Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ford Model T - 100 Years Later

For me, the T's profile was always the archetypical vintage car.

Damn, look at it go off-road!
I don't recall seeing one in real life, but I have actually once sand-blasted the sheets for a Model A, the outer covering. If you try that with the paper-thin plates of a modern car, you will buckle them severely. In fact, just a few stray sand grains will dent the sheets visibly, I've done that too. (Sand-blasting is a very forceful process, and tough to control precisely.)

By the way, interesting tidbit: assembly line production was clearly an economic and industrial revolution. But then again I did hear that the Swedish high-end camera manufacturer Hasselblad at one point went from an assembly line style production back to one person doing much more different work on a single camera. And they found that the number of mistakes being made dropped. I guess that was about lessening the feeling of pressure on the speed of production, and raising the feeling of individual responsibility and pride in the work.


Anonymous said...

Plus, Archie's original jalopy was a Model T.

Alex said...

I've seen a plenty of these things.

A lot of them got major reworks from hot-rodders, they are known as "bucket T's".

The most unusual one I've seen was modified for use in the Sierra Nevada. A trailing axle had been added and caterpillers put over the rear wheels. Then the front wheels were cradled onto skis for steering making a half track snow mobile.

I've also seen 2 seater buggies, and station wagons, back when a hotel would have a wagon to take guests too and from the train station.

All my car photos are on film, and burried in storage, otherwise I'd scan some for you.

Anonymous said...

All my car photos are on film, and burried in storage, otherwise I'd scan some for you.

Get your skinny ass in gear and go dig some of those out. :-)

Alex said...

Why bother when there are so many similar images on-line already?

I know I have pics of that model T, but it was at a car show in an old town, and there were crowds a plenty, so I can't remember if I got any good clear shots.

captcha "zdcar"

RonC said...

More than twenty years ago, Volvo (and Saab?) realised the inadequacies of the-then 'flow' production system, with a vehicle chassis being passed along from worker to worker each doing one tiny task.
They moved at Kalmar (for instance) to a 'dock' system, somewhat similar to that for making larger trucks, where a group of workers added whole large(r) assemblies, thus providing better quality control (watching each other's work, since the standard was set for the group rather than the individual) and (allegedly) more satisfying work, than the repetitive "sticking one set of wheel nuts on each car which passes".

I haven't checked whether they still use such a system, but someone in the 'readership' will know?

By the way, Eolake - are you watching the Danish TV Detective series which just started in the UK - "The Killing" with Sofie Grabol - Mondays @ midnight, BBC4 ?

Anonymous said...

Why bother when there are so many similar images on-line already?

Great attitude! Reminds me of Homer's "Can't Someone Else Do It?!" campaign slogan.

Alex said...

Yeah, I know, lousy attitude. I just spent a week over sorting out "probably keeper stuff" in closets and the garage and boxing it up and putting it in storage to make space for the sort out of the unboxed unknown stuff that has filled the house in the 10 years since we moved in.

So the last thing I want to do is get the photos back from the storage facility and then have to go through to find which year and which envelope it's in. I know it's after I stopped putting car pictures in the car album, and after I stopped putting negative number and date on the print and properly filing the negs.

All just to prove a point that a 2 minute web search would answer.

Skis and wheels.

Front wheels replaced with skis, rear caterpillars

Alex said...

Oh, and it doesn't mean I'll stop shooting, but there are days when you don't get what you want and find someone already had it.

Postcards before the late 80's were very bland documentary compositions (I'm talking about UK urban postcards). It used to be fun taking more interesting pictures. In the 80's there suddenly became plenty of good back alley, close up and basically well lit postcards appear. I found a lot of my day trips were grey and overcast, and not best lighting, so I started buying postcards too. Is that the same attitude?

Oh, and I'm not taking htis personally.

Anonymous said...

Ah, for the record I was actually joking. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I hate having to put a smiley face at the end every time, kind of the internet equivalent of a laugh track telling you when to laugh.

Anonymous said...

Is that the same attitude?

It might be, and an inescapable modern one that applies to a lot of things. For example, I thought once about taking up the guitar but why bother when there are guys like Clapton, Slash, Hendrix, Knopfler, and many others who play better than I ever could?

eolake said...

Thanks, Ron, interesting data.
(I'd not seen your comment, for some reason I didn't get the usual mail.)
I'd not hear about the TV series, thanks.


When I talk to people face to face, I will usually smile when making a joke. So I use the smiley face for the same purpose.
Early on I was much against its lack of subtlety.