Ford Model T Voted Car of the Century
20 December 1999Ford Model T Voted Car of the Century - Recognized For Its Impact Contributions Worldwide
Henry Ford Voted Automotive Entrepreneur of the Century by International Panel LAS VEGAS, Dec. 19 -- Ford Motor Company was awarded Car of the Century (COTC) for its Model T at an internationally attended gala in Las Vegas last night. Additionally, recognizing his contributions to twentieth century, Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company and creator of the Model T, was named Automotive Entrepreneur of the Century. The event and the awards were presented by Car of the Century International, sponsored by a worldwide group of car enthusiasts and originated by Dick Holzhaus of the Netherlands. "The twentieth century can, in retrospect, be regarded as the 'century of the car' -- a revolution of technology and lifestyle. In this revolution, Ford Motor Company paved the way both as a manufacturer and as an industry leader," said Mr. Holzhaus. "It was Henry Ford's vision to give people unprecedented mobility that changed the lives of millions throughout the world." The Car of the Century was chosen from a list of 200 cars selected for consideration by a jury of five automotive specialists, known as the Honorary Committee of Experts. A second jury, comprised of 126 renowned automotive journalists from 32 countries reduced the list to 100. Finally, the "Top 100" car selection was posted online and enthusiasts and car lovers around the world were invited to vote for their 10 favorite cars. This list was ultimately reduced to five finalists, which were displayed in Las Vegas Saturday night as the jurors' votes were tabulated. Model T: Car of the Century Between 1903 and 1908, Henry Ford and his engineers developed 19 different vehicles -- naming them each for a letter of the alphabet, from Model A to Model S. Some of these cars were experimental models that never reached the public. Perhaps the most recognized of the production cars was the Model N -- a small, four-cylinder car which sold for $500. The Model T was introduced on October 1, 1908 and quickly won the approval of millions of owners, who affectionately dubbed it "The Tin Lizzie." Lizzie was popular slang for a good and dependable servant. Besides providing independence and opportunity, the Model T was also affordably priced. The car initially sold for $850, but continual improvements in design and production eventually lowered the price to $260. The first year's production of Model T's reached 10,660, breaking all records for the industry. By 1921, Model T's accounted for 56.6% of global auto production. In total, more than 15 million Ford Model Ts were sold worldwide. Henry Ford: Automotive Entrepreneur of the Century Henry Ford rose from a farm boy and tinkerer to the world's first billionaire, all on the strength of a single idea. He clung to that idea through two failed attempts at starting companies. His idea was an affordable and dependable car for the common man. His achievements brought about such a car, and the establishment of mass production which changed the face of the automotive industry and provided a model for other industries to follow. Additionally, he originated the significant social contribution of the five-dollar-day at a time when the average worker made less than that in a week, spurring the growth of the middle class in America. The contributions of Henry Ford were recently recognized by Fortune magazine when it named him "Businessman of the Century" for making transportation available to the masses and pioneering the moving assembly line in manufacturing. "Ford Motor Company is honored to have been chosen for this recognition," said John Clinard, manager of Ford Motor Company Public Affairs, Western Region, who accepted the awards. "The Ford Motor Company story is intertwined with the story of the twentieth century. Both the company and the Ford Family have played a significant role in the industrial and social progress that has characterized the century. From the revolutionary Model T through today's state-of-the-art products, Ford's contribution to the dreams and mobility of people around the world cannot be overstated. Our heritage, recognized tonight, provides us inspiration to increase that contribution as we enter the next century." More information on the Car of the Century program can be obtained from their website: http://www.cotc.com .