Following up on yesterday’s post about Laurel & Hardy’s Model T being auctioned off, here are a few more Ts. Actually quite a few more Model Ts. The volunteers who operate the museum being put together at Henry Ford’s Piquette plant let collectors keep their Model Ts in the facility. The collectors think it’s an honor to be able to display their cars at the T’s birthplace so there’s a nice variety of Ts of different vintages. The Piquette plant is where Henry Ford became an established automaker, the factory he built after finally achieving success with the Ford Motor Co. It’s also where Ford’s team of C. Harold Wills, Joe Galamb and Eugene Farkas closeted themselves in a “secret” room on the third floor and developed the revolutionary Model T which put the world on wheels. Once the Model T was in production, it was also the location where Ford and his lieutenants first tested the idea of an assembly line.
In addition to Model Ts, the museum has a few other cars including some pre-T Fords, a couple of Model As (which followed the T), a ’32 V8, and some cars that were contemporaries of the T, including a Studebaker and a Willys Overland. The museum’s dedication to historical accuracy can be seen by the fact that there’s an extensive display about the Dodge brothers, along with a 1914 Dodge Brothers’ car. The Dodges essentially supplied Ford with rolling chassis for the first decade of FoMoCo’s existence, including the first 6 years of Model T production. There is also a vintage Cadillac, not a usual sight at a Ford related site. The Cadillac Motor Co. was founded by Henry Ford’s creditors out of the ashes of his second unsuccessful automotive venture when Henry Leland convinced them not to liquidate and instead let him make Cadillacs.
In addition to regular production Model Ts, there is a tractor conversion and a “snowmobile” with skis up front and a track riding on a double axle setup in back. An early four wheel drive Model T “station wagon” is also on display there. You can also see how the T changed over the two decades that it was made. I noticed that early speedometers were driven off straight cut gears on the front right wheel. Later Ts used a helical gear on the wheel.
Finally, there is also the record setting 2005 Ford GT that did 205 mph on the Nardo test track in Italy. The GT was donated to the facility by Ford Motor Co. on the 100th anniversary of Henry Ford’s record run in his “99” racer.
Enjoy the gallery of over 160 stereo pairs.