May 27, 2005

Today in Automotive History 1927

Today in Automotive History

1927 The People's Car

Production of the Ford Model T officially ended after 15,007,033 units had been built. The Model T sold more units than any other car model in history, until the Volkswagen Beetle eclipsed its record in the 1970s.

That a car produced domestically in the first three decades of the century could compete in production numbers with a car first produced in the '60s and distributed worldwide is testament to the dramatic genius of the Model T.

Before the introduction of the "Tin Lizzie," no car was reliable or affordable enough to be any good to the average man. In 1908, the Model T had a price tag of $850 and sold 6,389 units. In 1910, the price had dropped to $690 and the Tin Lizzie sold 34,528 units. By 1915, the price tag of Ford's "people's car" had reached an astounding $350 and sold, accordingly, 472,350 units.

Henry Ford's mass-production miracle even exceeded his own prophetic expectations. The Model T may have accomplished what the Monroe Doctrine only proposed. Here is Henry Ford's vision: "I will build a motor car for the great multitude, constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise ... so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one--and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces.

Posted by Quality Weenie at May 27, 2005 07:41 AM