The Historical Impact of the Ford Model T
When you think of the Ford Model T, you probably think of Henry Ford, the assembly line, and the beginning of mass-produced cars. While the so-called “Tin Lizzie” was far from the first car to be produced–early prototypes were being made as early as the 1700s–it is one of the most impactful vehicles in automotive history. Here are some of the ways the Model T has changed history and continues to touch our lives.
The Assembly Line
If you know anything about the Model T, you know that the car goes hand-in-hand with the assembly line. Henry Ford wasn’t the first businessman to employ assembly line procedures in his factories, but his adoption of the practice certainly had its effect on the Industrial-era United States. The assembly line allowed for a cheaper, faster manufacturing process, which saw a freshly-built Model T come off the line after just an hour and a half. This accelerated process cut down on the cost of manufacturing, and the savings were passed onto the consumer.
A Car in Every Garage
At the beginning of the 20th century, the assembly line was a novel concept, and it was one that Henry Ford didn’t stop tinkering; he was constantly making tweaks to his system to drive down the costs of production and further reduce the cost of his cars. As a result, the price for a Model T lowered from $800 in 1909 to $360 in 1927, the final year it was produced. By the end of the Model T’s production, Ford had sold 15 million of the vehicles. This was Ford’s plan from the beginning: in 1909, he stated that he wanted to “democratize the automobile,” and because of his assembly line, automobiles were no longer solely for the rich. Now, every American had access to the automobile.
The First Internationally-Produced Car
The Model T didn’t affect just the United States. The car also had global reach, with the car being manufactured not only in Detroit, but also in Canada and England. Eventually, the Model T was being produced throughout the world, including South America, Asia, and a larger part of Europe. This was the first time a car’s manufacture was so widespread, and Ford saw sales increase accordingly. Within ten years of its initial release, more than half the cars being produced around the world were Model Ts. Talk about cornering the market!
The Model T Today
Obviously, the Model T has played a huge part in not just automotive history, but also history as a whole. That makes the car much sought-after among car collectors, with owners asking for upwards of tens of thousands dollars for the vehicle. Of course, not everyone has that kind of money, so you can always visit the Model T, and its ilk, at any good automotive museum. To get an idea of how the Model T stacks up today, there are plenty of first-hand experiences in what it’s like to drive the car. Let’s just say we’re happy to stick with our modern-day Ford Fusion, thank you very much!