Any Colour as long as it’s Black? 9th October, 2018
The oldest car at this Saturday’s classic car auction in Leithfield is also one of the most important. The Ford Model T took the car from a hand built luxury item for the wealthy to a mass produced ‘must have’ for middle class Americans. If you’re into cars then you have to acknowledge the Model T as the most influential car in history. Wouldn’t it be great to own one?
While the Mini, the Volkswagen Beetle and Citroen 2CV mobilised nations by being affordable as well as desirable, it was Ford’s Tin Lizzie that created the template for the others to follow.
Before the Model T there were other cars that were handmade and expensive but the T was affordable, reliable and available. Average Americans could buy them and buy them they did. Over 16 million were sold between 1908 and 1927, still one of the largest selling models of all-time, and it changed America’s landscape. More cars meant more roads, more gas stations, more motels...America became a car nation.
The key to the Model T’s success was the moving production line. It wasn’t rolling from day one but evolved as demand grew. In 1909 there were 10666 Model Ts built and the retail price was $825 but by 1924, when this car was built, Ford were up to 2 million Model Ts a year and the cost had fallen to $265.
One of Henry Ford’s famous quotes was “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black” but for the first 5 years of production the model T was available in grey, green, blue and red, but not black.
However, black became synonymous with the Model T and the car being auctioned is from 1924 and is very definitely black. It’s in very tidy condition but it will require re-compliance to get it back on the road as the registration has lapsed.
Owning a Model T would be a privilege. This is a chance to own not only one of the most important cars but one of the most important examples of 20th century technology. More details here.
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