The year 1913 was a significant one for Henry Ford. The 1913 Ford Model T represented the last year that Ford offered a choice of colors for this model. The main reason was expediency. In other words, the black paint which most Model T’s are remembered by dried faster.
If the paint dried faster then more could autos be produced quicker. This Ford practice lasted into the 1920′s. The Ford Model T was produced for nineteen years and was the car that introduced automobiles to the general public. Ford’s concept of the assembly line and mass production put automobile ownership in reach of the average American.
After the 1912 model year, Henry Ford made design changes to his Model T. With the 1913 model, front doors were added and a new windshield was added to give the car a bit more modernization.
As you can see from the 1913 Ford Model T Touring Car shown in this article, paint color does indeed make a difference. This beautifully restored Model T looks terrific.
1913 Ford Model T Touring Car Specs
The 1913 Fords came out with a four cylinder 20 HP engine. The car’s weight was 1,200 pounds and had a steel unibody chassis. The price range was between $525 and $800. The Ford Roadsters and Touring cars, by the fact they were open cars meant that they were cheaper for Ford to produce.
By the end of the 1912 model year, Henry Ford had built and sold about 160,000 Model T’s and Ford was the largest manufacturer of automobiles in all of America.Total Ford car production in 1913 was 168,200 units of which 126,700 were Touring Models. The car came with a 2 speed maual planetary transmission.
As many car enthusiasts know, Henry Ford was often the last to modify his cars with certain advanced features. This was true with electric starters as well. By 1913, most American auto builders had introduced eletricity in their cars. Electric starters and electric lights came out in 1913 but it wouldn’t be until 1914 that Ford used electric lights and not until 1919 were electric starters put on the Ford Model T.
It was at the end of 1913 that Ford started using the moving assembly line. Most would say that the Model T had only minor changes overall during it’s production years of 1907 to 1927.
Touring Model was an open car with a folding top, no side windows, and front and rear seats.
The Model T in Automotive History
At about the time of the year 1900, the very concept of the car was somewhat of a question mark. The car offered a means of transportation different from the horse or bicycle.
The first Model T was produced in September 1908 at the Piquette Plant in Detoit, Michigan. During these very early years nobody had decided exactly what was the best power to use to propel the automobile. Steam, electricity, and gasoline were the three means of powering the vehicles. In fact, it wouldn’t be until about 1915 until a power source was finally decided upon. Power sources until that time could have been steam, electricity or gasoline. These were the three power sources considered.
Steam was considered efficient and relatively quiet but the chance of a boiler explosion was always a concern. Steam also presented a range problem and might have to be refueled at about every fifteen miles.
Electricity of course was quiet but the drawback was always range.
Gasoline also had it’s perceived drawbacks. It was considered dirty, not easy to start, especially compared to electric models, and needed a string of gas stations for refueling. gasiline power however did offer the best chance for increasing power. Race track results were a big benefit to sales and the gasoline engine, because of it’s ever increasing power potential, dominated early auto racing.
(Photos from author’s private collection)