1916 MODEL T SPEEDSTER
This open two-seater Speedster has a 100” wheelbase, vertical L-head, 4 cylinder 4 speed 20 HP engine (top speed of 45 mph), steering by Ford’s reduction system, and ten-gallon fuel tank. Wooden “artillery” non-demountable wheels with extra long hubs were standard, tires 30x3” on the front and 30x3.5 in the rear.
A three-speed planetary gear-type transmission, the three speed unit was actually two-speeds forward plus one reverse, no clutch pedal, floor pedals shifting, pedals and levers operated gears, the throttle, neutral and parking brake. Suspension was a transversely mounted semi-elliptical spring for both the front and rear.
The Model T has a long history in the automotive market, lasting nearly 20 years. The first “tin Lizzie” or “Flivver” was produced on September 27, 1908 at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan. Henry Ford was credited with ‘putting America on wheels”.
The Ford company produced a vehicle that was affordable but, more importantly, mass produced. Using the assembly line to construct parts, rather than the traditional hand assembly. Ford had found a way to cut costs and offered the least expensive product. He instructed his suppliers how to assemble the crates that were used to ship him parts - the crates wee then dismantled and used within the bodies of the cars.
The assembly line began operation in 1914, speeding production, with an average of just over 90 minutes to assemble a car. During 1914 there were more Fords produced than all other manufacturers combined.
The Speedster is the result of striping down a touring model vehicle and adding this custom body to meet the fancy of the owner. This particular example has no modifications to improve its speed. Notice the monocle windshield. These types of cars were not factory and is typical of the ability of Model Ts to adapt to the owner's needs.