I have two questions, one I’ll post here and the other on another thread.
Ever since I became interested in our hobby I’ve often wondered why the Model T is generally referred to as the “Model T Ford” instead of “Ford Model T”. I see it like this in many publications and hear it from people when they are referring to the Model T.
I’m just curious.
I've heard some of the oldsters say T Model Ford.
In the old days, when Model T's were still being manufactured, they were just called Fords. They didn't really start calling them Model T's until after the Model A's.
it's 30/30 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, 45 Long Colt, and one of my favorites 22 Long Rifle. The last one does not follow the same pattern but still one of mine favorite.
As to t he Model T Ford which sounds better:
The Model T Ford Club of America or
The T Model Ford Club of America ??
I can't remember that far back, but as long as I can remember, the most common name was "Model T" second was "T Model" Sometimes the name Ford was included.
My grandfather called each of his cars "The Machine" His last car was a 36 Ford V8 fordor sedan. It also was "The Machine"
Norm, that was pretty widespread in that generation, I think. My great-grandmother always referred to any car as "the machine."
"Did you walk?" "No, we went in the machine."
I remember up to about 20 years ago, just about every old-timer that would come up to us and tell stories about the cars they had back in the day pretty much only referred to them as "The Ford", "Their Ford", or "Fords".
Here in the South a lot of folks call the old Fords T models or A models. I don't know why. My dad, who was born in 1916, always called the later Fords V8's. Even in later years after everybody was making V8 engines if Dad mentioned a V8 you knew he was talking about a Ford. Happy T'ing. Bob
My Grandpa, born in 1897, referred to it as just a Model T or Model T Ford, as did my elderly neighbors born in 1913.
I'll bet it was because since the Model T was the only car Ford manufactured for 18 years, it bacame unnecessary to include Ford in the name, so, for those that grew up with it, Ford became an afterthought that could be added...or not, because back then, everyone knew what a Model T was. It was only later, as Model T's receded into the memory, that for those that had no living memory of the Model T, that the people of that generation who remembered it and referred to it back then only as Model T, felt it necessary to add Ford to the Model T name. Jim Patrick
I tend to agree with Jim. Being there was so many of them, any time you heard the moniker Model T, you knew exactly what company made it.
Did you go in the machine?
No, I traveled by shank's mare.
When I was a youg kid we had a neighbor who had a Model T and it was always refered to as a Model T, nothing else, mine are Model t's, one is also know as the Depot Hack and the other as the Touring car.
Then there are all the tbay auctions where every old car is a Model T.
When I told a 50 year old kid at work that I had bought a Model T Ford he asked if it was diecast or plastic
Not only cars are called T Model Ford! It would be interesting to know how he came about his name.
My dad's father (1895-1983) always called his cars "la machina", the machine in Italian, regardless of make.
My mother's father (1895-1965)had an '18 TT he called, "My baby Lincoln", which I believe was a mis-applied term originally intended for the Model A's (the second Model A's).
When I owned my first Model T my Dad, who was born the year before the Model T, always refereed to it as "your old Ford". He owned several in the era then changed to Dodges in the late '20's.
I once asked him why he never called it a Model T and his response was that he and his family always call "them" Fords. I guess "Model T Ford" was redundant to him...
I have also heard my Model T referred to as a "T Model" by several of my Grandpa's old WW I buddies who came over to admire my finshed Model T when I drove it 50 miles to Lakland, Florida on it's maiden voyage in 1972, when was 18.
They used to sit around playing checkers when they weren't playing shuffleboard and I used to enjoy sitting whith them listening to their war stories. There was one old veteran who told of serving under "Old Black Jack Pershing" in 1916 when they entered Mexico in an effort to capture Pancho Villa. He said he drove a T Model in that campaign, but Villa got away. Jim Patrick
Did your friend tell what Pancho Villa did to the Americans chasing him? Reprtedly, he took their horses guns and clothes, then had them march in formation back across the boarder. At least that is what I have read. Did not know that they took Model T's or T Models or Machines on the invasion.
In my part of the world things were much the same.
My recollection is of my older family members calling them either "Model T" or "T model". "Ford" was dropped from its title.
My generic car clubs membership forms ask for make & model etc. I just write down "Ford" "T"
One can only imagine what folks of the first generation of automobiles thought of this new technology. It was quickly changing their world. For the better? I would say yes, although those times seemed difficult for many. Even with Henry Ford making the Model T affordable for the masses, I’m sure it was still a challenge for many to afford to own and maintain. I’m sure many purchased used cars or traded cows or crops or their labor for their automobile.
