Here's something you don't see every day, and we're not just talking about a 1914 Ford Model T. The subject of this video is actually a Model T Speedster ... an aftermarket version of the Model T sometimes seen but that's still not what we're talking about. When was the last time you watched a black and white silent movie?
If you click play on the video below, you can say that time is right now. This rather brilliant YouTube feature from AutoVantage wasn't filmed in 1914, but it has all the right pieces to make it a legitimate old-school silent film that was popular during the Model T's reign. As you've probably guessed by now, that's the subject of this 13-minute silent feature – getting to know the Model T.
This video covers the Model T basics. Built by Ford from 1908 through 1927, it's arguably the most significant vehicle of the 20th century as it literally motorized the world. Over 15 million were ultimately built from several factories around the globe, serving every market while revolutionizing the manufacturing process. Thanks to Henry Ford's assembly line, production costs dropped to where a new Model T eventually sold for around $250. Sure, that was in the early 1900s but even today, accounting for inflation, it would still only cost $3,400. Most modern cars have option packages that cost as much.
Of course, modern vehicles are a tad more complicated than the Model T. The early cars didn't even have electric lights, and hand-crank manual starters were the norm until 1919. Roofs and doors weren't always part of the package, but they were quite rugged with transverse leaf spring suspension. A 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine gave the Model T a top speed close to 50 mph, though customized speedsters like the one in this video could go a bit faster thanks to weight reduction. And contrary to Ford's infamous quote about only getting one in black, you could get a Model T in other colors. That is, in the early years anyway.
This video is creative, witty, and a great way to revisit the Model T in a manner you've never seen before. Perhaps this calls for silent reviews on brand new cars, where exaggerated expressions and a bit of background music tell you all you need to know about the car in question. Hey, it could be a thing.