Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Most Marvelous Book

As Ford saw it the Model T had but four essentials.
They were the power plant, the frame, the front axle
and the rear axle, all so designed that no special skill
would be required to repair or replace them. Any member
of the male race could take it apart and put it
together again.

Ford's intention was to make the parts first interchangeable
and then so simple and inexpensive that the
owner of a car would never hire a mechanic. The parts
would cost so little that it would be cheaper to buy new
ones than to have old ones repaired, and they could be
carried in hardware shops like nails or bolts.

Those who can remember their Model T days will be
reminded of how they used to take the car apart with a
monkey wrench and pliers, put the used or damaged
parts in a gunny sack, take the sack to the nearest Ford
station where it would be filled with new parts in exchange
for the old—and a slight difference to pay—
then home to put it all together again, with a perfectly
absurd sense of ego satisfaction. More Model T's were
rebuilt in that manner, in barns and sheds and under
the shade tree, than were ever sent to service stations.

-The Wild Wheel

page 58-59

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