I've been told that 15-million Model T Fords were built (but I understand the true number is actually closer to 15.4-million).
I've also heard that there are about 250,000 Tin Lizzies in existence today, all over the world, in condition ranging from pristine restorations to mounds of rust that barely cast a shadow.
And I've heard that in the United States, there are 60,000 Flivvers in roadworthy or intact condition.
I doubt all these statistics are accurate. Can you guys update these numbers?
(Oh, and by the way, Hagerty Insurance Company says they insure about 5,000 Model T Fords including customs and hot-rods.)
And then, I bet around here, there is a good 25-30
and just about all are not club members. I know
most owners, some are registered some are not.
Meaning thats 30 more unacounted for, and thats
just here local. Not counting the hidden ones.
And then I know a guy with 10 T's atlease (30) 1936
Fords not for sale not registered dont want to talk
about them, so thats just here, not to mention the
planet. Wouldnt surprize me, someday they'll find
one on Mars.........
Someone posted a picture of one on the moon a few years a go when this topic came up.
I can't help but think the number is much much higher. Just impossible to verify. I bet it's an easy million.
Usually the numbers of a certain car model dwindles down to about one percent of those originally sold after say 25-30 years. The vast majority of Model T's were sold in the US since the standards of living were so much higher there during the T years than in the rest of the world, so a larger percentage of the population had the means to buy a car there than everywhere else.
Let's say 14 millions were sold in the US and about a million in the rest of the world. That would leave about 140,000 there and about 10,000 all over the world remaining today?
Quite a few T's has been sold from the US to for example Germany and England in the latest decade - can't be much more than a thousand, though.
No chance to verify this estimation, only country I know where the statistics are quite clear is here in Sweden: In 1925 Ford # 50,000 was imported to Sweden, so an estimation could be about 60,000 Fords sold between 1909-1927, including trucks.
The Model T club of Sweden has kept statistics of every remaining or imported car that they have come across since they started in 1955 and they have about 800 T's in their register. That's about 1.3% survival rate - a bit high, might come from a general high interest for old cars in Sweden since the mid 60's plus some import from neighboring countries?
Am with you on your analysis, that using the 1-2 percent survival rate is the best estimate.
Posted this year is another estimate....from a good source
By Tom Rootlieb on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 06:47 pm:
[Mfg. of replacement Ford T sheet metal parts] We have never kept track of numbers. Our company is 40 yrs. old this year and we can somewhat guess by recollection. The number of employees has varied from 3 to 18. My guess is that we have sold 3 to 4 thousand dropped- axles and sold 4 to 5 thousand Model T speedster kits. Some years ago we were looking at similar data and we realized that we had put a new hood and 4 new fenders on a minimum of 40,000 cars. At the same time we put our best guess on how many cars survived, intact and in pieces at 200,000. While that number may seem big, it's only a 1.3% survival rate. So we have at least another 100 yrs. of work to do. Back in 1973, when I was 24 and we were just starting out, my father and I were talking one day and he told me not to count too much on this business, because in 10 years there wouldn't be any old cars left out there and we would both be looking for a job. I'll be 65 on my next birthday.
My experience here has been that there are a lot more than I thought. There are at least a dozen in this rural county. Let's cut that in half for the counties that are even more rural. So 105 counties in Kansas would make 630 T's in the state. Given the much larger populations and the much greater number of T's originally sold in several other states, I think Roger's 140,000 in the US is very reasonable. In fact, I'd guess that the total is probably more than that.
A few things were in favor of the Model T's survival. One was the large number sold and the availability of parts. Another was the great depression which came shortly after the end of production. So many cars were kept running because people couldn't afford to buy a new car. Then followed the second world war during which no new civilian cars were manufactured in the U.S.A. Finally the cars had been around for so long that they began to be valued as antiques and the clubs were formed. Also many of the cars were owned by people in rural areas where they just parked the car when they were done using it, instead of selling it or disposing at a wrecking yard. The sheet metal was of so thick a gauge that it was slow to rust all the way through. So there are still "barn finds" being made today.
With in 5 miles of me there are 8 T's that are driving around plus the 5 that I have. I'm the only one that is connected to a club, they are private people and stay to them self. I have also ran into many others like this in my travels over the past 30 years of tinkering with T's. I'd love to see a way of having a good count but I don't think it is going to happen. There are others that I know that are connected with clubs or not (just of the top of my head) would add about 100 + to the list.
