Following the success of the revived Mini and Fiat 500, Ford is reportedly digging even deeper into its history for a new low-cost retro model.
One hundred and five years after Henry Ford first introduced the Model T, the model to put America on wheels, Tin Lizzy is set to make a dramatic comeback. The history books have recognized the Model T's influence on human history, by electing it as the Car of the Century. However the car's impact on society was more a result of its mass-production technique than its design and style. Let's face it; the Model T was an ugly hunk of junk with its beaten-down body panels and unsophisticated instruments.
Word has it, though, that Ford is now considering reviving the Model T in a tribute to the original, much as it did with the retro Mustang, Thunderbird and GT supercar. From 1908 to 1927, over 15 million Model Ts were produced with the only changes made to the car in its lifetime being the introduction of electric lights, a black (instead of brass) radiator shell, and an optional electric starter. Ford insiders say the top brass wants to "maintain the open wheel, simplistic design, as well as its top speed of less than 50 mph." While a 20-hp engine powered the original, the revival could go electric.
That approach would at least go some way to cleanse Ford's soul, having significantly contributed to perilous state of the world's pollution by putting everyone on gas-powered wheels. At its lowest, the Model T's price tag was $260, which is around $6,000 in today's money. The new Model T - or whatever nameplate it carries - would have to cost a bit more than that, but Ford is reportedly looking to the Tata Nano and its low price tag for its upcoming revival when it's introduced sometime around 2016.