The first Ford Model T rolled out of the assembly line on October 1, 1908. This car was said to have introduced the concept of mass production in the American automobile industry and later to the rest of the world.
The first series of Model T’s were fitted with 22 horsepower, four-cylinder engines, could reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour, and got approximately 13 to 21 miles per liter of gasoline. The 3-point suspension system gave the car plenty of space for axle movement to run on rough ground, by allowing the chassis to twist easily. The separation of the engine block and the engine head into two pieces made it easier to mass produce the car and service it appropriately, and even took some weight off the vehicle. The use of Vanadium steel, which was mostly used to build expensive European cars, greatly increased the durability of the car. The simplicity of the car’s design enabled users to easily repair the car with the help of just a few tools and some basic know-how, and that was one of the advantages to owning a Model T in those days, as service stations were few and far between.
The Concept of Mass Production:
The Model T revolutionized the concept of mass production in the automobile industry. More than 15,007,033 Model T cars were produced between the years 1908 -1927. Fondly named the “Tin Lizzie”, the production rates of this car were much higher than that of the other automobile manufacturers of that period, because of the simplicity and efficiency of design. By the end of 1913, the Model T car production set a new record in the automobile industry: A complete car could be assembled in just 93 minutes. This helped Ford gain a cutting edge over their competitors, most of whom took several days to complete the same process of vehicle production. In 1914, Ford produced nearly 3,000,000 Model Ts while only employing 13,000 workers, while 299 other companies used an average of 66,350 employees to produce a much lower number of 2,080,000 cars.
Owning a Model T:
Be it for the concours or going on a weekend vintage ride, you can buy Model T cars at affordable prices nowadays to add to your antique car collection. The rarest Model T cars were the 3 pedal and 2 hand lever fitted models that were produced between the years 1908 -1909. Some of the enclosed cars produced in the mid-twenties are priced at $8000-$9000. But several Model T’s that were fully restored for concours events often fetch over $50,000. If you are on a shoestring budget, you can get Model T’s for as low $2500 but they usually come completely disassembled with an un-seized engine. If you want to spend on a slightly higher budget, you can get restorable cars for $4000-$5000. Adding in the cost of restoration, Model T’s are usually well worth their investment value, and often bring much higher market prices when sold at auctions. Various websites like www.hemmings.com, Model T club newsletters, estate sales, local papers and swap meets can help you find perfect car parts for your Model T restoration project.
Once you buy your classic Model T, get your antique car insurance to protect your investment. Classic Auto gives you the best collector car insurance quotes for Model T’s and can customize a plan for you based on your intentions for the car. Give us a call today, or visit our website at http://classicins.com/.
About the Author
Drew Yagodnik is Vice President of Classic Automobile Insurance Agency, Inc. Classic Automobile Insurance Agency has been protecting collector, classic and exotics since 1992.