Ford T Tourer from 1923, 2892 cc, 20 HP, max. speed 72 km/h

The Ford Model T is an automobile that was produced by the Ford Motor Company from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, which made car travel available to middle-class Americans. The relatively low price was partly the result of Ford’s efficient fabrication, including assembly line production instead of individual handcrafting. It was mainly designed by an American (Childe Harold Wills) and two Hungarian engineers (Joseph A. Galamb, Eugene Farkas). The Model T was colloquially known as the “Tin Lizzie”, “Leaping Lena” or “flivver”.

The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, ahead of the BMC Mini, Citroën DS, and Volkswagen Beetle. Ford’s Model T was successful not only because it provided inexpensive transportation on a massive scale, but also because the car signified innovation for the rising middle class and became a powerful symbol of the United States’ age of modernization. With 15 million sold, it was the most sold car in history before being surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle in 1972, and still stood eighth on the top-ten list, as of 2012.

The Model T was designed by Childe Harold Wills, and Hungarian immigrants Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas. Henry Love, C. J. Smith, Gus Degner and Peter E. Martin were also part of the team.

Production of the Model T began in the third quarter of 1908. Collectors today sometimes classify Model Ts by build years and refer to these as “model years,” thus labeling the first Model Ts as 1909 models. This is a retroactive classification scheme; the concept of model years as understood today did not exist at the time. The nominal model designation was “Model T,” although design revisions did occur during the car’s two decades of production.

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