XCAR had the opportunity to drive the iconic Ford Model T. This was the car that started it all and put mankind on the road.

The Ford Model T was built in 1915.

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That makes is nearly 100 years old.

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You'd expect it to be a bit ropey as a result, but it really isn't.

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Model Ts are notoriously tricky to drive. That's thanks to a novel pedal layout.

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The clutch is actually low and high gear, the brake is reverse and the throttle pedal is the brake...

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The handbrake has three positions - furthest back is the actual handbrake, middle puts it in low gear and further forward engages high gear.

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Then your indicator is the throttle and the wiper stalk is the engine timing. Oh, and the temperature gauge is in the figurehead (pictured). It's hard to see.

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Learning to drive it is an experience in itself.

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The steering is wobbly...

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...brakes vague...

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...and performance is, erm, a word.

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The Model T was a hugely successful car.

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It was fast, capable off-road and, most importantly, affordable.

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Its price meant that people all over the world could buy one - it transformed the landscape.

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Those who couldn't afford to travel before, found themselves free.

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At one point, over half the cars in the US were Model Ts.

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It was made from light-but-durable Venedium Steel and mechanically it was simple.

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That meant it was easy to maintain and fix - an important aspect of the car, because those who bought them may not have been technically-savvy.

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Before the Model T, the road network was pretty sketchy. After they became popular it improved to meet demand.

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Ford's car was so popular he had to abandon traditional manufacturing techniques.

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Thanks to inspiration taken from a meat-packing plant, he streamlined the production process.

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Each person in the factory had just one job to do. They'd do their bit and hand it on to the next guy.

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Soon there was an automated production line with a belt that ran at 6ft a minute, saving more time per car.

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As a result the time taken to build a Model T dropped from 12 1/2 hours to just 93 minutes.

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As well as taking less time, it cost less to produce as well.

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Ford passed these financial savings on to the consumer - more people could buy them and more cars could be sold.

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The T was used during WWI.

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And all over the place, come to think of it.

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Without the Model T, the processes used to build cars would be different to the ones we use now. It's was revolutionary.

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