What about our five - aren't we within 5 miles of you, Bob ?
During the scrap collecting days of WWII, a whole bunch of T's wound up in scrap yards. That's probably the period when the largest number of T disappeared.
I grew up during WWII. I know there were two T's which drove by my house almost every day, and I saw others every time we went to town. In the summer I could hear the sound of the T's starting out from the stop sign 2 blocks from our house. Many, many survived the war. Others were put up on blocks because of gas rationing.
My neck of the woods (Commack, Long Island) isn't known for being Buzz-Coil Central, yet within a 7-mile radius of my home are seven Model T Fords:
an '11 Depot Hack,
a '12 Touring,
a '14 Touring,
a '15 Touring, just like mine,
my '15 Touring,
a '25 Lt-TT,
and an enclosed, steel T, the vintage of which I forgot.
How about adding all the T's that didn't survive but have been put together from parts? My guess another 5%-10% more than just the intact survival estimates. Really, who cares? The more the better. ;-)
Yes your with in 5 miles, Just had CRS again. I'm sure there's others also.
With in 500 feet of me are 14 model T's and a pile of parts. Dan
Just when I think you know of all Model T's within 20-25 miles of Tulsa, more just pop up. In the last year 3 TT's 4 tourings a couple of roadsters and a Fordor. All have been stored for years, owners are not club members. I think there are a lot more just sitting than we know.
Maybe because of being on the Board of Directors for the club I had 5 contacts from owners of cars that are just now seeing the light of day and express interest in getting them back on the road. This was just this week.
I thought I knew of all of them in my area but a while back I was getting gas for my truck and had a T engine in the back, some guy asked me if I was selling it or buying it, come to find out there was one less than two miles from my house and had been there a many years shoved back in the garage with stuff in front of it, who would of ever thought it?
We tracked and traced any and every Model T in our small town here in Cleveland, Tn or Bradley County for years up on years, I too thought I knew where most Model A's and T's were but they still keep turning up from time to time. Not sure if they are hauled in or the older owners are passing away and maybe where they had them stored away the kids or the grand-kids are pulling them out of storage..? But I now know you never know where one of these things are going to surface..! Counting the one I just got I've found 4 others right here where I live this year that I never knew about, all which are with in 10 - 25 miles of my house.
Best part is they are still out there hidden away, and that is pretty exciting.
I don't suppose there is any way to get info from the Dept. of Motor Veh.? The should be able to punch in Ford Model T and have a list pop up for any state of the ones licensed.
One would have to contact all 50 DMV's in the USA
I did my state of FL ten years ago, cost was $50 then for a printout of all current registrations for my search of "1909-1927 Ford". Got 25 pages of VIN's, body types, and year. Most had 'modern' VIN's especially the pages of 1923 roadsters, so you know those were street rods!
Best I could cipher was a count of about 3,500 Fords but most were rods. Figured that approx. 1 Actual Model T per 30k population of the 15.5mil in FL, or est. 515 Model T's with current license registrations. How many not licensed, not running, not assembled, or just parts cars in FL, who knows!
Part of the reason T's were not hauled in as much as some other cars during the WWII scrap drives was that they don't weigh much and weren't worth much. Scrap iron was 13-15 bucks a ton at at time. Much of the "scrap drive" myth is just that. This is an interesting read on how much more scrap was collected during WWII than the years before.
The other reason T's weren't hauled in as much as many other cars is that there was a market for the parts. Since engines, front ends, wheels, etc., would interchange throughout many years on the T Ford, many people hauled in other cars but kept the T because they could use or sell the parts.
Our town Allora in south east queensland has 10 resident Model T's for a population of 900 thats one Model T for every 90 people. If you multiply that our you will no doubt find that there are more than 15 million now gracing the earth. It is proven logic because there are now more type 35 GP Bugatties that the factory produced same for Dino Ferrari racing cars they like rabbits multiply. Thought you might like my theory, might do a thesis on the subject.
If you figure every Model A owner has 1 or 1-1/2 Model T's and there at least 250,000 A's....
Hard to belive 10-14 million T's were scraped?