1913 Ford Model T Touring Car

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.

1913 Ford Model T Toruing Car

1913 Ford Model T Touring Car

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
1913 Ford Model T

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.

1913 Ford Touring

1913 Ford Touring

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.

Two additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy are the Ford Model TT Truck and the 1929 Ford Model A.

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.

Classic Ford Model T tire

Classic Ford Model T tire

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)

1930 Ford Model A Roadster

Shown in this article is a masterfully restored 1930 Ford Model A Roadster. The Ford Model A's replaced the Model T's and this car is an excellent representative of the entire line of Model A's. This particular 1930 Model A is probably one of the best restored models you'll find anywhere.

1930 ford model a roadster

1930 Ford Model A

The Ford Model A was offered in many different styles. These included a coupe, sports coupe, roadster, convertible, towncar, fordor, truck, station wagon and taxicab. When the Ford Model A was first introduced in 1928 it came with a price that could be anywhere from $395 to $1,000. A lot depended on the exact style and model plus any options. The lower price range made the Ford Model A available to working people. Ford's famously efficient assembly line and mass production kept certain Ford models well in reach of the average car buyer.

The year 1930, shortly after the stock market crash of 1929, ushered in a new era of financial challenges for both automaker and car buyer. Price point became more important than ever before.

Changes from 1929

ford model a

Model A Roadster

The 1930 Model A had several changes compared to the 1929 model. This included wider fenders, elimination of the cowl stanchion and a deeper radiator shell were a few. Options available for 1930 included an external sun-visor, a rear luggage rack, a spare tire lock and for a bit of better safety a rear-view mirror.

See our photo articles on the 1929 Ford Model A and the Ford Model AA Truck.

The Ford Model A's replaced the famous Model T's. Although Model T sales had been down trending in the 1920's, it took a bit of persuasion to talk Henry Ford to come out with a new car model. This was a characteristic of the old automaker. Ford had a habit of not wanting to tinker with what he thought was a good car. Competitive pressures made Ford agree to changes that he didn't feel were necessary. A good example were the Ford brake systems that remained mechanical for a period after General Motors came out with a hydraulic system.

1930 ford model a interior

1930 Ford Model A Roadster interior

The Ford Model A's were manufactured through 1931. After that the Model B's were introduced. By the time the Ford Model A production ended nearly five million total units had been produced since their introduction in 1927.

1930 Ford Model A Specs

The 1930 Ford Model A came with a four cylinder 205 cid, 3.3 liter engine putting out 40 HP. The wheelbase was 103.5 inches. The car's transmission was a three speed manual. Vehicle weight was between 2,155 and 2,495 pounds. New vehicle price ranged from $450 to $650 which reflected the slow economy that year.

As mentioned above, the last year of the Ford Model A was 1931. The Ford Model A overall was a big hit as was Ford's previous Model T. The Ford Model B which was sold through 1934 took things a step further. The Model B essentially took the Model A and improved it.

ford model a rumble seat

Rumble Seat are in the rear of this Ford Model B

The Ford Model B engine offered a four cylinder 201 cid engine delivering 50 horsepower. Ford also brought out their Model 18 which had an eight cylinder engine. Some referred to the car as simply the Ford V-8. The new V-8 produced 65 horsepower. The car in essence was a Ford Model B except with a V-8 engine. The Model 18 was the first mass produced V-8 in the nation.

Due mostly to Ford's innovative assembly line, the Model 18 was also a relatively low priced V-8. One of the most significant changes with the Ford Model B was it's lengthened wheelbase of 112 inches. This represented a 6 inch increase.

Collectors Car

Ford Model A's are popular collectors cars. Two reasons the Model B's retained their popularity was that they were quite advanced over the previous Model T's and not as many of them were produced. The 1930's were produced during the onset of the Great Depression and production of course was affected.

(Photos from author's private collection)



1949 Mercury

Sales figures in 1949 for both Ford and Mercury broke records. The 1949 Mercury Eight was the first post World War Two design. The Mercury Eight was first introduced in 1939 and lasted until the 1951 model year.

