1912 Ford Model T Tourer

The Collection’s exhibit

Henry Ford devised the Model T to ‘put America on wheels’, coupling a tough and basic design with innovative mass production methods that made the car affordable to many.

This car has a unique link to the Shuttleworth Collection in that it was owned locally from 1913 when it was sold to Albert Edward Grimmer, who ran the Flitt Motor Company in Church Street, Ampthill, who registered it for trade use for hire as a six seater hackney carriage.

Albert Grimmer was also a keen pioneering aeronautist and rescued the Collection’s 1909 Blériot and 1910 Deperdussin aeroplanes, eventually becoming a close friend of Richard Shuttleworth, who acquired both machines in 1935 from Grimmer, on the proviso he gave them a good home.

The Ford was eventually sold by Albert Grimmer in 1948, having been in his possession for nearly 35 years, the new owner being Eric Whiteways, one-time president of the Model T Owners Club. It was later purchased by Shuttleworth Vehicle Collection manager Stuart Gray, who was keen to reunite the car with both the collection’s Blériot and Deperdussin aircraft. It has since been maintained and ‘sympathetically restored’ by Stuart and Vehicle Collection volunteers.

For many years the Ford Model T could justly claim to be the world’s best-selling car, with 16.5 million made in the USA, Canada, and Britain, when the model came to the end of a 19-years production run in 1927. With a simple frame chassis, 2.9-litre four cylinder engine, two-speed gearbox, and only a transmission brake, the ‘Tin Lizzie’, as it became known, was the car that brought motoring to the masses. This Tourer example was manufactured at Ford’s Manchester (Trafford Park) factory.

As an aside, there’s no accelerator pedal on the Model T – engine speed is controlled by a lever below the steering wheel. The two-speed gearbox is foot-pedal operated.


Manufacturer:  Ford Motor Company, Manchester

Model: Model T Tourer

Engine: 2999cc, four cylinder, in-line

Top Speed: 45mph

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