Ford “Model T runabout”, 1917.
The Model T the “World Car” that Henry Ford firmly wished, was introduced in the USA in October 1908. This model epitomized Ford’s philosophy: interchangeable body, pedal brake on the transmission and lever brake on the rear wheels, two-speed epicycle gearbox and pedal control reverse.
There were three pedals on the floor: the first to go into reverse, the second for the clutch to go into the first gear and the last one for the brake.
The Tin Lizzie was always built in according with this philosophy: “… whatever doesn’t exist doesn’t break”. Also the fuel pump was missing: it was unnecessary as the fuel tank, placed upper than the carburettor, fed it simply by fall. The chassis was in vanadium steel, which guaranteed resistance, hardness and flexibility. In accordance with the new American road rules, the steering wheel was on the left: it allowed the driver to get off the car on the clean side of the road and what is important it gave him a wider view of the road when he was overtaking.
With the Model T, Ford introduced also the production system which revolutionized the car industry: in 1913 the first assembly line was operative. It was at this phase of the car life that it was possible to order it “of any color if only it is black”.
See also the Ford “T Snow Machine” of 1923.
- 2016, Exhibition “Oltre l’Uomo – da Leonardo alle biotecnologie“ .