I interviewed a pioneer woman a few years back, and she described the first time she saw a car. Her family lived on a farm and one day a family member yelled to everyone that something was coming towards the farm. She described as a young child how scared she was and how she squeezed her father’s leg in fear of this contraption heading their way. They all thought how could something move without horses pulling it? This woman lived to be over one hundred years old. She told me she had seen a lot of changes in her life.
Back to, why is it referred to as the “Model T or “Model T Ford” rather than “Ford Model T”. After reading your comments, I believe I better understand why it is the “Model T.”
Heck, it’s “The Universal Car,”“The Car of the Century,” everyone knows it’s the “Model T.”
Thanks for your comments,
In lots of old books & publications that I've read, the writers most often refered to them as "ford cars". We just ran across a kid's book in a box of auction stuff titled "Uncle Fonzo's Ford".
Orlando, you're right about a lot of people's first cars being used. The first car on our place was a 1916 Chevrolet touring bought used in 1919.
From a grammar perspective, either is correct. Since "Model T" is used as an descriptive adjective, it can occur in front of or behind the noun. Hence there is no confusion that the Model T is a Ford or that it is a Ford Model T. Confusion would occur (outside this forum) if you left the noun "Ford" out since Chevrolet also had a Model T.
LOL... My Great Aunt, recently passed before her 101st birthday, described the events of her first observation of an airplane flying overhead. I can't repeat many of the words here but she had everyone rolling on the floor. The period would have been about 1919 when she was 10 years old.
I asked this question on one of the National tours and was told that they were called "T Models" in the "South" which of course is not the south but rather the south east except Florida. All very confusing to an immigrant...
I think it's kind of like a first name/last name kind of thing. Like saying Jerry Van versus Van Jerry. The model name first, then the surname. I used to call my Mustang a "Mustang Ford" but, I must say I don't call my Explorer an "Explorer Ford".
Just adding to the mystique: My wife's grandfather, uncle, and now cousin all worked at "FORDS"; not Ford and not FORD'S. Why is that Mr. Kopsky?
Joncrane. Here is a picture of the fleet of vehicles used to pursue Pancho Villa. He may have captured a few American scouting parties, and did to them what you say, but his was a very small band of raiders that retreated into the barren wasteland of central Mexico to elude capture. The pursuing American Army, which included future General George Patton, plagued by mechanical breakdowns and supply problems eventually had to turn back without ever seeing Pancho Villa. Just by running and avoiding capture, he claimed victory, but the American army acheived what it intended. Pancho Villa's raids on American towns stopped. He was considered a hero by the Mexicans until he was assasinated in 1923. Jim Patrick
Well,T model is what my dad calls them.I useally call them T models myself.
My 61 Tbird,my grandfather would argue all day that it was NOT a Ford but a Thunderbird.Period.Not a Ford.Just his way of thinking I guess.
I believe the term began its life as "Ford's", as in Henry Ford's company.
On a similar note, I've always found it interesting listening to old timers who worked for "the Westinghouse".
Here's a great documentary about it:
Available on tbay in Beta or VHS.
Were any Model T's abused or killed during the making of that movie? Jim Patrick
Regarding the picture of the US supply train, preparing to leave for Mexico... Looks like many of those trucks in the line to the left are Mack's. Notice the water buffulo (USMC jargon for water carriers) on the right halfway back. Is that a Model TT in the middle sitting in front of that building? Jim Patrick
Most of the old blokes I have heard refer to them as a "Ford T"
I have seen this movie thanks to a fellow club member (need to get it back to you Mark). It is very campy and I do not recall any Ts being abused, but an old sidecar motorcycle gets destroyed. One view was enough. I believe the villain car is the same one used in the tony curtis film about the great race. Any film buffs know for sure?
In 1938 I took my first driver's test in a 1924 Ford. When I received my driver's license it had a restriction, "Model T Ford Only". The 3 pedals vs. a stick shift was significant.
Now, in California, when I renew my driver's license, and I am asked if I ever had any restrictions on my license, I put down "Yes" and "Model T Ford Only"
My dad always called them T-Models, then A-Models, as did his brothers. His first car was a modified 1920 T-Model Ford - no body, just a school bus seat bolted to the frame. He grew up in Smith Center, KS, so maybe it was a midwestern thing.