I want to
own a Model T, where can I get one?
The Internet is perhaps the
best possible place to find a Model T for sale.
I've compiled a list of very fruitful
sites where a Model T may be acquired,
click here to read
interested in Model T Fords. Are there any clubs I can
Yes. You can join many different clubs. See my
How many Ford Model T
cars were produced?
From 1908 to 1927 Ford produced more than 15 million
Model T automobiles. The cars produced in 1908 follow
what is now standard industry practice in naming them
after their model year. As a result, those cars produced
in 1908 are really 1909 production year cars.
What types of models were made?
In addition to selling bare chassis, Model T Fords came
in the following body styles: Touring, Runabout, Coupe,
Town, Tourster, Torpedo, Sedan, Couplet, Tudor Sedan and
Did Henry Ford invent the
No. On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz received a patent for
a crude gas-fuelled car, called the Benz
Patent-Motorwagen. In 1893, Charles and Frank
Duryea, of Springfield, Massachusetts, built the first
gas-operated vehicle in the U.S.
What is the horsepower of the Model T Ford engine?
Up until 1926 Model T engines were about 22 horse power.
For 1926/27 the horsepower was reduced by lowering the
compression to compensate for lower octane fuels
available at that time. This really slowed the newer
cars down since they were also putting on weight due to
the all steel body construction for these model years.
The following description is from the 1911 Ford Owner's
The Engine in the Model T is a 4 cylinder, 4 cycle with
3-3/4 inch bore, 4 inch stroke and rated as 20
horsepower. Rated in accordance with the now generally
accepted formula for determining horsepower, d2 x n /
2-1/2, or the square of the diameter of one cylinder
multiplied by the number of cylinders and the result
divided by 2-1/2, the horsepower of the Model T is
How fast can a Model T go?
A production Model T can reach up to 45 miles per hour
on an good road. Enclosed cars are much heavier and
can't go quite as fast as an open runabout.
In the early twenties
Ford was racing cars based on the Model T at
Indianapolis at over 100 miles per hour -- a scary
thought for anyone that has ever driven a Model T.
How many miles per gallon
(mpg) does a Model T get?
According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel
economy on the order of 13–21 mpg-US (16–25 mpg-imp;
18–11 L/100 km). The engine was capable of running on
gasoline, kerosene, or ethanol, although the decreasing
cost of gasoline and the later introduction of
Prohibition made ethanol an impractical fuel for most
does a Ford Model T weigh?
When Model Ts were first produced, they weighed in at
roughly 1200 pounds, with the bare chassis weighing
about 900 pounds.
Over the years,
especially in 1926 and 1927 production, the bodies were
all-steel, as opposed to the steel sheets over wood
construction of earlier years. As a result, the weight
went up to over 1500 pounds, making Henry's lady rather
What is so different about Canadian Model T Fords?
Model T Fords were produced in Canada from the first
model year. While American made Model T cars are fairly
common, especially the later models, Canadian cars are
much rarer today since far fewer were produced. By 1913
Ford was casting blocks in Canada, and these blocks have
serial numbers beginning with the letter 'C'.
They also have "Made
In Canada" in the casting in place for the usual "Made
in U.S.A.". On cars made in 1913 or later, Canadian cars
had driver's doors whereas American made cars do not.
Early American Ford Model T's used different sized
wheels for the front (30x3) and rear (30x3 1/2) while
Canadian cars used 30x3 1/2 wheels all round so that
drivers did not need to carry two sizes for spares.
Canadian Model T
chassis were also the ones exported for the Australian
market, where Australian coach-builders received the
chassis, and mounted their own bodies.
Are Model T tyres solid
No. They are inflated to about 55 PSI on clinchers, and
35 PSI on demountable rims.
What's that cylinder on the driver's side running board
of 1909-1914 cars?
This is the acetylene or carbide generator. The
generator was used to supply acetylene gas to the cars
headlights prior to the introduction of magneto powered
electric lighting in 1915. The generator consists of a
canister which contains an upper compartment, filled
with water, and a lower wire basket which contained
calcium carbide. A valve on the top of the unit
(controlled by the driver) released a drip of water from
the upper compartment onto the carbide. This created
acetylene gas which was then piped to the head lamps.
What is the wheelbase and track width of a Model T Ford?
The wheelbase is 100.5 inches, and the front/rear track
width is 56 inches, or 60 inches if ordered in the
wide-track, or "Southern Roads" configuration. Depending
on the model the fenders can extend several feet in
front and rear of the wheel hub centres.
What does the 'T' in
'Model T' stand for?
Henry Ford and his engineers used the first 19 letters
of the alphabet to designate their automobiles, although
some of the cars were experimental and never reached the
public. The most successful of the early production cars
was the Model N -- a small, light, four-cylinder machine
which went on the market at $500. A $2,500 six-cylinder
luxury car, the Model K, sold poorly. Ford started
naming his early cars with the Model A, and this letter
code was later reused on the successor to the Model T.
Read more about Ford's
early naming conventions here.
Where does the name 'Tin
Lizzie' come from?
Our guess is that it originates as a derisive reference
to a cheap metal or 'tin' horse. Liz, or Lizzie, was a
common name for a horse in the era of brass motorcars.
What where the original
colours of the Ford Model T, and in what year did Ford
start painting them all black?
Henry Ford famously stated "a customer may have a car
painted in any colour, so long as it's black".
