In response to declining sales of the Model T, Ford announced in late 1925 that a new 'Improved Ford' would be available for the 1926 model year.
The new Fords marked the first major restyling of the Model T since 1917. New fenders, running boards, bodies, hood and even a slightly modified chassis made these Ford visually different compared to the cars that preceded them. For the first time, the touring car was given an opening door on the driver's side. The most significant change, however, was the choice of optional colors. Since 1914, all Model T's had been available in 'any color you want as long as it is black' but the cars built during the final two years of production were also available in optional colors such as gray, maroon, brown and green. Factory accessories available in 1926 and 1927 included front and rear bumpers, wire wheels, a nickel plated radiator shell and a vacuum operated windshield wiper.
By May of 1927, Ford Motor Company had ended production of the Model T and closed all its facilities to retool for a new automobile, the Model A. When production ended, over 15 million Model T's had been built and sold worldwide during the 19 year period they were produced.
This 1927 coupe sold new for $485 and is one of approximately 70,000 made during that year.
This 1927 Ford Model T Sport Roadster was restored during the years 1974-1979. Its 4-cylinder engine offered 20 horsepower and it is painted in its original color of straw and black. It is accessorized with wire wheels. When new, the car sold for $280.
This car was built on April 18th of 1927, one of the last Model Ts produced, as Ford had quit making the Model T on May 31st of 1927.
This car was found at Imbler, Oregon in 1974 and was in bad need of restoration. Currently, the car is driven on tours and has participated in several National 'T' model tours throughout the northwest. By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011
This 1927 Ford Model 'T' Roadster Pickup has been given a frame-off restoration. It is one of only 500 examples built. It retains its original fender and box-oak wood deck. It is equipped with a Moto-meter, two-speed gearbox, four-cylinder engine, and a driver's side mirrors. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
Sold for $15,125 at 2012 Worldwide Auctioneers. Sold for $26,400 at 2013 Gooding & Company. 1927 was the final year for Model T production. This Roadster Pickup is an example of pre-war hot-rodding. It was modified just prior to WWII by John L. Fernato of Modesto, California and was fitted with many speed shop upgrades that were common at the time. It was later acquired and rebuilt by Vern Tardel who was responsible for the vehicle's stylish enhancements. Period upgrades include a Rajo overhead valve and a Simmons Swan intake with a Zenith downdraft carburetor. It was further enhanced with a Ruckstell two-speed rear axle and a Warford Model A three-speed gearbox conversion. Additional mechanical upgrades included an Autopulse electric fuel pump, a water pump conversion with non-pressurized radiator, a finned exhaust manifold, coil ignition, an Autolite distributor with full Bosch front plate, a Remy gear-driven generator, and a pressurized oil pump.
The body features a chopped windshield and top. There are dual side mounts, a chrome radiator surround, Studebaker 18-inch wire wheels, and a spotlight. The dashboard has two oil gauges and the original exhaust cutout.
The Roadster Pickup was a true barn find in California's Central Valley. It appears as it did when parked in 1948. It was given a new set of tires, minor mechanical work was performed, and very little else was needed. It is an untouched pre-war hot rod.
In 2013, the vehicle was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Scottsdale, Arizona auction. It was estimated to sell for $35,000 - $45,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, it had been sold for the sum of $26,400 including buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2013
The Ford Model T has an extensive history in the automotive market lasting for nearly 20 years. It is often called the 'Tin Lizzie' and the 'Flivver' and is credited with 'putting America on wheels.' During the early 1900's, the automobile was very new and the market place was adjusting to having these horseless carriages carry its passengers rather than bicycles or horses. Steam, electricity, and gasoline were the three means of powering the vehicles. Up until about 1915, no one really knew which would be the favorable power-source. Steam provided many benefits such as being quiet, clean, and cheap. Gasoline or kerosene fuel was used to heat water in a boiler; the steam produced was channeled to the cylinders, where the pressure drives the pistons up and down. The shortcomings were that it took a while to start, having to wait for the steam to prepare. It was dangerous, often exploding and causing injury. It had a limited range, lasting about 20-40 miles before requiring a refueling. Electricity was popular but it too had a limited range. It was easy to start and was very popular with the ladies for driving around town. Then there was gasoline, which was dirty and hard to start. It required fueling stations which were sometimes difficult to find in this new and evolving marketplace. The main benefit of the gasoline engine was that it had the most potential and an ever increasing amount of power. It was said that how a vehicle finished on the race track often determined the success of sales. With gasoline engines winning most of the races, the other sources of power were eventually doomed.
There were over 200 automobile manufacturers during the early 1900's. The average production figures for a factory were a couple hundred vehicles a year. This of course varied greatly due to the complexity and prestige of the vehicle being produced. Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, produced a vehicle that was affordable, but more importantly, mass produced. By using an assembly line to construct parts, rather than the traditional hand assembly, the process was streamlined. Using an assembly line process was not new, it had been done before in the meat packing industry. William C. Klan had visited a slaughterhouse in Chicago. Upon returning from his visit, he proposed the idea to Peter Martin. A team was assembled and perfected through trial and error. The assembly line did not begin operation on the Model T until 1914. The assembly line process streamlined the production greatly, now averaging just over 90 minutes to assemble a car. During 1914, there were more Ford's produced than all other manufacturers combined. At that point 'you get it in any color you wanted so long as it was black'. Henry Ford favored the black color because it dried the fastest. During the years 1917 through 1923, Ford did not do any advertising, with 9 out of 10 cars being Fords, none was necessary.
