Don't forget the dust, inferior tires, and many more missing features.
They do and it did.
A lot could be said about the engineering, manufacture, and marketing of the Ford Model T, but not so much about the styling. They were not remarkable automobiles, but public response to the less expensive ones (the firm made some fairly costly cars at first) indicated the soundness of Ford’s idea—to turn the automobile from a luxury and a plaything into a necessity by making it cheap, versatile, and easy to maintain. Henry Ford produced eight versions of cars before the Model T. These were the models A, B, C, F, K, N, R, and S. The first vehicles were available in green, red, blue and grey. Black was not available at all. I don’t believe I’ve seen 1:43 models of any of them.
In some ways, the 1914 T lagged behind other marques of that time; its cowl lacked fairing, the fenders were flat in cross section and did not curve over the front wheels. However, it had no controls or horn outside the door, fenders were attached to the body, and it had all bench seats. It was also longer and lower than most cars built four years earlier. Prior to the production of the Model T, the location of the steering wheel was as varied as the cars of the era. The Model T Ford set the standard for the steering wheel location at left hand drive.
Doors for the front and back seats allowed for two important style trends: an unbroken line from the bottom of the windshield to the rear of the car and continuous panels around the sides of the car which enveloped the passenger area, creating a more unified space and giving the car it a more streamlined look. Significantly, the engine and hood were not included. They were still in a box separated by a vertical dash with no attempt at visually integrating them into the whole.
Like this model, about 95 percent of cars produced then were open with canopy tops, mostly in this five- or seven-passenger touring style. Model Ts were available in several styles; Touring, Runabout, Town Car, Landaulet, Coupe and Tourabout. By 1916, 55 percent of the cars in the world were Model Ts.
Ford Model T. 1914. Minichamps 100 Years of Ford.
Although the touring style was popular in 1914, there was still a market for roadsters. Fiat produced the Zero in several styles including this roadster. The origin of the name "Zero" comes from the need to create a smaller and cheaper car unlike earlier Fiat models designated from 1 to 6.
Unlike the contemporary Ford Model T, the Zero shows the visual integration of the hood/engine with the passenger compartment. The fairing at the cowl eliminates the division. The Zero also has a slanted windshield. Both of these features are relatively new style trends that persisted. Like most cars at the time, headlights were freestanding appendages and the running boards carried a toolbox and a gas canister. There is a small trunk in the rear, so the spare tire was carried on the side of the car, another feature that persisted until the mid-1930s.
Battista Pininfarina was an entrepreneur but not yet just solely a designer when he ordered a drawing of the radiator of the car. His design was chosen over the designs by the technicians of Fiat itself.
Fiat Zero. 1914. Rio.
The first drive-in service station opened in 1913. American motorists had been able to pump their own gasoline at filling stations since 1905, but those were little more than a pump at the curbside. Before that, motorists bought gasoline in cans from places like pharmacies and blacksmith shops and filled up themselves.
By 1918, the first visible pumps were introduced, some standing upwards of ten feet tall. The customer was able to see just how much fuel he was purchasing by viewing a large glass cylinder that was above the pump, the number of gallons indicated by numbers on the side of the cylinder. The gas was manually pumped up to the cylinder, Then, through a release valve, the gas was gravity-fed through the hose to the vehicle.
Beyond being a measurement device, these pumps demonstrated the clarity of the gasoline. At the time, customers became increasingly aware that pollutants in gasoline would harm their engine. Another function was to allow the customer to quickly see which pump was ready to fill a gas tank, based on which cylinders were full. Due to a lack of street lights at night, globes not only helped advertise the gasoline’s manufacturer, but also served as a beacon for travelers in desperate need of refueling. Around 1925, the visible cylinder was being replaced by the clock-style meter.
Wayne Cut 519 Sinclair Gas Pump. 1919. City.