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Model T (
1908 - 1927
1913 Ford Model T
1913 Ford Model T
1913 Ford Model T news, pictures, specifications, and information
Ford's Model T radically altered American society by putting affordable transportation within reach of the majority of the population. The car sold millions of units and remained virtually unchanged for two decades. The 1913 Model is the last T available in choice of paint colors. Given the fact that the black paint of the era dried much faster than other colors, Ford sacrificed variety for production speed. This practice continued into the mid-1920's, giving rise tot eh observation that you could buy a Model T in 'any color, so long as it's black.'
Source - AACA Museum
Sold for $14,300 at
2007 RM Auctions
This 1913 Ford Model T Speedster is powered by a 176.7 cubic-inch L-head cast-iron engine with four-cylinders capable of producing 20 horsepower. It has a two-speed planetary transmission with reverse, and sits on a 100-inch wheelbase. It was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions at Meadow Brook Hall where it was offered without reserve and estimated to fetch between $30,000 - $40,000.
The Model T was in production for 19 years and during that time it was the world's most affordable car. This example has spent much of its life in a museum in Chatsworth, Georgia. Prior to this, it was in the procession of a Ford dealer in Virginia. In the mid-1990s it was treated to a restoration and has been shown in local parades and shows in the Southeastern United States.
The two-tone green color of the vehicle is unusual though it gives the vehicle a distinct appeal and segregates it from other Ford Model T Speedster. The restoration is still in excellent specimen and it is reported to be in proficient running condition. At auction, the buyer of this vehicle was treated to a bargain, as its lack of reserve allowed the vehicle to be sold well under the estimated value. It was sold for $14,300, under half of its estimated selling price.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007
By the end of the 1912 model year, Ford had produced and sold nearly 160,000 Model T's and was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in America. In 1913, the Model T was redesigned with front doors and a new 'dog leg' style windshield was used to give the car a more contemporary look. Mechanically, the car was further improved and components such as the rear end were now more rugged and dependable.
The use of brass trim on automobiles was becoming antiquated and by 1913 automobile companies were beginning to use either nickel plating or painted accessories. Also by 1913, most automobile companies had changed from gas to electric lighting and were supplying their cars with electric starters. In order to keep costs down, Ford continued the use of brass trimmed gas lights until 1914 and would not introduce a self started until 1919.
Sales of the Model T continued to climb and nearly 200,000 Model T Fords were built and sold in 1913. By the end of 1913, Ford had established his famous moving assembly line which would allow cars to be assembled at a much faster rate.
This 1913 runabout sold new for $525 in 1913 and was one of 33,129 runabout models built that year.
Ford recognized the important of building commercial vehicles in 1912 and consequently produced a delivery van. The new van proved to be unsuccessful, however, as commercial vehicle purchasers wanted vehicles that were designed to suit their particular needs.
Ford discontinued the delivery truck for 1913, but did offer the Model T chassis without a body to customers who wanted to build their own bodies or purchase an already made body from one of the several aftermarket body companies that existed during this period. The chassis were sold complete with fenders, radiators, hoods and dashboards.
This 1913 Model T Delivery Truck was used by The Schneider Meat Company of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Schneider's remains in business today. This vehicle was restored by Schneider's to resemble one of their original delivery trucks and has been used in numerous television commercials and promotional events throughout Canada. Schneider's donated this Model T to the Canadian Transpiration Museum in Essex, Ontario where it currently resides.
The Ford Model T was 'the car that put America on wheels.' It was in production, albeit with very subtle changes, for 20 years - from 1907 until 1927. During that time more than 15 million were built.
The Model T has been described as having 'a chassis of blessed simplicity and dogged reliability.' That was true. It was equipped with a four-cylinder, side valve motor that produced 20 horsepower, and a planetary transmission.
Five different body styles were available in 1913 on the Ford Model T chassis - a runabout, coupe, touring car, town car and delivery vehicle. The touring car, such as this vehicle, sold for $600 in 1913.
Beginning in 1913, the worlds 'Made in the U.S.A.' appeared on the car's radiator, before the Ford logo.
Ford produced a 'Commercial Runabout', also called a 'Delivery Car', from 1910 through 1912. It had a flat rear deck used to transport light freight. Unfortunately, this vehicle was a 'sales disaster', so it was discontinued for the 1913 model year. It had a merchandise capacity of 750 pounds and sold for $700. Between 1913 and 1927, Ford offered a 'bare' chassis without a body. Buyers would then have the option of having a local carriage or wagon maker fit a body to the car. This particular example has a Express Type truck body. Express Type bodies came with either a short or full-length 'tops' or beds. Some examples had wire sides to help contain merchandise when the bed was piled too high.
Two of the larger manufacturers of these types of bodies for the Model Ts in Central Pennsylvania were Martin-Parry, in York, and the Mifflinburg Buggy Works, in Union County.
Canadian production of Ford products began in 1913. To help distinguish the US based Fords and their Canadian siblings, 'Made in USA' was stamped on the radiator under the Ford name. The basic items fitted to the Ford included 3 oil lamps (two on the sides and one in the back), windshield, top, gas headlamps, horns, generator and speedometer.
This example is currently on display in the Swigart Museum. It was bought in Ebensburg in 1949, by W.E. Swigart Jr.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2016
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
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