5720 ford model t runabout model a


While the original Ford Model T could be modified to add a cargo box, the 1917 Model TT chassis was built to haul heavier loads, with a sturdier frame and a one-ton rating. Perhaps the first pickup truck in America, the Model TT included the chassis of the truck only. If you wanted to put a bed on the body, you would have to build it yourself or have another company install one. The Ford Model TT cost $600 and sold 209 units in the first year of production. By 1928, that number escalated to over 1.3 million trucks sold. Although this wasn’t a conventional pickup, the Ford 1917 Model TT represents the beginning of American truck history.

Founded in 1911, Chevrolet produced its first pickup truck seven years later in 1918. Dubbed the Model 490 due to the vehicle costing $490 when the first generation came out in 1915, the 1918 Model 490 was the first truck chassis offered by Chevy. This early model car required the addition of a truck bed, cab, and body. The 1918 Series 490 was available in a half-ton chassis, also known as a light-delivery vehicle.

During the same year, Chevy also offered a commercial one-ton chassis option, the 1918 Chevrolet Model T. Both of these models required you to either build the truck bed yourself or have an outside company install one.

0032 1918 chevrolet model 490 5 passenger touring
Photo: VoloAutoMuseum.com

In 1925, Ford released the Ford Model T Runabout. This was the first time in American truck history that you could go buy a factory-built pickup. Equipped with a four-cylinder 40 horsepower engine and heavy-duty leaf springs in the rear, the Ford Model T Runabout was priced at a reasonable $281. It was with this model that Ford solidified its rightful place in the history of trucks, cites cjponyparts.com.

With the Ford Model T Runabout, Henry Ford revolutionized the truck. Instead of having to modify your car and add a truck bed, Henry Ford created the first official pickup truck that was ready straight from the factory. In the history of trucks, the Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body takes the crown. In the first year of production, Ford sold 33,800 pickups. Chevrolet didn’t start offering factory-made American pickup trucks until 1931.

Facts about Ford Model T Runabout - the first official pickup truck

5729 ford model t runabout cost

As a result of pickup trucks' unprecedented popularity, Ford began to offer amenities with their Model T Runabout. One option, as mentioned earlier, was allowing the customer to include a truck bed. Meanwhile, Ford was also mass-producing more units of the Model T Runabout with Pickup Body. And when the innovative Model A pickup truck was sold in 1928, it featured roll-up windows and a fully-steel cab.

The Bed Was Made For Modifications

This new Ford pickup had a bed made for modifications. The bed was made entirely of steel and measured 56 inches long, 40 inches wide, and 13 inches high. It was tiny compared to today’s F-150s and Super Duties. Further, the bed's tailgate was adjustable, and both sides of the bed had holes to insert stakes for additional side panels, according to hotcars.com.

Color Options

5742 ford model t runabout the bed was made for modifications

The Ford Model T was initially available in only black or green. The entire vehicle was painted black on the block models. However, on the green models, the fenders and radiator shells were still painted black. The bed was an additional $25 charge, and the customer had to bolt it to the chassis to modify their Model T into a Model T pickup.

Another notable thing about the Ford Model T was that it was the first vehicle to use the assembly line for production. This decreased production time from 12.5 hours to 93 minutes per car. Every three minutes, a new Model T was coming off the production line. Half the world's cars were Fords when Ford produced its 10 millionth Model T.

The Model T was manufactured in 15 various body styles. One of those body styles was a chassis-only style for independent coachbuilders. In the early years of the automobile, many of those coachbuilders were still producing carriages.

15 Million Were Made

When the Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body was produced between 1908 and 1927, more than 15 million Ford Model T’s were produced in five states and eleven countries. After a prosperous 19-year run, production on the Ford Model T ended ceremoniously in 1927. It was known for being the first affordable automobile.

It Cost $3,922 In Today's Money

In today's money, a Ford Model T pickup truck costs $3,922. When adjusted for lack of inflation, back in 1925, that only amounts to $281 for a whole vehicle. In 95 years, the price has officially skyrocketed. It was officially called the Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body.

What was the First Motorcycle ever made in the World? What was the First Motorcycle ever made in the World?

Motorcycle has become one of the most common means of transportations in the modern world. Have you ever wondered what the first motorcycle ever made ...

What is the First Bicycle in the World History What is the First Bicycle in the World History

Bicycle plays an important role in our daily life. We mostly take it for granted. But do you know what it looked like before the ...

What is the First Air Conditioner ever Made in History? What is the First Air Conditioner ever Made in History?

First Air Conditione: Working inside an office during a heatwave in June. A dinner party in July. Buying chocolate in August. If you talk to ...