He paid his workers a wage proportionate to the cost of the automobile, so they would be able to buy what they produced. By introducing these innovations, his factories were able to out produce and outsell the rest of the industry and mobilize the country. When production of the Model T began, the cost was around $850, around $1200 less than most cars. By the early 1920's, the price of the Model T cost about $300. Ford had found many ways to cut costs and offer the least-expensive product. He instructed his suppliers how to assemble the wood crates that were used to ship him parts. The crates were then dismantled and used within the bodies of the car. The scrapes were made into charcoal and sold under the name 'Kingsford'.
The first Model T was produced on September 27th, 1908 at the Piquette Plant in Detoit, Michigan. There are two classes of the Model T, those that were produced before 1919 and after 1919. The pre-1919 Model T's are known as veteran cars while the later models are called vintage cars. Even though the name Model T was used for almost twenty years, it was much improved both visually and mechanically over the years. At all times, the vehicle could be had in a wide variety of bodystyles. The open touring cars and roadsters were cheaper to produced and thus, produced in greater numbers. The Volkswagen 'Beetle' is the only car model to outsell the Model T Ford.
The Model T was designed by Henry Ford, Childe Harold Wills, Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas. A 177 cubic-inch four-cylinder motor was placed in the front and powered the rear wheels. The 20 horsepower engine was capable of carrying the vehicle to a top speed of around 45 mph. There were three main bearings and side valves. A ten gallon fuel tank could be found beneath the front seat, mounted to the frame. The engine started by a hand crank located at the front of the vehicle. The crank was very difficult to operate and has been the cause of many broken arms.
The smaller engines were favored by Henry Ford. His Model K had used a six-cylinder engine, but when production ceased around 1908, a six-cylinder engine would not be used again by Ford until 1941. The Model K had not been a sales success. While Ford had wanted to produce small and inexpensive vehicles, his board of directors had persuaded him to produce a larger, luxurious, and expensive model. In 1906, Henry Ford purchased the majority of stock leaving him in control and in charge of the direction of the company. After World War I he purchased the remaining Ford stock so he could dispense with the board of directors entirely. From 1906 through 1908, Ford created the Model N, R and S which eventually evolving into the Model T.
A 'three speed' planetary gear type transmission was used. This had been used in the Model K but was not suited to such a large vehicle. As a result it suffered from frequent breakdowns, but worked fine in the Model T. The 3-speed unit was actually two-speeds forward plus one reverse. With no clutch pedal, shifting was handled by floor pedals that did not require a clutch. Also located on the floor was a third pedal which operated the reverse gear. The throttle was controlled by a lever on the steering column. Neutral was located by the parking brake lever. The other foot pedal applied a band around a drum in the transmission. The parking brake lever operated the band brakes on the outside of the rear brake drums. When the hand lever was pulled back, the brake was engaged and the drive gears were disengaged.
Wooden 'artillery wheels' were standard until 1926 when they were replaced with steel wire wheels. The suspension was a transversely mounted semi-elliptical spring for both the front and rear axle. Brass was used throughout the earlier vehicles for items such as horns, radiators, and headlights. Headlights were acetylene lamps but later switched to electric lights.
Sales peaked in 1924 with over 2 million automobiles leaving the assembly line. By this time, many of Ford's competitors had switched to the same principles that had made the Model T success: a cheap and reliable vehicle built on an assembly line produced in mass quantities. Other manufactures started attracting new buyers by offering amenities, extras, or larger engines. Popular options included windshield wipers, anti-theft locks, and light dimmers. Chevrolet vehicles had three forward gears while the Model T still used only two. Also, since the Model T's were so durable, they were still in functioning order. Meaning that many owners did not need a car or when they did, they usually bought a more luxurious vehicle. The used Model T's were then sold for next-to-nothing. Sales began to dip in 1925 and dramatically in 1926. Production ceased in 1927 for nearly six months while preparations were made for the production of the Model A.
The Model T mobilized a nation, not only the United States, but many other countries. With dealerships and factories setup throughout the world, the Model T was mass produced and easily available to many buyers. Often, the factories were established in other countries to get around an import tax, thus keeping the cost low. The innovative Model T served its purpose. It was inexpensive and reliable, many lasting even to this day. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
Scottsdale, Arizona (January 13th, 2016) – Astute Collectors of the worlds most sought after and most valuable automobiles know that Scottsdale, Arizona in January is where the market values for collector...
DETROIT – The General Motors Foundation is pledging 500,000 to Habitat for Humanity to help victims of the recent tornadoes in five Texas counties. The funds will be used to help restore neighborhoods...