Henry Ford’s vision was to build a car ‘large enough for the family but small enough for the individual to run and care for, so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one.’ The car that Ford introduced in 1908 was the Model T. It has been described as ‘the car that changed the World’, beginning the revolution towards mass travel by ordinary people.
The Model T was built on straightforward principles; it was quick to produce, strong and durable, easy to drive and cheap to buy. Ford pioneered the techniques of mass car production, borrowing practices from the armament and meat-packaging industries. The car could be produced in a few hours, rather than the days or weeks that was common to the motor industry at the time. Ford set up factories outside the USA to build the Model T. By the time the Model T was replaced in 1927, fifteen million had been manufactured worldwide, with more than 300,000 of that total built in Britain at the Trafford Park factory in Manchester.
This example from 1912 is the second oldest surviving British-built Ford. With its ‘torpedo’ or ‘runabout’ body, it has several early features such as lamps powered by acetylene gas. When Ford bought the original Dagenham Motors dealership, it was in the inventory and the car became part of the Ford Heritage collection.