‘15 Millionth Ford Model T’ series continues with Part 3

Presented by the Historic Vehicle Association, the third chapter of the multipart series looks at the ‘Unexpected Consequences’ of the cars’ massive success

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Part 3 of the Historic Vehicle Association’s documentary video series, The 15 Millionth Ford Model T, shows the profound impact that the Model T had on American society through the teens and ’20s. 

Titled “Unexpected Consequences,” this chapter delves into Henry Ford adaptation of the moving assembly line to boost production while cutting costs.  But the monotony of assembly line work drove workers away, that is until the automaker raised the base salary to a stunning $5 per day, which then helped create the rise of the blue-collar middle class. 

That industry-leading wage brought a flood of prospective workers to Ford’s door, allowing the paternalistic company to pick and choose its employees based on their lifestyles as well as their abilities. 

The new mobility of the Model T helped create the suburbs, as workers could finally afford the cars they were building.  And as the ranks of workers expanded, the balance of power shifted as labor unions were formed.

Next up is chapter 4 in the series titled “The End of an Era,” when the Model T becomes outmoded and a new kind of affordable Ford takes its place. 

The HVA produced the series in partnership with Hagerty collector car insurance and valuation, the Henry Ford Museum and the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant.

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To view the first two parts of the 15 Millionth Ford Model T series, visit Part 1 and Part 2.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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