Henry Ford expected to continue producing the Model T indefinitely, making only minimal changes and improvements. But by 1924, the year the 10-millionth Model T was built, it had become apparent that a new car would have to be developed if Ford was to remain competitive.
Ernest Kanzler, brother-in-law and confidant to Edsel Ford, and himself a Ford vice-president, wrote a long letter to old Henry. In it he tactfully refrained from any criticism of the T, but he managed delicately to suggest that it was time for something new. Kanzler was exactly correct, of course, but that letter cost him his job.
Henry relented to the extent of introducing balloon tires as optional equipment in 1925. A few color choices were offered the following year, along with a larger brake band. There was even some nickel-plated trim on certain models.
But it was too little, and much too late. By the mid-Twenties, for an extra $150 the motorist could buy a Chevrolet instead. For that money, the Chevy came equipped with a three-speed sliding-gear transmission, and it was faster, quieter, more flexible, prettier, and a whole lot more comfortable than the Model T. And by that time it had come to be very nearly as tough.
Ford's market share had been falling for a number of years, and just as steadily as Ford sales were declining, those of Chevrolet were gaining. Chevrolet General Manager William S. "Big Bill" Knudsen, ironically a former Ford executive, had promised his troops in his Danish accent that Chevy would match Ford's production "vun for vun," It had become obvious, even to stubborn old Henry Ford, that Knudsen was about to make good on that pledge.
So finally, on May 26, 1927, production of the Model T was ceased, as preparations were being made for the first really new Ford in nearly two decades: the Model A.
On our final page, you will find the specifications for the 1908-1927 Ford Model T.