It’s the second-most-popular car in history, but maybe the most formidable to drive.
Ford’s Model T is the second-most-popular car of all time, outselling all but the Volkswagen Beetle, and more than 15 million Ts were built over its 19-year life span. But the Ford was designed before driver controls were standardized, so the odd position of the throttle, brake, and shifter make driving a Model T an archaic and dangerous experience. It’s like trying to do the Charleston while loading a musket after a big night at the speak-easy. A pre-1919 Model T is even more difficult to drive due to its lack of an electric starter, and the process of turning the crank to start the engine by hand might just snap your forearm like a dried-out branch if the engine backfires. So before you fill the tank with petroleum distillates, read our how-to guide.