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Car of the Month at Nelson Classic Car Museum

1911 Ford Model T – “Tin Lizzie”
The Ford Model T was the first affordable automobile. Henry Ford famously said that his vehicle was targeted at the common man. Only the rich could afford a car before the Model T came along, and it actually became less expensive throughout production. It cost $850 at the time it was unveiled in 1908 and continuously got cheaper, reaching under $300 in 1925. This was possible thanks to the moving assembly line invented by Henry Ford.
The Model T was a very versatile vehicle. This meant that people used it for more than just getting around. The Model T was used as a tractor, snowmobile, grain mill, sawmill, and more. Repurposing of the Model T was so common that businesses sprang up to provide aftermarket kits to turn the Model T into something other than a car. Magazines of the day also dedicated columns to teach people how to modify their Model T to serve some other purpose.
Poland even created an armoured version of the Model T in June 1920. It was called the Ford FT-B, alternatively known as the Model 1920 or the Ford Tf-c. The Ford FT-B was developed as a part of Poland’s desperate attempt to win an ongoing war against the Soviet Union.
Ford’s Model T was the Tesla of its day. The Model T was so successful that Ford did not run advertisements and depended on word of mouth to drive sales. That is the sort of thing Tesla does today.

The Ford Model T went by a few nicknames, including the “flivver” and the “Leaping Lena.” However, its most common nickname was the “Tin Lizzie.” At the time, car dealerships regularly hosted automobile races to publicize the cars in their collection. One such race was held at Pikes Peak in Colorado in 1922. One of the contenders was Noel Bullock and his Model T, which he called “Old Liz.”
Old Liz was truly old. Its body paint had faded, and its hood was missing. Spectators started calling it the Tin Lizzie over concerns that it looked more like a tin can than a vehicle. Nevertheless, the battered Old Liz went on to defeat the cleaner and more expensive cars in the race. Newspapers reported the surprising win but called the car the Tin Lizzie instead of Old Liz. The name stuck.
The Ford Model T was unbelievably difficult to drive. It’s probably easier to drive an excavator today than to drive a Model T. Starting it was no walk in the park, either. The driver manually cranked the engine to start the vehicle. The engine sometimes backfired, which could break the driver’s arm. Ford included an electric starter in models made from 1919 onward.
There are claims that Henry Ford designed the Model T to run on ethanol instead of gasoline. Supporters of this claim say Ford only switched to gasoline when the sale of alcohol was banned during Prohibition.
Some conspiracy theorists say oil magnate John D. Rockefeller convinced the US government to introduce Prohibition just so the Model T would only run on gasoline. These claims are false, along with similar claims that the Model T could run on different fuels, including diesel, benzene, and kerosene. Some even add that the vehicle had a device that allowed the driver to switch between different sources of fuel.
In truth, Henry Ford did experiment with using fermented plants as fuel for the Model T. He even made statements indicating a possible switch from gasoline to ethanol. However, he made those statements in 1916 and 1925, when the Model T had been in production for some time. Ford never made the switch because gasoline was dirt cheap at the time.
You can check out our Model T currently on display in the shop at the entrance to Museum ?
We would like to give special thanks to Mitch from Nelson City Council for making this dream shot a reality ??
Driver provided by Cartel Works
? Joshua William Photography ??
?Isel Park & Isel House

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