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Bicycle mechanics J. Frank and
Charles Duryea of
had designed the American
gasoline automobile in 1893,
then won the first American car race
in 1895, and went on to make the first
sale of an American-made gasoline
car the next year.
Thirty American manufacturers produced
The Model T was an automobile built by
2,500 motor vehicles in 1899,
and some 485 companies entered the
business in the next decade.
In 1908 Henry Ford introduced the
Model T and William Durant founded
the Ford Motor Company from
1908 until 1927.
The Model T was offered in several body
styles, including a five-seat touring car,
a two-seat runabout, and a seven-seat
All bodies were mounted on a uniform
A choice of colors was originally available,
but from 1913 to 1925 the car was
mass-produced in only one color
The engine was simple and efficient, with all
four cylinders cast in a single block and the
cylinder head detachable for easy
access and repair.
The engine generated 20 horsepower and
propelled the car to modest top speeds
of 40–45 miles per hour. In most
models the engine was started by a
hand crank, which activated a
magneto connected to the flywheel,
but after 1920 some models were
equipped with battery-powered
David Dunbar Buick, was the
of the Buick Motor Company.
As a young man, he worked in the plumbing
industry and developed, among other inventions,
a successful process for bonding porcelain
enamel to cast-iron bathtubs.
During the 1890s, Buick became interested in
automobiles and the gasoline internal
In 1903, he founded the Buick Motor
The following year, William Durant,
a titan of the horse-drawn carriage
industry, invested in
Buick’s company, which was by then
based in Flint, Michigan.
That same year, the company made
a total of 37 autos, known as
the Model B.
By 1906, Buick had lost control of
the business and sold his stock,
which would later be worth
millions of dollars.
Two years later, in 1908, William Durant
made the Buick firm the cornerstone
of his newly formed holding
company, General Motors.