The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Museum has added one of the earliest existing Model T automobiles. The car, vehicle identification number (VIN) 220, is one of the first Model T automobiles assembled at the Piquette Plant in December, 1908. The car was once on display at the Harrah’s Automobile Collection in Nevada. At the beginning of October, the car was listed for sale on the eBay auction site and sold to an anonymous buyer. The buyer immediately shipped the car to the Piquette museum to help tell the story of Detroit’s early automobile industry. Arriving Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, the 220 is now on display along with dozens of other vehicles of that era.
The Ford Model T was the car that “put the world on wheels.” During its production run, more than 15 million Model Ts were produced. The Piquette Plant is the second home of the Ford Motor Company, and the company’s first purpose- built factory. Models built at Piquette were B, C, F, K, N, R, S, and T. Cars were assembled at Piquette using the stationary method of assembly. More than 12,000 Model T’s were assembled at Piquette.
A bit more about the Ford Model T Number 220
The Model T was inexpensive, durable, and versatile. With a few modifications, a Model T could become a truck, a snowmobile, a tractor, a bus, a cab—even a manure-spreader. The model T also pretty much established the left hand drive as the new standard for American automobiles.
After only five years in business & four years in the Piquette Avenue Ford Plant, Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company had built several successful cars. The original Model B, C, F, K, N, R, S, and T.
In August 1908, assembly began on the first Model T at the Ford Piquette Plant. The vehicle was officially released on October 1, 1908, beginning a production run for the Model T which would culminate when 15,000,000 vehicles had been assembled by 1927. During this time many improvements and changes were made. So many, in fact, that today historians often consider the first 2500 cars as pre-production prototypes. One such “orphan” has returned to its birthplace. It is VIN #220, in today’s vernacular, was assembled in December 1908. This vehicle is important in that it represents many of the early attempts to build a quality car that could be produced in great numbers. Some features which changed early on are quite evident in this automobile.
Car #220 was discovered in the early 1950s and since that time has been restored to its original condition by several well-known collectors and restoration experts. The previous owner acquired the car in 2006 and was its caretaker until the family made it available for public sale in October of this year. The new owner, aware of the significance of this example, has made it available for loan to the Piquette Ford Museum. The #220 has returned to its birthplace after a 107-year hiatus, for the public to view.
The Ford Piquette Plant Museum is located at 461 Piquette Street, Detroit Michigan. The hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM until 4:00 PM.