drive and repair, have a soft suspension and high ground clearance. Above all, the car was also to be cheap. Ford T passed into legend for a reason
High quality materials were used, and the design used was simple and meticulously thought out. Such solutions made it an extremely durable car for the time. What was the cooling system like? The first examples of the car used a water pump. In later production they were replaced by a thermosiphon. Gravity was used to power the carburetor, and the car had no oil pump or fuel pump. The production time of this car is interesting – at first it took 12 hours to produce one car, but after improving the assembly work, the production went much faster, so that in 1927 it took only about 1.5 hours
Because of the faster production, the price of the car was reduced – it fell from the initial one thousand dollars to three hundred. Only during the war period the price increased, but still slightly. Such a low price significantly affected the popularity of this model. In addition, a huge advantage of the Ford T was the availability of spare parts – this was quite an innovation, because in the years of its production the concept of interchangeability of parts did not exist. In case of damage, you had to make the part yourself or order it from the factory and for a considerable amount of money. Easy availability of cheap cars meant that they could settle in the suburbs of cities, long journeys were within reach, and in addition they were comfortable. This kind of manufacturing was a clear signal to car manufacturers that people needed not so much expensive and elegant vehicles, but simple designs, attractive in price.
The Ford T used a 2.9-liter gasoline engine that produced just over 22 horsepower. Low weight of the vehicle (550 kg) allowed to accelerate to 65 km/h. Today, the power unit of the Ford T would probably be described as economical, because it needed only about 13 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Customers could choose from a wide range of body styles. The Ford T could be purchased in two- or four-door, open or closed, van and truck versions. As for the color scheme of the car, the most common color was black. A small number were produced in body color. Henry Ford’s famous motto stated: “you can get a car in any color as long as it’s black”. The Ford T was produced from 1908 to 1927, during which time more than 15 million cars left the factory. For many years, no other model beat such high sales.
Ford Model T was based on a simple flexible frame – the engine, front and rear axles were mounted to it. The use of a frame structure gave almost unlimited possibilities for any bodybuilding. Where was the fuel tank placed? It was located under the front bench seat. Model T was equipped with leather upholstery – at first it was one bench seat, then two – upholstered in quilted leather. The windshield, set vertically, was split transversely, and there was a windshield wiper that had to be operated manually. Also innovative was the use of an engine block, made in the form of a single casting. In those days, it was most common to cast each cylinder separately. Why was the Ford Model T such a durable design? It was due in part to the use of vanadium-doped steel body and suspension. Low price for high quality – no wonder Ford T sales triumphed for years.