The English Model T Ford beyond the Factory - volume 2A Century of the Model T in Britain
The English Model T Ford Volume 2 – Beyond the Factory
‘The English Model T Ford – Beyond the Factory’ has been written by the Register’s current Archivist, Chris Barker, together with Neil Tuckett and Bruce Lilleker’s son, Drew. It complements ‘Volume 1’ by describing what happened to British Model Ts after they left Trafford Park.
In the years before and after WWI, Ford sold 300,000 Model Ts in Britain. Customer choice was limited; two seats or 4 (with or without a roof), a van, or later on, a truck. For ten years they only came in black. Henry Ford believed his Model T was perfect for everyone just as he built it.
Customers and inventors thought differently. They found thousands of ways to ‘improve’ his cars with accessories and modifications, and they turned cars into trucks, buses, tractors, fire engines, racers and even railcars and ‘tankettes’.
The new 256 page book is in three parts.
Part 1 has 13 chapters describing non-standard Model Ts – coachbuilt cars, light commercials, Ton Trucks, the heavier trucks and buses evolved out of the basic Model T, and then the even more adventurous agricultural, military and racing vehicles. There are 16 colour photo pages.
Part 2 describes the enormous range of accessories available to the Model T owner in Britain, from ash-trays to auxiliary gearboxes, from magnetos to mudguards.
Part 3 has 3 chapters. One analyses the cost of buying and running Model Ts in the period 1909 to 1930; another describes dealer and other support to users, and the final chapter uses period material to show what driving was like in Britain when the Model T outnumbered all other cars put together.
The book is almost entirely based on rare contemporary material – magazine articles, adverts, sales material, manuals, price lists with more than 850 photographs and illustrations. There is technical description and analysis of modifications and accessories – which ones worked and which did not. There are stories – the truck which was overloaded 1000 times to build an aerodrome, the ‘speedster’ which was driven across Africa, the American tourists’ 3000 mile journey around Britain on the eve of WWI, the ‘cars’ which recaptured the Egyptian desert, the Model T engine which powered a canal boat and then a Talyllyn railway engine, and many more.
A lot happened to Model Ts ‘Beyond the Factory’.