A 3D Video Tour of Ford’s Piquette Avenue Factory – Where The Model T Was Born – Part 2

 

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Continuing with our video tour of the Piquette Avenue Model T factory museum, we start with a look at one of Jesse L. Livingood’s four wheel drive conversions. Livingood sold 4WD conversions for Fords and Chevrolets into the 1930s. After his son, Jesse R. Livingood, retired in  the 1980s, he put the conversion back into production, using much of the original tooling that his father had used. He’s still making a few 4WD kits a year for Model T owners that want to go four-wheeling. The video continues with a look at the “station assembly” method that was used prior to the development of the assembly line. William Flanders, who later started his own company which became part of Studebaker, was probably responsible for organizing and streamlining the station assembly process at the Piquette plant. A 1927 Model T, the last year of the T’s production, ends the section of the museum devoted to that car. It’s followed by a couple of speedsters, one rather crude, just stripped down to the frame, seats and engine cowl. The other is a rather elegantly shaped Faultless Ford owned by Jerry VanOoteghem. Car companies today have tried to market cars to the customizing and tuning crowd but the Model T was the original accessory king, from Ah-ooh-gah horns to mechanical conversions like Livengood’s to complete body kits like the Faultless, the Model T spawn an industry. Like Henry Ford, that industry that grew up around the Model T had to adapt to changes. The next gallery in the museum has some examples of the Model A, the car that replaced the T, along with a V8 Ford and the most modern car at the Piquette facility, one of the few cars on display that the museum actually owns, a Ford GT, which went over 200 MPH at the Nardo test track in Italy, making it the fastest production Ford ever.

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