The Ford Motor Company has celebrated numerous milestones. Its current achievement is the 2015 Mustang, now 50 years old. The iconic sports car’s success at its half-century mark brings to mind many other Fords.
More specifically, since Ford’s debut in 1903, the manufacturer has made so many automotive industry revered vehicles, it’s hard to pick the carmakers’ best. It’s a subjective choice, certainly.
But here are three Ford models that have earned special status in the industry:
Ford Model-T (1908-1927)
It’s on most car experts’ lists as the most influential automobile in history. Sometimes called the Tin Lizzie, the Model-T was manufactured from 1908 to 1927 and it’s regarded as the first affordable automobile and thus became the first popular car sold to the mass public.
By the end of its tenure in 1927, Ford had made 15 million of the four-cylinder Model-Ts on moving assembly lines and with interchangeable parts. When he introduced the Model-T, Henry Ford declared in part:
“I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise.”
Fourteen different configurations of Model-T were. They all had two-speed transmissions and weighed 1,200 pounds.
An interesting brief article and a link to a video about a model T previously thought lost is available via a website that features Ford cars for sale in Poole, England.
Ford F-100 (1953-present)
Some vintage truck enthusiasts believe this is the best-looking truck ever made. Why? The Ford F-Series of full-size pick-up trucks has been manufactured since 1948. Five years later, a new model debuted. It had larger dimensions, an improved chassis and a bigger engine.
The new look was drastic and it’s still a preferred style for vintage truck enthusiasts with customizing talents. The 1953 Ford F-100 is also significant because it was the first year of a name change that featured numbered sequences for models. It’s still in use today.
Ford Thunderbird (1955-1957, first generation)
Conceived as a competitor to the Chevrolet Corvette, the original Ford Thunderbird was the carmaker’s first glamorous vehicle. The first generation was made for three years as a two-door convertible and it was the first two-seater made by Ford since 1938.
The inaugural Ford Thunderbird was popular, with more than 53,000 selling in its first three years. The reason: The T-Bird was equipped with a V8 with 292 horsepower, it achieved 18 mph and had a top speed of 120 mph. It has a telescoping steering wheel and a tachometer, but it was marketed as a luxury touring vehicle, not as a sports car.