While this saying is
true for the model years after 1913, earlier cars were
available in Brewster Green, Red, Blue and Gray. In
fact, in the first year, Model T Fords were not
available in Black at all, but only in Gray, Red and
Why did Henry Ford choose
black for the colour of the Model T Ford?
It is often quoted that Ford chose black because the
paint dried faster than other coloured paints available
at the time, and a faster drying paint would allow him
to build cars faster as he would not have to wait for
the paint to dry. This theory is not supported by fact
The fact is that over 30 different types of black paint
were used to paint various parts of the Model T. The
different types of paint were formulated to satisfy the
different means of applying the paint to the different
parts, and had different drying times, depending on the
paint and the drying method used for a particular part.
Ford engineering documents suggest that the color black
was chosen because it was cheap and it was durable.
Common sense tells us that Ford, being a pragmatic man
building a very practical car, certainly would have
chosen black for this reason.
just inherited Dad's old Model T, how much is it worth?
It's really impossible to appraise a car without
detailed photos, but some general principles (keeping in
mind the old saying that it is worth what someone will
pay you for it, and not a penny more) are below:
probably not as much as you think, since most people
don't really want to own one.
the older the car is, the more value it is (cars made
after 1914 are worth a fraction of the value of earlier
the more verifiable original, authentic parts on the
car, the more value it has.
if the complete history of the car is known, the more
value it has.
Ford never made Model T pickup trucks until 1925, and
never made production Model T speedsters. depot hacks,
c-cabs, or delivery vehicles, so if your car is one of
these it's worth what someone will pay you for it, which
will never be close to what it cost you to build it.
probably not as much as you think, since most people
don't really want to own one.
More information is available in
How much oil
does a Model T engine hold?
About 4 liters. A good rule of thumb is that you need to
fill the engine oil until the oil pours out when the top
petcock is open. If the oil does not pour out, then add
What kind of oil should I
use in my Ford Model T?
I recommend using 10W40, since it is the only oil left
on the market with the trace elements, like zinc and
phosphorus, that are required to reduce wear on the push
rods and cam shaft.
I personally use Valvoline XLD
Premium 15W-40, it's inexpensive and performs
DO NOT use any oil with names like "Magnatec" or similar
Magnetic Oils - while they are fine with
modern engines, these oils contain magnetic particles
which attracts the oil to metal surfaces within the
engine and gearbox.
These oils are damaging to a
Model T, because of the magneto. Magnetic oils will
gum up the magneto and prevent it working very quickly.
Consider also your geographic
location, if you live in a cold climate you may wish to
vary your oil to something thinner or your engine will
be a pain to start!! - Oil thickens / congeals in cold
weather, and makes hand cranking difficult.
My best advice is, use no-frills oil, or look for a
high-grade oil that specifically states what it
Where is the serial number (VIN number) located on my
Ford Model T?
That depends on the year. On a Model T Ford, the serial
number, or VIN number, is the same as the engine number.
Some cars also have a frame (26-7 model years) number
and some a body number. Since body numbers were assigned
by multiple body manufacturers, they are not recorded as
the car number. In 1909-1911 the serial (VIN) number is
located on the passenger side of the engine block, on a
small boss just behind the timing gear and in front of
the cam shaft bearing retaining screw. In 1912, the
serial number was moved to the boss over the water
outlet on the right hand side of the engine, where it
remained until 1927.
Why was the Ford Model T
so historically important?
Here are some good reasons why the Model T was a great
car for its time:
Price: The Model T was not the first car to be
the most affordable, but it was priced in the same
ballpark as its closest contemporary, the horse. By
continually driving down the price of his cars, using
optimization techniques like the application of the
assembly line in 1913, Ford made more cars than anyone
else in his day. When he instituted the 5 dollar a day
wage for his workers he was not only an instant folk
hero but he gave every worker the financial means to buy
Reliability: Easier to get out of the barn and
get going than hooking up the team to the wagon, and the
planetary transmission with a flywheel magneto and
Ford's use of vanadium steel for strength made the car
reliable and easy to operate. When it did need repair,
the revolutionary separate head and block design
pioneered by Ford and the simplicity of the overall
design made maintenance simpler, faster and ultimately
more affordable. A few simple tools can keep a Ford
Model T running for years.
Perpetual Integration: The Ford Model T was easy
to modify and whole industries of after market
modifications were introduced to transform them into
race cars, utility vehicles, sawmills and even
snowmobiles. Modifications to Model T cars are still
commonplace today, making it an icon of the last century
and of the modern era.
Should I use
synthetic or high-detergent oil in my Model T?
This is the issue of much debate amongst Model T
enthusiasts. My personal recommendation is that if you
are unsure of what to use and you don't wish to
experiment, use products that are identical or similar
to those in existence when your Model T was made and you
can't go wrong. That means no synthetic or
Here is an excerpt from the 1911 Ford Model T
We recommend only light high-grade gas engine oil for
use in the model T motor. A light grade of oil is
preferred as it will naturally reach the bearing
surfaces with greater ease, and, consequently, less heat
will develop on account of friction. The oil should,
however, have sufficient body so that the pressure
between the two bearing surfaces will not force the oil
out and allow the metal to come in actual contact. Heavy
and inferior oils have a tendency to carbonize quickly,
also gum up the piston rings and valve stems.