Lakeland Motor Museum celebrates ‘Tin Lizzie’, as classic model marks 110th birthday

Model T Van photographed inside the museum and close-up image of the van's signage.

November 2018 marks the 110th anniversary of the launch of Ford’s famous Model T, or “Tin Lizzie”, with a pristine version of the classic vehicle – a later model, on display in our ground floor exhibition hall.

In production for just under 20 years, the Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, beating off competition from the BMC Mini, Citroën DS, and Volkswagen Type 1.

Henry Ford’s Model T was arguably the greatest contribution made to the motoring world and is still considered to be the most influential car of the 20th century. Speaking before the design process began, Mr Ford declared the vehicle would be aimed squarely at the “middle classes”, with his mission statement declaring, “I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one.”

16.5 million Model Ts were sold, and it was the first car to achieve one million, five million, ten million and fifteen million units sold. It’s estimated that by 1914, nine out of every ten cars on the road around the world were Fords.

The vehicle we have on display is one from the 1920s, on loan from owner Jeremy Howarth from Blackpool - where the vehicle was regularly seen on the streets.

The location of this Ford Model T,in the heart of The Lake District, is very much in keeping with Henry Ford’s final words in his statement of intent for the vehicle, with every “man” able to use the car to “enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.”

The Model T has been part of the Lakeland Motor Museum’s impressive line-up of classic vehicles since the museum opened at its initial site on the Holker estate in 1978 before moving to a purpose-built site in Backbarrow in 2010. 

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