- 15 million Model Ts was produced from 1908-1927.
- They were reliable, inexpensive and affordable to the average person.
- Model Ts had left-hand steering to help drivers better judge oncoming traffic.
- Early Fords had right-hand steering, a holdover from horse and buggy days when drivers wanted to judge distance from the road’s edge.
- Prior the assembly line Model Ts were hand painted in a variety colors.
- During assembly line production, they were painted with a fast-drying black lacquer to keep up with production demands. (See the 1915 Ford Town Car for more details about paint).
Henry Ford did not invent mass-production manufacturing techniques or mass-market advertising. With development of the Model T in 1908, however, he produced a reliable, inexpensive automobile that truly mobilized America. From 1908 to 1927, more than 15 million Model T Fords were built and sold worldwide.
For the first few years, Ford’s Model T was available in many colors. Ford cars before the Model T had right-hand steering, a holdover from horse and buggy days when the driver wanted to judge his distance from the road edge. With the Model T, Henry Ford put the driver on the left side where he could better judge oncoming traffic, as well as allow his passengers to dismount safely onto the roadside or sidewalk.
The first several hundred Model T cars had a two-pedal, two-lever control system: one pedal was the service brake and the other was the clutch. While forward and reverse gears were selected by one lever, the second lever controlled the parking brake. Examples of these early cars, such as this Model T Touring, are rare. In mid-1909, Ford changed to a three-pedal system which included brake, clutch, and reverse. The three-pedal system was used until Model T production ended in 1927.