What Was the Difference Between the Ford Model T and Model B?by C.A. Rubino
The Ford Motor Company is an American automobile manufacturer first founded by Henry Ford in 1903 with capital raised from friends and neighbors. Between 1903 and 1932 the Ford Motor Company released a series of vehicles, each given a sequential alphabetic letter designation, from the Model A to the Model T. Although the Model B is not as well known as it's more popular cousin, the Model T, it is an example of an early Ford "alphabet" car.
The second vehicle that the Ford Motor Company produced, the Model B, was introduced in 1904. Ford produced 1,865 Model Bs during the first year of production. The Model T was first introduced in October 1908 and was the only vehicle offered by Ford in 1909. During the first year of production, Ford manufactured 17,771 Model Ts.
The Model B's production life was short compared to the Model T. It was only manufactured from 1904 to 1906, when it was replaced by the lower quality Model K. In 1932, Ford introduced an updated version of the Model B that was produced until 1935. The Model T was manufactured uninterrupted from its introduction until 1927. In 1915, Ford celebrated the production of the one-millionth Model T.
The Ford Model B was designed as a high-end, luxury touring car. It featured seating for four passengers and had a wood and brass accented body. The Model B was an expensive vehicle, selling for $2,000 when introduced. The Model T was dependable, durable and affordable. With a initial cost of only $850, the Model T was one of the first truly affordable vehicles, contributing to its popularity.
The Ford Model B suffered from a fairly short production run, and the only evolution of the vehicle came during its re-release in 1932. The original 1904 Model B had a four-cylinder inline gasoline engine that produced 24 horsepower. The updated Model B had two versions, a basic four-cylinder model that had an updated engine from the newly re-released Model A, and a version with a more powerful eight-cylinder engine that offered 65 horsepower. The Model T received very few changes over the course of its production run. It gained electric lights in 1915, a black, rather than brass, radiator shell in 1916 and an electric starter in 1919. Beginning in 1919, the Model T began to see a series of updates and redesigns, both mechanically and visually. Model Ts made before 1919 are known as veteran cars, while those manufactured after 1919 are known as vintage.