History of the Famous Ford

The Car We Love Today

In the year of 2000, The Global Automotive Elections Foundation voted the Model T Ford as the car of the 20th Century
FORD :: The Universal Car

Details of the Model T

Engine 20 horsepower, 4 cylinder in line L-head side valve with detachable cylinder head and 3 bearing crankshaft.
Bore/Stroke: 3 ¾ by 4” Displacement: 2896 cc (177 cubic inches)
Gearbox Integral with the engine. Foot operated 2 speed and reverse epicyclic transmission foot-brake.
Transmission Torque tube driveshaft to live rear axle.  Hand-brake to rear wheels.
Ignition Flywheel magneto, producing an alternating current, operating four trembler coils via a low-tension distributor (commutator or timer)
Chassis Finest quality vanadium steel was utilised throughout to create a tough lightweight construction with three point suspension to both front and rear axles. Transverse leaf springs and radius rods.


Initially, Model Ts had acetylene headlamps and oil side and rear lamps and needed to be hand cranked to start the engine. Over the years, improvements were made including electric starters, lighting and horns. Instruments were minimal with speedometers optional and ammeters standard on later cars.

Late 1909 Touring Car Photographed In Lincolnshire
Body The most popular body styles were two and five seater open touring cars however a very wide variety of bodies were available over the years including closed cars, vans and 1-ton truck versions. Special bodies and many other parts were available from accessory suppliers, so it was possible to convert your Model T car to anything from a 25 seater Charabanc or taxi to a racing car or tractor.

Where Built It is not clear exactly how many Model Ts were built between 1908 and 1927 but there is no doubt that over 15 million were produced. The main factory in Dearborn near Detroit produced the vast majority of these but many cars were also built in other countries including Canada and England (Trafford Park in Manchester). Production peaked at over 2 million vehicles in 1923 with over 150,000 of these produced at Trafford Park.

The English Ford The Trafford Park factory initially started assembling Model Ts in 1911, importing the major
1910 TOURING CAR.
mechanical parts from Detroit and using local suppliers for bodies etc. Over the production period, apart from right hand drive models, various modifications were also made to make the Model T more appealing to the British buyer. By 1924, Trafford Park built Model Ts were made from 94% British parts. They sold for around �135. Model T car sales in Britain were hit by the restrictive horsepower tax in the early 20s but commercial versions continued to sell well and became Britain's best selling light commercial vehicle of the period.

Driving a Model T is easy; if you've never driven a conventional car. The accelerator is controlled by hand using a lever under the steering wheel. Forward gears are selected using the left of the three pedals, reverse by using the centre pedal and braking is achieved using the right pedal. There is also a hand-brake, an ignition switch and an ignition advance lever and that's all! Normal cruising speed is 35 - 40 mph and fuel consumption is 20 - 25 mpg. There are no indicators or windscreen wipers, the air conditioning is natural and there's no stereo!