Earlier this week, we had an exciting range of Ford’s heritage fleet at one of our showrooms. As well as the Ford GT and Escort Cosworth, we were delighted to have a piece of history – the Model T.
Produced from 1908 to 1927, the Model T made car travel affordable to many more Americans than ever before. It was named as the most influential car of the century – as it should, seeing as half of all cars on US roads were Model Ts by 1918.
It was actually super modern, too. Although the steering was far more complicated than any current car we’re used to, it did have a 2.9-litre four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and sophisticated suspension that could cope with the country’s dirt roads. The cost of the car was brought down by Henry Ford’s innovative manufacturing process, which introduced a production line into car making.
But one of our eagle-eyed readers spotted something strange about the Model T we had. Legend says that Henry Ford said, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”, but our one was red. How come?
It’s not that well known, but Model Ts were only painted black from 1914. Before that, they were painted red, green, grey and blue. Red was used on town car models. Sources say that Ford issued the statement to his management team in 1909, but it took five years to be implemented. Black was chosen for its durability, lower cost and fast drying time.
The more you know, hey?