The 'Universal Car'
The 'Universal Car'
Members of the Byrne and Maguire team took the chance to immerse themselves in automotive history at the RDS AXA National Classic Car show. Among the fantastic range of vehicles, was this classic Model T Ford, an example of the innovative 'Universal Car' which transformed the world.
More than half the world's cars were Model T's during the mid 1920s. Introduced with a price tag of $850. The Model T later sold for as little as $260, because Ford passed along the savings from his production innovations.
The car that established a mass market for automobiles, the Model T, was introduced on Oct. 1, 1908. The first Model T had a 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, reached a top speed of about 45 miles per hour, got about 13 to 21 miles per gallon of gasoline and weighed 1,200 pounds. It was the ninth of Henry Ford's production cars.
More than 15,000,000 Model T's were built and sold. The Model T was the first low-priced, mass- produced car with standard interchangeable parts. The Model T popularized the left-side steering column. The engine design, a single block with a removable cylinder head, became the industry standard.
Henry Ford's initiation of mass production of vehicles on the moving assembly line led to lower car prices and the $5 workday.
Henry Ford called the Model T "the universal car," a low-cost, reliable vehicle that could be maintained easily. It successfully traveled the poor roads of the era, thanks to its three-point suspension. The Model T came in nine body styles, all on the same chassis. "Lizzie" was one of the most popular of the dozens of nicknames for the Model T.
The Model T's agile planetary transmission enabled novices to operate the gears, and was a forerunner of modern automatic transmission designs. Vanadium steel, an alloy manufactured for the company at the direction of Henry Ford, gave the car great strength and durability without extra weight.
In 1914, Ford with 13,000 employees produced about 300,000 cars, while 299 other companies with 66,350 employees produced about 280,000 vehicles. A modest ceremony on May 26, 1927, marked the formal end of Model T production.
The traditions of innovation in design and manufacturing established by the Model T continue to this day. You can discover the complete range of the Model T's modern descendants at Byrne and Maguire, from the popular Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus, to the stylish New Ford Mondeo and the hard working Ford Transit.