The Tin Lizzy

Henry Ford’s famous Model T was first produced in 1908 and quickly became a kind of default American car; at one point the Model T accounted for half the cars in the U.S.

Although the Model T (nicknamed the “Tin Lizzie”) was not the first consumer car, nor the cheapest, nor even the first assembly-lined-produced car, it was arguably the best combination of these elements. Ford made a sturdy car that could deal with the incredibly crappy roads of the time, at a price that regular people could conceivably afford. His innovations with assembly line manufacturing further drove the price down and improved wages for his factory workers.

But what’s it like to drive a Model T? In the video below, XCAR takes us on a combination history/driving lesson. After the historical bits (including amazing footage of the Model T going off-road with ease), presenter Alex Goy explains just how hard it is to drive a 1915 model (yes, a 100-year-old car is still on the road!). Indeed, he spends the latter half of the video driving it while explaining things, and the layout of the car seems insane by today’s standards—the pedal placement is the opposite of what we’re used to today, and many important controls are in weird places (watch to see what they put in the place you’d expect a turn signal lever to be).

If you have twelve minutes for a trip back in time, enjoy this 100-year-old Model T and its history:

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