1924 Ford Model T Roadster, 2-door
Owner: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost: $525.00 ($7,481.00 in 2018 dollars)
Number made: 327,584 (total Ford production for 1924: 1,720,000)
Engine, etc.: 4 cyl.; 22 hp., 176.7 cu. in.; 2 speed transmission with three pedal controls; 1,760 lbs.
The first Model T was produced on Sept. 27, 1908 in Detroit, Michigan. Even though it was produced for almost twenty years, it was much improved over the years. Open touring cars were cheaper to produce and thus, produced in greater numbers.
The Model T was designed by Henry Ford, Childe Harold Wills, Joseph A. Galamb, and Eugene Farkas. The four-cylinder motor with 20 horsepower was capable of carrying the car to a top speed of around 45 mph. The ten gallon gas tank was located beneath the front seat, mounted to the frame. The engine started by a hand crank on the front of the vehicle. The crank was difficult to operate and was the cause of many broken arms.
Henry Ford favored smaller engines and used a six-cylinder in his Model K which was not a sales success. His board of directors convinced him to produce a larger more luxurious car when he wanted to produce small, inexpensive cars. In 1906 he purchased the majority of stock in the company, leaving him in control and in charge of the company. After World War I, he purchased the remaining Ford stock so he could do without a board of directors entirely. From 1906 through 1908 he created the Model N, R, and S, eventually evolving into the Model T.
A starter was an option on open cars. Dismountable rims were optional for $20.00. Black was the only color offered from 1914 to 1925.
Factories were opened in Britain, France, and Germany to produce their own individualized versions.
Wooden ‘artillery wheels’ were standard until 1926 when they were replaced by steel wire wheels. Brass was used throughout the earlier vehicles for horns, radiators, and headlights. Headlights were originally acetylene lamps but later switched to electric lights.
Sales peaked in 1924 with over 2 million cars leaving the assembly line. Ford’s competitors had switched to the same principles that made the Model T a success: a reliable vehicle, produced in mass quantities. They attracted buyers by offering more amenities and larger engines. Since Model T’s were so durable they were still being used and, when owners needed a new car, they usually bought a more luxurious model.
Sales began to dip in 1925 and plunged dramatically in 1926. Production ceased in 1927 for six months while preparations were made for production of the Model A. More than 15 million Model T’s were made between October, 1908, and May, 1927.
The Model T mobilized a nation, not only in the United States, but in many other countries. With factories throughout the world, the Model T was mass produced and easily available. The innovative Model T served its purpose – it was inexpensive and reliable, with many lasting even to this day.
Source: Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1805 -1942. Beverly Rae Kimes, et al. 3rd ed. Krause Publications, 1996.
See also: http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Ford/1924_Ford/1924_Ford_Open_Cars_Foldout/dirindex.html (Original 1924 brochure)