Anyone for T?

1 October 2014

Priced at $850, the first production Model T was announced for release on 1 October 1908 in Detroit, USA. The design and development had started in late 1906 with the first factory built Model T produced on 24 September 1908. Achieving 20mpg (gasoline/petrol) and 85mpg (oil), the first production standard engine was produced three days later and the Model T was showcased at the Olympia Exhibition held in London on 13 November.

The Model T was the first Ford vehicle built with the steering wheel on the left and was a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the ninth of Henry Ford’s productions (with previous production models, A, B, C, F, K, N, R and S!) By 1910, he had nine sales branches in the US; in Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist and the founder of the Ford Motor Company. He did not invent the automobile or the assembly line but he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from a luxury to a practical vehicle which would profoundly changed the landscape of the twentieth century.

As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War One and also for being the publisher of anti-Semitic texts such as the book The International Jew.

In ill health, Ford relinquished the presidency of Ford Motor Company to his grandson Henry Ford II (in September 1945) and went into retirement. He died in 1947 of a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 83 in Fair Lane at his Dearborn estate. He left most of his wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

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