Model t dating

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I did my level best to drive as steadily as possible and eke out every last mpg, but smooth gear changes weren't easy.

The Model T has only two ratios and changing up involves backing off the hand throttle and lifting off the left pedal simultaneously – resulting in a shudder and a loud clatter from the rear, followed by a slight increase in speed to indicate that you've made it into second.

The Model T's modern descendants – the Focus and Fiesta – will top 60mpg and 70mpg in tree-hugging ECOnetic diesel form, but are laden with luxuries such as air-conditioning, digital radios and electronic driving aids – all of which add weight, and thus sap fuel.

"The pedal on your right is the foot brake, the one in the middle is reverse and you press the one on the left to accelerate in first gear.

This was my first attempt at starting a 1915 Ford Model T and it didn't go well.

I'd tried several times to wrench the crank handle around with enough force to get the engine moving and failed miserably.

I lost count of the number of attempts it took me before it finally chugged into life.

The scene was set on Ford's test track at its Technical Centre in Dunton, Essex, which is normally reserved for cutting edge vehicles under development.

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