Ford Model T

In 1908 the first generally affordable car was developed by Henry Ford. It made travelling via car accessible to millions of middle-class Americans, a possibility previously only available to very wealthy at the time.

Among the most famous innovations behind the success of Ford was the change to assembly line production instead of hand crafting of vehicle. The Ford Model T is considered the world's most influential car of the 20th century in a number of international polls.

The Ford Model T got its name and marking simply because Henry Ford had run through the alphabet from A to S, building many prototypes along the way to the final product.

Designed as a touring vehicle at first, Model T wasn't the prettiest or the fastest vehicle. Inexpensive and fast to build the car became popular under the name Tin Lizzie.

Ford Model T was originally built with 22 horsepower four-cylinder engine, which could achieve a speed of 40 miles an hour. Cooling system was through thermo-siphon method, providing lubrication via splash system. The gas tank was placed below the front seat of the vehicle, providing fuel for the engine.

A yearly production started at 10,000 cars in 1908 and topped the 200,000 mark in 1913, when Ford produced more cars than all national automakers combined. In 1913 Tin Lizzie was assembled fully in mere 93 minutes, at the time when most of competition assembled the vehicles in several days time. The price was $825 at first and steadily reduced with the increase in production output.

In 1924 a new Ford Model T was purchased for as little as $260. Success was based on three main foundations: simplicity, toughness and competitive price. The Model T had a 177-cubic-inch (2.9 L) front-mounted inline four-cylinder en bloc flathead engine producing 20 hp (15 kW) for a top speed of 40–45 mph.

The Model T four-cylinder side valve engine was first in the world with a detachable head, making service like valve jobs easier. According to Ford Motor Company, the engine was capable of running on gasoline, kerosene, or even ethanol. However, the Prohibition era made ethanol an impractical fuel and low cost gasoline became the dominant fuel.

In 1914 Henry Ford said "the public can have any color it wants, so long as it's black!", thus definitely restricting production specifications. The statement had much sense since black Japan enamel finish was the only one in the world which could dry fast in the pace of the Ford assembly line.

The Model T quickly became a household name thanks to Henry Ford's innovative manufacturing process. Between 1908 and 1927 there have been 15,007,033 units produced in United States, making Model T one of legendary American vehicles.

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