The Ford Model T is a vehicle that was produced by Henry Ford’s Ford Motor Company from 1908 through 1927. The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular. It is generally regarded as the first affordable auto, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American; some of this was because of Ford’s innovations, including assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting. The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan.
On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan. The Model T was the first automobile mass produced on assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, marketed to the middle class. The Ford Model T car was designed by Childe Harold Wills and two Hungarian immigrants, Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas. Henry Love, C. J. Smith, Gus Degner and Peter E. Martin were also part of the team.
While production of the Model T began in the autumn of 1908, model years range from 1909 to 1927. The Model T had a 177-cubic-inch front mounted inline four-cylinder en bloc engine (that is, all four in one block, as common now, rather than in individual castings, as common then) producing 20 hp for a top speed of 40–45 mph. The Model T four-cylinder side valve engine was first in the world with a removable head, making service like valve jobs easier. According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel economy on the order of 13 to 21 mpg.
The engine was able to run on petrol, kerosene, or ethanol, although the decreasing cost of petrol and the later introduction of Prohibition made ethanol an unreasonable fuel. There were several cars produced or prototyped by Henry Ford from the founding of the company in 1903 until the Model T came along. Although he started with the Model A, there were not 19 production models; some were only prototypes. Before the Model T was the Model S, an upgraded version of the company’s largest success to that point, was the Model N.
The follow-up was the Ford Model A and not the Model U. Company exposure said this was because the new car was such a departure from the old that Henry wanted to start all over again with the letter A. As it happens, the first Plymouth car, built by competitor Chrysler Corporation, and was named Model U. The Ford Model T was named the world’s most influential car of the 20th century in an international poll. All in all, the Ford Model T car, created by Henry Ford, was an invention that created a milestone in history which began production of other automobiles.