August 12, 1908 – The first Model T is produced

On this day in 1908 the first Ford Model T came together at the Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan. It would officially leave the factory on September 27 and be introduced to the masses on October 1, starting an automotive revolution that would last for decades. The Model T was Ford’s massively successful attempt at producing at an affordable automobile that could be acquired and operated by just about anyone. 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 the first mass produced vehicle constructed on a moving assembly line. The vehicle was initially designed by Childe Harold Wills, Joseph A. Galamb, Eugene Farkas, Henry Love, C. J. Smith, Gus Degner and Peter E. Martin. The original Model Ts featured a 4 cylinder, 177 cubic inch engine that produced 20 hp, giving the car a top speed of 40 – 45 MPH depending on the model, with a fuel efficiency of 13-21 MPG. In 1909 the price of a Runabout was $825, equivalent to $21,700 today. By 1916, after improvements to assembly efficiency, one could be had for just $345 and in 1925 the reached a low of $260, just $3,510 today! The car was built all over the world, including England, Japan, Germany, Argentina and Canada. The Model T won the 1999 competition titled Car of the Century as selected by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation. More than 15 million Model Ts were eventually produced.     Pictured:The first Model T ad from 1908. A full page ad that ran in the Saturday Evening Post.Model T assembly lineModel T plant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, c. 1921A 1927 Model T, the last year of production.

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