The Ford Model T (Tin Lizzy) is an automobile that was produced by Ford Motor Co. from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile. The car that opened travel to the common middle class American. Some of this was because of Ford’s efficient fabrication including assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting.
The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 ‘Car of the Century’ competition. With 16.5 million sold, it still makes the top ten list of most sold cars of all time (ranked eighth) as of 2012.
Although automobiles had existed for decades, their adoption had been limited and were still mostly scarce and expensive. Automobiles were considered extreme luxury for the common man until the Model T. The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular for the mass market. The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, in Detroit, MI. On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, MI.
The Model T was Ford’s first automobile mass produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, marketed to the middle class, Henry Ford said of the vehicle: “I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.”
The Model T was powered by a 177 ci, 20 hp engine.