1949 mercury

1949 Mercury Sedan

The new design introduced in 1949 would also last through the 1951 model year. The Mercury's new design for 1949 was truly new. The design was so well received that the 1950 Mercury models would see very little changes from the 1949 models.

Some other automobile post war designs were considered little different than the prewar models. The 1949 Mercury was different. Just about everything was changed when compared to the 1948 models. The Lincoln model of that year also came out with a clearly new design. All models of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lines came out with much more modernized designs in 1949.

Mercury's Place in the Ford Motor Company Line

Mercury was created to be positioned between the Fords and the Lincolns. The price gap between the highest priced Ford model and the lowest priced Lincoln model was large. The Mercury was meant to fill that large price gap.

1949 mercury sedan

Mercury new sleeker design for 1949

The marquee name was introduced in 1938 by Edsel Ford, Henry Ford I's son. The Mercury was also introduced in spite of the fact that Henry Ford didn't believe he needed a new brand.

The 1939 Mercury style was all new and didn't share any paneling with either Ford or Lincoln. In 1938 Mercury was set up as an entirely separate company as was Lincoln. This however changed in 1945 when the two were merged into Lincoln-Mercury. An interesting note is that the Mercury brand was an all new creation as opposed to the Lincoln brand which was acquired by Ford in 1922.

The Mercury was considered, at least by Ford Motor Company, an entry level luxury vehicle. Ford's goal was to have car buyers perceive the Mercury as a lower priced Lincoln rather than a higher priced Ford.

The price of the new 1949 Mercury ranged between $1,950 to $2,500. As a comparison, the 1949 Ford V-8 price averaged between $1,500 and $2,000. The 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan was priced around $4,000. You can easily see how the Mercury pricing filled a large void.

edsel ford

Edsel Ford, the founder of the Mercury brand

The Bathtub Generation

The 1949 Mercury shown in this article was the first of the 'bathtub" generation. The bathtub moniker was a result of the 1949's bulbous style. The photo of the trunk area in this article is a good example of this. The 1949 Mercury model came in a 2 and 4 door sedan, a convertible and a wagon.

1949 Mercury Specs

The 1949 Mercury came with a flat head V-8 engine. Specs were 255.4 cid with 110-112 HP. The wheelbase was 118.0 inches and the car's length was 207 inches.The 1949 Mercury's weight averaged 3,321 to 3,800 pounds.

1949 mercury sedan interior

View through rear window

Production figures for the 1949 model year sedan were 156,000. Coupe figures were 120,000 and the Mercury convertible about 17,000.

As a comparison, the 1948 model year sedan production totaled about 41,000 units. About 17,000 coupes were built and about 7,500 convertibles. It should be noted that the 1949 Mercury model came out in April of 1948 which adversely effected the 1948 figures.

Two additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy are the 1953 Kaiser Dragon and the 1951 Hudson Hornet.

The Lead Sled

Some automobile models are turned into hot rods and others into "Lead Sleds." In a large way, the lead sled is also a hot rod of a somewhat different sort. Lead sleds are considered to be modified full size American cars usually from the 1950's.

1949 mercury rear view

Rounded rear trunk area

The 1949 Mercury is included in that category. The full size lead sled typically has the suspension altered and rides quite low. The word "lead" came from the fact that in modification lead was used as a body filler. This was prior to the introduction of "bondo." Bondo was introduced by 3M as a two part putty. The lead filler was used after the side moldings such as the door handles of the automobile to be modified were shaved off. The roof line was also lowered and the paint customized. The lead sled hot rod might have bright paint showing flames.

A Great Collector's Car

The entire 1949 through 1951 Mercury Eight models are popular collector's cars which hold their value well. The most popular model is the 1949 wagon. Some average auction sale prices on 1949 Mercury's as of this date are as follows. These are average sales prices. Sedan about $18,000...coupe about $29,000...convertible about $59,000 and the woody wagon about $66,000. As with all classic and vintage cars and trucks, the actual sales prices will vary a good amount depending on condition and extent of restoration.

(Photos from author's collection. Edsel Ford photo from the public domain)