September 8, 2008
Assembling the Model T, photo courtesy Archives of Michigan
The September 2008 Image of the Month from the Archives of Michigan (click through for more pictures) says that the first production Model T was completed Sept. 27, 1908, at Ford’s Piquette Avenue plant in Detroit.
…Henry Ford wanted a car that the average American could afford. The Model T initially sold for $850. The price continued to drop as Ford’s assembly line technology improved production efficiency. According to Willis F. Dunbar and George S. May’s third revised edition of Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State, a Model T touring car cost only $360 by 1916.
The Model T also proved remarkably easy to maintain. Dunbar and May note, for example, that it “was so easy to repair that almost anyone could fix something … with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver.” Gasoline seldom proved an onerous expense, either. On page 45 of The Ford Century author Russ Bahnam notes that the Model T averaged twenty-five miles per gallon – with a gallon of gas typically costing only twenty cents!
The Ford Motor Company produced over 15 million Model Ts between 1908 and 1927. According to The Henry Ford of Dearborn, Mich., the Volkswagen Beetle is the only model with a greater production record!