1912 Ford Model T

Commercial Roadster
Chassis Num: 147294
Sold for $20,900 at 2006 Gooding & Company.
This 1912 Ford Model T Roadster is unique; as it rolled off the assembly line as a rolling chassis it was placed on a steam boat where it made the long travel to Australia. Once arriving in Australia, it was given a two-seat open touring body by the Globe Motor and Taxi Company of Melbourne. It is powered by a four-cylinder 176-cubic inch engine that is matted to a two-speed Planetary transmission. There is a two-speed rear axle with Rocky Mountain brakes.

This car has been treated to a recent restoration and has been a regular participant in many tours, events, and outings. It was offered for sale at the 2006 Gooding & Company Auction in Pebble Beach where it was estimated to sell between $30,000-$40,000. Those estimates were a little high as the car found a new owner for $20,900. The Pebble Beach auction was very exclusive and it was probably a little hard to convince buyers that this was not a mass-produced vehicle but rather a custom built masterpiece.

Transmission is the standard 2-speed planetary unit with a magneto located in front of the flywheel. This magneto supplied ignition current generated in a set of stationary coils.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
Chassis Num: 111059
Sold for $51,700 at 2008 RM Sothebys.
The Model T Ford was introduced in October of 1908 and remained in production for the next 19 years. In total, more than 15 million examples were produced thanks, in part, to the low cost and mass-production methods of the assembly line.

This example is powered by a 176 cubic-inch side-valve four-cylinder engine that produces 22 horsepower and mated to a two-speed planetary transmission. There is a foot-operated transmission brake and hand-operated rear wheel mechanical drum brakes. It has a Touring bodystyle that, for 1912, had become more affordable than in prior years. It features removable 'fore' doors in the front, black upholstery, black leatherette top, authentic all-gray tires, and correct Ford-script brass headlamps, side lamps, and tail lamps. It has been recently treated to a restoration to concours quality and was offered for sale at the 2008 Automobiles of Amelia auction by RM Auctions. This car was estimated to sell for $60,000 - $80,000 with the final sale figures being slightly less, at $51,700 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
C-Cab Delivery
Chassis Num: 93710
Sold for $33,000 at 2006 RM Sothebys.
Sold for $38,500 at 2007 RM Sothebys.
Sold for $22,000 at 2007 RM Sothebys.
Sold for $30,250 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
The Ford Model T began life in 1908 and a few years later, in 1911, Ford offered a factory-built truck on the T chassis for the first time. A Commercial Roadster and enclosed delivery cars were available, but not with a permanent roof to offer protection for the driver. In October of 1911, Ford introduced the C-Cab Delivery. It was given this name due to the design of the roof.

This Model T C-Cab was discovered in the early 1990s in Ontario, Canada. A comprehensive restoration soon began and was finished in 1997. The work included a complete mechanical overall and it was given a Model T-type electric starter and a brass acetylene generator to power the lights. The bodywork was stripped, rebuilt and repainted in Midnight Blue with French Gray pinstripes and black fenders.

In 2009, this T C-Cab Delivery Truck was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $60,000 and offered without reserve. The lot was sold for the sum of $30,250 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2009
In early 1912, Ford once again changed the appearance of the Model T. The touring cars were now supplied with removable front 'fore doors' and had a smoother body. The bodies were built of wood with a sheet metal overlay and were still finished in dark blue as they were in 1911. The 1912 Model T Fords were offered in six different body styles, including a touring car, torpedo roadster, runabout, town car, and a delivery van.

Mechanically, the 1912 Model T's remained basically the same as the 1911 models. All Model T Fords were built on a chassis with a 100 inch wheelbase and were supplied with 30x3 inch tires in the front and 30x3.5 tires in the rear. The Model T's built prior to 1919 were supplied with non-demountable wheels. This meant that if a flat tire occurred, the tire had to be removed from the rim and a new tube installed. In 1919, demountable wheels were available which allowed for a spare rim with the tire attached to be carried. This was a much easier roadside fix than the earlier style.

This Model T Touring car is one of 50,598 touring cars built during the 1912 model year and sold new for $690. By 1912, nearly 40 percent of all vehicles in America were Model T Fords.
This car was built in June of 1912. The blue color is original as the 1912 Model T was hand built. The famous Ford assembly line was started in 1913 and all Model T's were black from that point forward. This car is 123,884 of 15,000,000 built and sold for $690 new.

The Quantz family restored this car in 1985 and have driven it over 10,000 miles since completion.
Chassis Num: 13662257
Engine Num: 13662257
Sold for $24,200 at 2012 Gooding & Company.
Fords Open Runabout Speedster was created in response to the customized Ford Model T that arrived in Seattle on June 23rd of 1909. It was a stripped-down, minimalistic vehicle that had finished the Guggenheim-sponsored Transcontinental Endurance Run in 23 days after leaving New York City. Ford's Open Runabout had a lowered stance and relocated fuel tank. To race-minded individuals, Ford offered its Model T as a bare chassis, ready for customization.

This Model T Speedster was built in the spirit of competition. This car is the work of Greg Gouveia of San Luis Obispo, California, founder of The Brassworks company. Mr. Gouveia has built 20 examples of the Model T Speedster, using genuine pre-1915 Model T frames and engines, as well as original Ford transmissions, axles and brakes. The engine features the 26/27 model year updates with oversized, forged aluminum pistons, a polished and ground crankshaft, and new Babbitt bearings. The tail lamp is kerosene-fired and the headlights are traditional carbide-burning units that are equipped to be fed by the addition of either a carbide generator or pressurized acetylene bottle.
By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2012
Chassis Num: 6827006
Sold for $37,400 at 2013 RM Sothebys.
This Model T is believed to be a 1912 chassis, although it appears that a 1922 engine, not all that different from the original, is presently installed. While the date of its construction is unknown, the car is period-correct in all details, including its charming brass lamps, a racing-style radiator shell, a tied-down hood, and a pair of curved bucket seats with the famous oval tank and square-section rear behind. The car has dual rear-mounted spares in similar fashion to Simplex speed cars and racing Thomases of the time. The car rides on white rubber wheels which are also period correct.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 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
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