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Ford Model T coupe
Catalog #: 330,370, Accession #: 288,671
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
The museum purchased this Ford Model T coupe in 1970 from a member of a Model T club. According to the museum's files, the Model T was purchased because "NMHT has been searching for a perfect Model T Ford for several years. This is an outstanding specimen."
Physical Description
This car has a 1922 engine numbered 6,179,956.
Details
Date Made:
1924
Locations:
Michigan
Credit:
Purchased
History

When Henry Ford entered the car business in the late nineteenth century, he was one of a slew of inventors and entrepreneurs trying to break into the business. In the 1900s, there were hundreds of small companies making small numbers of cars for rich Americans. While many of these early companies failed, the Ford Motor Co. dominated the U.S. automobile market. More than 15 million Model T's were sold during the car's years of production (1908-27), making it the most popular automobile of the time.

The Model T was cheap by comparison to other early automobiles, and that fact, coupled with its availability and its relative dependability, made motoring an option for many people who had initially been priced out of the market. The price and quantity of vehicles Ford produced the company's adoption of the moving assembly line and mass production techniques. The company's well-publicized success went on to influence the ways large American manufacturers (and companies overseas) produced goods of all kinds in the twentieth century.

Still, though Ford was a production leader, it was not an innovative marketer. In the late 1920s, General Motors-afraid that the automobile market was hitting saturation point-introduced the annual model change, designed to encourage buyers to regularly trade in their cars for new ones. The strategy was successful and General Motors' sales soared as Ford's plummeted. Ford stopped producing Model T's in 1927.


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