Most people believe that Henry Ford invented the assembly line, but that is not true. Ransom E. Olds developed the assembly line in 1901 and first used it on the 1901 Oldsmobile Curved Dash, the first mass-produced car.
But Henry Ford made a lot of advancements to the assembly line and made it a much more efficient system from 1913-26.
In 1913, Ford began using the moving assembly line and produced a whopping 170,211 cars, which allowed the price of the 1913 Model T’s to be sold for $600. Efficiency improved so much over the next 13 years that by the end of the Model T’s production run in May 1927, the price has been reduced to only $300.
The Model T was the first mass-produced car built with 100 percent interchangeable parts, and at $300 it was finally affordable to most middle-class folks.
The 1909 model was powered by a 177 cubic-inch four-cylinder engine that produced about 20 horsepower and had a top speed of around 25 mph. All four cylinders were in single castiron block. Previously, cylinder blocks were cast in pairs – two cylinders per block. In 1909, Ford began using a Vanadium steel alloy, which added strength and weighed less.
The four-cylinder engine was mated with a two-speed planetary transmission, and the two shared the same oil.
Headlamps, windshields and tops were not available on the early 1909 Model T’s but were added later that year.
Most 1909 models had wood bodies; however, about a thousand aluminum bodies were made by Pontiac for Ford before Ford returned to using wood.
In 1909 the first cars were produced in red; green was added later, followed by gray and dark blue.
By 1913 the assembly line required fast-drying paint, but black was the only color that dried fast enough to be used with the speed of the line.
By May 1927 over 15 million Model T’s had put Americans on the road!
Until next week, keep on cruising!