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August 06, 2008

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Ford Tin Lizzie turn 100

A century after the Model T put the world on wheels, Ford continues building on its tradition with industry-leading, high-volume technologies including SYNC and EcoBoost engines, a new fuel-efficient powertrain lineup, a new small car for the world as well as America's most head-turning crossover and most-capable pickup.

"Henry Ford and his Model T helped reshape the landscape of America a century ago by making the automobile accessible to the average person," said Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company executive chairman.

"My great-grandfather's dream was born from a true spirit of innovation that is very much alive today in everything that we do at Ford.

And the best way for us to celebrate and honor the Model T is to continue to redefine his vision for this century by making the safest, highest quality and cleanest vehicles that are of great value," said Ford.

Ford will recognize this historic milestone during the next six months through a series of regional celebrations joined by thousands of Model T owners and global enthusiasts, including here at the world's largest gathering of Model Ts since they left the factory - "T Party 2008" in Richmond, Ind.

Ford, with support from the Ford Motor Company Fund, is the "T Party 2008" celebration's title sponsor for the week-long event that is hosted by the Model T Ford Club of America.

Nearly 1,000 Model Ts, including vehicles from England, Norway, Australia and New Zealand and more than 20,000 Model T owners and enthusiasts are expected to participate.

"Celebrating a hundred years of the Model T is a great milestone for Ford Motor Company," said Edsel Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford and member of the Board of Directors at Ford Motor Company. "No other vehicle has put its mark on the industry or world like the Model T, and true to my great-grandfather's vision, it was the simple, durable car that millions could afford and that many still treasure today."

Putting the World on Wheels - Then and Now The Model T chugged into history Oct. 1, 1908. Henry Ford called it the "universal car." It became the symbol of low-cost, reliable transportation that could get through when other vehicles and horse-drawn wagons were stuck in muddy roads. The Model T won the approval of millions of Americans, who affectionately dubbed it "Tin Lizzie."

The first Model Ts sold for $825 (for a two-door roadster) - an unexpected bargain compared to other cars. But even more remarkable is that during its 19 years of production, Ford continued to steadily lower its price, thanks to manufacturing efficiencies including the moving assembly line introduced in 1913.

In addition to its affordability, Model T stands out as the industry's truly the first global car. By 1921, it accounted for almost 57 percent of the world's automobile production.

Ford Model T Facts

October 1, 1908 marks the anniversary of the first Model T built for sale. The Model T was the first low-priced, mass-produced automobile with standard, interchangeable parts. The Model T was equipped with a 20-horsepower, four-cylinder engine with a top speed of approximately 45 miles per hour, weighed 1,200 pounds, and achieved 13-21 miles per gallon. The moving assembly line for the Model T revolutionized manufacturing in 1913.

More than 15 Million Model Ts had been sold by May 26, 1927, when a ceremony marked the formal end of Model T production. Henry Ford called the Model T "the universal car," a low-cost, reliable vehicle that could be maintained easily and could successfully travel the poor roads of the era. On Dec. 18, 1999, the Ford Model T was named "Car of the Century" by a panel of 133 automotive journalists and experts who began with a list of 700 candidates in 1996 and sequentially narrowed the nominees through seven rounds of balloting over three years.

Photos: Ford

(July 22, 2008)


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