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Buy a Ford and Spend the Difference at the County Fair

Today most new car buyers learn about the automobile they are interested in on the internet and then go and visit a dealer to purchase one. This early-1920s the situation was quite different and this image contains cars, a truck, a tractor and attachments from a Ford agency, all of which were moved to a county fair in Montana to get exposure to the general public, who came from miles around to attend.

In the enlargeable view of the complete photograph below, left-to-right are the following Ford vehicles: a Model “TT” one-ton truck with an enclosed cab and a stake bed body, a “T” center-door sedan priced at $645, a roadster for $319, a coupe for $580, a touring car for $348, and a Fordson tractor that when first introduced in 1917 sold at $750.

The highest-priced vehicle, the sedan priced at $645 would sell for $7,780 today when the price is adjusted for inflation; the most popular body style, the touring car at $348 would cost $4,100 today. Both cars, price wise, were out of the reach of the average family at the time until the Ford Motor Company began its first financing program – in comparison to the present day all of the offerings were quite inexpensive, just as the sales banner broadcasted then. The image is courtesy of the Montana Memory Project.


7 responses to “Buy a Ford and Spend the Difference at the County Fair

  1. L-R The ton truck was only available as a chassis before 1924. The body is dealer supplied. The sedan, runabout and coupe are the 1917-mid 1923 style. The touring has the “one man top” upgrade. Note the angled windshield, but still has the “low radiator”. The Fordson still has the cast iron gas tank just forward of the dash. The dash does not have the 3 fender attachment holes at the edge, so makes it pre March 1923 when fenders were an option. It does have the 7 spoke rear wheels an upgrade from the previous 6 spoke. Conclusion: early 1923.

    • To further expound on Edwin’s observations, these low radiator cars are likely early ’23 production: no radiator aprons, no lips on the front edge of the front fenders, and the slant windshield & one man top were introduced on the Touring in ’23.

  2. These “T”s bring back good memories. A Chinese immigrant had as the pride of his life a new Model T fordor which even in 1949 was as new looking as when new, original tires, paint and all. In fact he never drove in the rain and would pick any rocks out of the tires when he parked. A friend had a Model TT truck which he regularly drove, and I asked him what was the score card in the cab? He proudly explained it was a record of all the cars he had passed which numbered three.

  3. The tractor is a Fordson Model F, powered by a 4-cylinder 20hp engine which delivered 10hp at the drawbar. The Model F was in production from 1917 until 1928. The Fordson was smaller than other tractors, which made it more affordable and easy to produce. The engine, transmission, and axle housings were all bolted together to form the basic structure of the tractor, which eliminated the need for a separate frame.

  4. Each (of the 4 cylinders) on a Model “T, or TT” had its own “Shower of Sparks” – “Buzzer ” (Quick Change)” Ignition coil. SO did the Fordson Tractor: BECAUSE the tractor STARTED on Gasoline and RAN on Kerosene, It was found that: It needed a higher spark Voltage!!! The Tractor Unit (LABELED: “TRACTOR UNIT” ) is exactly the same EXTERNAL WOODEN BOX size, but internally, the T, or TT coil — has TWO Secondary windings and the Fordson “TRACTOR UNIT” has THREE Secondary windings !!! You can use the “HOTTER” Tractor Unit on T’s or TT’s, — but: NOT recommended , —the other way around !!! for you Fordson GUYS! Edwin W.

  5. If you haven’t read “Me and the Model T” by Roscoe Sheller, you really should. It’s one of the best automotive books ever. It’s by a guy who lucked into becoming a Ford salesman in 1915 and watched it and his customers metamorphose through the end in 1927. Absolutely fascinating.

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