What Is The Ford Metal T?
Henry Ford devised and designed the ‘Model T’ For his Ford Motor Company. The Model T hit the assembly line in 1908 and continued production until 1927. It sold at a retail price of $850 in 1908 and dropped as low as $300 in 1925 (that’s £213 in today’s money!). Thanks to the incredibly low price and the car’s popularity, it accounted for 40 percent of all cars purchased in the US at one time. To this day, it remains an iconic automobile, etched into the annuls of US pop culture. Model T fans referred to the car with two affectionate names that have come to define its symbolism.
The year was 1922. Noel Bullock entered his Model T with the nickname ‘Old Liz’ into the Pikes Peak, Colorado championship race and to the surprise of the onlookers-won! A Tin Lizzie in modern Us culture is the equivalent of the oh so English ‘banger’, used to describe and old and beaten up car of any model and kind.
The ‘flivver’ or sky ‘flivver’ is a name given to the Model T due to its single seater status and tiny lightweight exterior. Ford is also alleged to have said
“Mark my word. A combination airplane and motor car is coming. You may smile. But it will come”
In actual fact, the Model T came in a number of body styles and 2, 5 and 7 seat options. The engine was small and compact with a detachable cylinder head. The ‘Tin Lizzie’ reached speeds up to 45 miles per hour, modest by today standards. As much as this vehicle or the was popular, it wasn’t without its drawbacks like the crank handle you had to start it up with or the awkwardly placed 10 gallon tank, situated under the front seat. Tin Lizzie ended up being the butt of many a joke like this one:
“The other day I took a drive down a country road, where I happened upon one of my neighbours standing under a large tree looking forlornly into the branches. I stopped and asked him what was wrong, and he held up the hand crank from his Ford.”
“I was cranking it and it flew off the handle!”
How Much Would A Classic Model T Cost Now?
If you’re a classic car buff looking to snap up a restored Model T, be prepared to pay as much as £30,000.
Brits Who Love The Model T
Love the Model T? You could join the Model T Ford Register of Great Britain, a club founded by, Lord Montagu of Beaulie, son of the famous MP, Edward-Douglas-Scott Montagu. You can participate in year around events held for fellow Model T enthusiasts in exotic locations such as Norwich and Ijsselmeer (Holland). You will also get to peruse the T-Topics magazine for historical articles and pictures of Model T rallys. 110 years on, the love for this classic car is well and truly alive!