1914 was the first full year of work after the complete automation of the assembly line at Ford Motor Company. And it was the first year of the now standard left-hand driver position.

The Model T four-cylinder sidevalve engine was first in the world with a detachable head, making service like valve jobs easier. According to Ford, the Model T had a fuel economy of 13 to 21 miles per gallon.

These cars were capable of running on petrol, kerosene or ethanol. Agriculture was still the occupation of a large percentage of the people and ethyl alcohol could be made at home by any self-reliant farmer. Because Ford relied on gravity to feed fuel to the carburetor, rather than a fuel pump, a Model T could not climb a steep hill when the fuel was low. The usual solution was often to drive up steep hills in reverse!!

Changes to the Model T. One of the problems for the company regarding changes was the T’s reputation for not changing and being “already correct”, which Henry Ford enjoyed and which was a selling point for many customers and made it risky to admit any changes actually were happening. There were changes but not recognizable to the public.

Ford told his management team in 1908 that in the future “any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it’s black”, but this did not go into effect until 1914 when ALL models were painted black. During the lifetime of the Model T, over 30 different types of black paint were used on various parts of the car. Black allowed the price to remain low, lower than in 1908.

Leaving nothing to waste, Henry Ford had the scraps of wood left over from the production of the Model T collected and turned into charcoal. With the help of a relative, E. G. Kingsford, a charcoal manufacturing plant was built and the newly formed Ford Charcoal would eventually be renamed Kingsford Charcoal, which can still be purchased today.