YouTube / XCARFilms
YouTube / XCARFilms

A Brief History of the Ford Model T

YouTube / XCARFilms
YouTube / XCARFilms

Henry Ford's famous Model T was first produced in 1908 and quickly became a kind of default American car; at one point the Model T accounted for half the cars in the U.S.

Although the Model T (nicknamed the "Tin Lizzie") was not the first consumer car, nor the cheapest, nor even the first assembly-lined-produced car, it was arguably the best combination of these elements. Ford made a sturdy car that could deal with the incredibly crappy roads of the time, at a price that regular people could conceivably afford. His innovations with assembly line manufacturing further drove the price down and improved wages for his factory workers.

But what's it like to drive a Model T? In the video below, XCAR takes us on a combination history/driving lesson. After the historical bits (including amazing footage of the Model T going off-road with ease), presenter Alex Goy explains just how hard it is to drive a 1915 model (yes, a 100-year-old car is still on the road!). Indeed, he spends the latter half of the video driving it while explaining things, and the layout of the car seems insane by today's standards—the pedal placement is the opposite of what we're used to today, and many important controls are in weird places (watch to see what they put in the place you'd expect a turn signal lever to be).

If you have twelve minutes for a trip back in time, enjoy this 100-year-old Model T and its history:

Related: 10 Henry Ford Facts (That Have Almost Nothing to Do With Cars); World War I Centennial: Ford Introduces Assembly Line; and The Flying Flivver: Henry Ford's Attempt to Make Us All Pilots.

(Via The Kid Should See This.)

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The Best (and Worst) States for Summer Road Trips
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As we shared recently, the great American road trip is making a comeback, but some parts of the country are more suitable for hitting the open road than others. If you're interested in taking a road trip this summer but are stuck on figuring out the destination, WalletHub has got you covered: The financial advisory website analyzed factors like road conditions, gas prices, and concentration of activities to give you this map of the best states to explore by car.

Wyoming—home to the iconic road trip destination Yellowstone National Park—ranked No. 1 overall with a total score of 58.75 out of 100. It's followed by North Carolina in the No. 2 slot, Minnesota at No. 3, and Texas at No. 4. Coming in the last four slots are the three smallest states in America—Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut—and Hawaii, a state that's obviously difficult to reach by car.

But you shouldn't only look at the overall score if you're planning a road trip route: Some states that did poorly in one category excelled in others. California for example, came in 12th place overall, and ranked first when it came to activities and 41st in cost. So if you have an unlimited budget and want to fit as many fun stops into your vacation as possible, taking a trip up the West Coast may be the way to go. On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi is a good place to travel if you're conscious of spending, ranking second in costs, but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the quality of your trip, coming in 38th place for safety and 44th for activities.

Choosing the stops for your summer road trip is just the first step of the planning process. Once you have that covered, don't forget to pack these essentials.

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The Best Way to Fight Sky-High Gas Prices This Summer
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Thanks to crude oil prices and increasing demand, it's getting very expensive to operate a motor vehicle in the U.S. In Connecticut and New York, gas prices have hit over $3 a gallon. According to AAA, the national average—which fluctuates on a daily basis—is hovering around $2.90. As a result, motorists might spend up to $200 more fueling up in 2018.

Whether that will translate into fewer people taking road trips this summer remains to be seen. But you don't necessarily have to be at the total mercy of Big Oil every time you pull up to the pump. While credit card programs and other discount offers can shave pennies off a refuel, it's what you do once you leave the station that has the greatest impact on fuel economy.

Automotive expert Ron Montoya of Edmunds, an online automotive information hub, spoke with NBC News recently and suggested that drivers can anticipate significant savings based on one simple rule: drive less aggressively.

Depending on the model, cars tend to maximize fuel economy around 50 miles per hour (mph). When a car joins the racing flow of traffic on a highway, accelerating from 55 mph to 75 mph, fuel consumption speeds up right along with it, shaving up to 15 miles per gallon (mpg) off the vehicle's fuel efficiency. Even going 65 mph will eat up four to eight mpg more. Overall, the act of threading through traffic by speeding, braking, and rapidly accelerating is responsible for a 15 to 30 percent reduction in gas mileage. It's like paying 20 cents more per gallon for every 5 mph driven over a cruising speed of 50 mph.

In addition to maintaining a moderate speed, road trippers may also want to consider leaving cargo off the roof—it increases drag—and sticking with regular unleaded. Most cars don't need premium, even if it's "recommended" on car doors. Only use more expensive fuel if the manufacturer labels it "required."

As for those credit card deals? They vary by issuer, but paying cash usually results in a 10 to 15 cent savings per gallon because gas stations don't have to cover transaction fees. If you don't normally carry a lot of cash, consider paying with a debit card—but make sure the station will treat it as cash, not credit.

[h/t NBC News]

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