1920 Ford Model T "Center Door" Sedan
The Model T was announced on October 1, 1908 and the Ford Motor Company started producing them in 1909. The 2-door sedan body was introduced by Ford as a new body style in 1915. Model T's were designed to be "interchangeable" but the Sedans were unique. Originally they had aluminum panels and required special rear fenders and splash aprons. The gas tank was located under the rear seat, proving a disaster for fuel flow, and the two doors were located, centered, on both sides. Ford never called it a "Centerdoor" and literature labeled these cars only as a 2-door, 5-passenger sedan.
The Centerdoor body style made Ford one of the first automobile manufactures to offer an enclosed automobile for the entire family. However, issues with the Centerdoor made it undesirable at the time. The public saw them as top-heavy and unstable and the amount of glass in them worried people as safety glass had not yet been invented. In that era, open touring cars and roadsters were the most popular selling body styles and the sedan would not become most popular for another decade.
This Model T sedan, engine number 4400787 was produced at the Highland Park plant in the summer of 1920 and includes the design improvements of steel panels, instead of aluminum and the fuel tank was moved back under the front seat. A 176.7 cubic inch, L-head, 4 cylinder, 3-3/4 inch bore and 4 inch stroke, 22.5 Hp engine powers it.
It was the highest priced Model T of the year at $975 but it included, as standard, an electric starter and de-mountable rims. (Try mounting a wheel on the rim with the rim still attached to the car sometime, to appreciate this "luxury".) Low-powered, with a 100 inch wheelbase, it was light enough to scamper over mucky rutted roads which held heavier 60 Hp luxury cars firmly embedded in muck.