Vintage trucks are not the easiest vehicle to run across and the 1920 Ford Model T Truck is certainly one of those. The unrestored truck shown in this article can be found in an old carriage house at the Pioneer Homestead Museum in Plano Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas. The Pioneer Homestead Museum replicates a farm from the late 1800's into the first few decades of the 1900's. Plenty of interesting artifacts and Victorian architecture. If you're in the Dallas Texas area on vacation or visiting friends or relatives, a trip to this outside museum is a fun stop. This particular Ford Model TT as it was called, and they would have been a common sight on early 1900's farms, had both an electric and crank starter system as well as lights. Notice the open cab.
The Ford Model T was a huge sales success for Ford. The car is commonly known as the most influential vehicle of the twentieth century. It was also the first automobile to be mass produced on an assembly line. Although Ford built his first truck in 1900, in 1917 Henry Ford manufactured one ton pickup trucks using a new chassis and one built exclusively for a truck. The truck was received very well by ranchers and farmers and is known as the vehicle that replaced horse drawn carriages for hauling cargo. Starting in 1925, Ford Motor produced it's first truck from a factory assembly line with a selling price of about $275.The Ford Motor Company referred to this new truck design as the "Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body". Approximately 34,000 of these trucks were produced during it's first year.
It should be noted that another well known exclusive truck manufacturer was the company put together by the Mack brothers. The Mack brothers put out their first truck in 1909 that was named the Mack "Junior Model". This was a one and one-half ton truck with a chain drive. Soon to follow was the Mack's "Senior Model". The Mack brothers did a lot of business producing fire trucks and during World War One made trucks for the U.S. military.
The entire concept of a truck based off the Model T car just made a lot of sense at the time. The design was from taken directly from the Model T and added a flat cargo area in the rear of the cab thus making it in effect a car with more utility. It was a sales hit at the time. Features of the Model T Ford Truck included a two foot longer wheel base along with two rear springs. The truck had the same engine and transmission as the Model T car.
The Ford pickup truck saw it's first major design change in the 1924 model year. In that year there were some eight different models offered with various cab types. The most noticeable change was seen in the sloping windshield. One year later in 1925 there were several different bed layouts offered. The Ford Model TT truck as it was known as was eventually replaced in 1927 with the Ford Model AA pickup truck.
In 1910, Ford Motor moved to a factory in Highland Park Michigan, a suburb surrounded by Detroit, where Model T's were coming off the line at about three minute intervals. Prior to that, cars were manufactured at Ford's Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit which was constructed just after one year in business in 1904. It was in the Piquette plant that Ford and his engineers came up with the design for the famously popular Model T. The very first Model T was built at the Piquette plant in 1908. Before moving to Highland Park, about 12,000 Ford Model T's were built at that plant. The Piquette Avenue Plant is on the National Register of Historic Places and also is a Michigan State Historic Site.
You may also be interested in our article on the 1929 Ford Model A car.
(Truck photos from author's private collection. Highland Park Ford plant photo is in public domain)