This is going to sound silly, but I spent the better half of two hours yesterday pouring over Ford Model T’s and debating whether it was worth buying one or not, haha…
Of course I chose “not” (who needs a Model T these days???) but it came after reading an article in COINAge Magazine where I learned you could pick one up for only $15,000 on Ebay :)
I also learned a handful of other fun facts too:
- Model T’s were first introduced on August 12, 1908 – in the midst of a serious depression
- The first Model T had a top speed of 45 miles per hour and got 13-21 miles per gallon, while at the same time popularizing the left side steering wheel
- After initially taking more than 12 hours to produce, Ford got it down to only 93 minutes!
- They were all painted black starting in 1915 because black paint dried faster than all other colors (and is where the popular saying – “You can get it in any color – as long as it’s black!” comes from)
- By the mid-1920s, more than half the *world’s* cars were Model T’s!!
- They stopped being produced May 26, 1927
(If you’re wondering why a coin magazine was writing about a car btw, it’s because they do a monthly feature called “coin capsule” where they talk about what was going on at a certain time period, both in the coin industry as well as the world in general. This particular issue focused on 1908 when the first Model Ts came out, but also the release of the first Indian Head $2 1/2 and $5 gold pieces from the U.S. Mint, as well as the launch of the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa.)
But why would you care about any of this since this isn’t a car or coin site?!
Because of two other facts that were casually mentioned in the article:
#1. Henry Ford kept LOWERING the prices of his cars as he got more efficient over the years! Instead of continually increasing them and reaping (even more) of a massive profit like all companies do. (Can you imagine iPhones getting cheaper as they roll out?? Hah!)
And #2., which is even MORE amazing, Henry Ford was against personal debt – another unheard of practice in business!
“Although the car was introduced with a price tag of $850, the Model T later sold for as little as $260 because Ford passed along the savings from his production innovations. One reason Henry Ford kept lowering the price was that he thought credit sales were immoral. Lowering the price kept the volume of cash sales at high levels.”
So on top of completely revolutionizing the car industry and bringing affordable cars to the public, Henry Ford was also apparently a great personal finance mentor as well ;)
He also succeeded in creating high-paying jobs for thousands of Americans, at one point even doubling the standard daily pay for everyone! Who is this guy???! Haha…
Maybe you already knew all this stuff, but it completely mesmerized me in shock and thought I’d share in case you’re working on your own line of cars/products as well ;) You should try and copy him and see how well you fare in today’s climate! Haha… I bet you’d go viral for a hot minute, but you better pray you sell out or you’ll be waiting a looooong time for everyone to get their finances in order!
At any rate, here’s an excellent profile on Ford from Entrepreneur.com if you want to learn more (I couldn’t find the coin article online): Henry Ford: The Man Who Taught America To Drive
And then here’s a GREAT book I hear too that you can borrow from the library with over 600 pages on the guy (and cars): Model T Ford: The Car That Changed the World. There’s even a club you can join if you really get sucked in! –> The Model T Ford Club of America
Whatever you do though, don’t click this link and look at all the Model T’s for sale right now…
Henry would be rolling in his grave to see them going for 10x the original price!! 🤣
// Model T pic above by jjmusgrove
// Link to book above is an Amazon affiliate link