As they say, 'necessity is the mother of all inventions' and this saying surely enticed Mr Henry Ford to introduce Model T – the car that revolutionized the entire auto industry and paved the way for what we drive nowadays and made the 'Blue Oval' – Ford Motor Company one of the epitome of the automobile sector. But is that all what you know! Well, there are things you should know before coming to Model T. Speed has always influenced inventors in reaching new milestone, they are always craving for attaining newer speed records and to reduce travel time which ultimately, led to the transition from bullock & horse karts to a self-propelled vehicle. Let's roll you down the history lane.
The journey started - World's first car powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine
After the animal propelled karts, there were several steam engine driven vehicle prototypes until the beginning of Gasoline engine era. Carl Benz considered to be the founder of modern day motoring. Carl sparked the series of inventions in the auto arena and till this day we are still inventing!
The German scientist introduced the world's first stationary gasoline powered engine in year 1879. The overwhelming success of the engine geared his dream to introduce engine driven vehicle. Voilà, the day came, July 3, 1886 the world's first car – sees the light of the day.
Carl Benz gets German patent number 37435, launches 'Motorwagen' a self propelled three-wheeler pulled by a two stroke gasoline (petrol) engine. The vehicle sported tubular steel frame and wooden parts with rear mounted engine that produced an output of 0.75 hp.
The engine also featured traits that were never heard before like an automatic intake slide and a controlled exhaust valve, a high-voltage electrical vibrator ignition and an evaporative cooling system. Other companies in this era were the Panhard & Levassor and Peugeot; Daimler engine was involved in the manufacturing of cars from both these automakers. Daimler mastered in engine manufacturing and development.
Then came era of Ford – the Model T
Let's see what was happening across the Atlantic at the same period. Henry Ford the man behind what American auto sector is today, started Ford Motor company in 1903. Henry Ford introduced Model T after five years of establishment of Ford Motor Company. The Model T was launched on October 1, 1908.
T was not the first car, but the only car than even people after two generations remember this car. It was the car that changed how an average middle-class American family or even in the Europe (later) used to go to work, travel and live; it was the car that was not made for riches for their pleasure, but rather than for an average family to get around – as a result it was a run-away success.
Automobiles had been in the market for quite some years, but it was the Model T that made it to mass production – thanks to the T the world came to know the concept of 'Assembly Line'. Henry Ford introduced first conveyor belt mass production automobile assemble line on December 1, 1913.
The Model T is powered by a 2.9 liter four cylinder 22 horsepower engine mated to a two speed planetary gear capable of propelling the vehicle to speeds of 40-45mph nearly 60-70kmph. The vehicle was offered in numerous body styles and was sold in between 1908–1927, in this period, Ford sold more than 15 million.
T Model will always remain as that the car that made motoring available and joyous to the common man; in America the Ford's baby was known by “Tin Lizzie” !!