How Ford’s Legendary Model T Got its Name

Posted on 11-02-2023

By Darrel Burnett, Executive Director – The Automobile Gallery & Event Center

Have you ever wondered how Ford’s legendary Model T got its name?

With two failed car companies on his resume, Henry Ford had a lot riding on the launch of the new Ford Motor Company in 1903. Those early days were rough, and Henry and his team conceived a series of prototypes between 1903 and the introduction of the Model T October 1st, 1908 — 20 versions as a matter of fact. Since the letter “T” is the 20th letter in the alphabet, Henry chose to call his first car the Model T.

Suffice it to say that the Model T fit the American public to a “T”.  Ford sold 15 million Model T’s between 1908 and 1927. 

So, of course, the obvious question is why Ford named its second car a Model A instead of the Model U which is the next letter in the alphabet?

Ford claimed the new car was such a departure from the Model T that it wanted to start fresh with the letter A. The Model A debuted 96 years ago this month on November 27th, 1927.

Now you know everything right down to the letter!