Henry Ford rode shotgun as his son Edsel drove the 15 millionth Model T out of Ford’s Highland Park, Michigan, factory on this day in 1927. This event marked the last day of production for the car that changed how the world moved. The Model T, or “Tin Lizzie” as it is affectionately known, first came to market in October 1908. This vehicle opened the American masses and people around the world to the opportunity to purchase an affordable, efficient and reliable vehicle. While initially sold for approximately $850, equivalent to about $20,000 today, the price would drop as production numbers improved. By 1925 the price was less than $300 (~ $6,000 today), making them attainable for just about anyone.
It is easily argued no other car made a greater impact on American motorists than the Ford Model T. This car is a primary reason the US government invested in highway expansion in the 1920s. As Ford himself said while delivering a eulogy for the car, “It broke down the barriers of distance in rural sections, brought people of these sections closer together and placed education within the reach of everyone.”
Ford Model A replaces the Model T
Ford completely ended auto production with the end of the T to retool factories for its replacement, the Model A. Henry Ford had hoped to continue producing his beloved T during this time, but a lack of demand shut down the plant as manufacturing it made no financial sense. After the last Model T rolled off the line, the Ford factories temporarily closed, leading to 60,000 layoffs. Ford sold less than 500,000 cars in 1927, less than half of Chevrolet’s sales. When Ford introduced the Model A in December later that year, consumers welcomed it with open arms, and open wallets.