We’ve come a long way in 100 years

Published 8:58 pm Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wednesday was the 100th anniversary of the Ford Model T, the vehicle that made automobiles affordable to the common man.

The first Model T’s were priced at about $850, which amounts to about $20,000 in today’s terms. But, oh, how things have changed since 1908.

The Model T’s 20-horsepower engine had a top speed of about 45 mph, and got an average of about 17 miles per gallon. When you stop to think about it, that’s not half bad.

Sometimes I wish cars today were more like Model T’s, but I’m afraid they wouldn’t fare too well in a 21st century society. Imagine Interstate 65 traveled by nothing but Model T’s.

People who work out of town would have to get up about two hours earlier, and their patience would probably wear pretty thin.

I like to imagine what Model T road rage would be like. All the horn honking. “AAAOOOOOGAH!” “AAAOOOOOGAH!”

If nobody could drive faster than 45, there would be no need for speed limits except in areas where road construction is going on. But that doesn’t necessarily mean there would be no problems.

My theory is this: If everybody is limited to the same speed, regardless of that speed, there is still going to be tailgating and similar problems. However, this would also eliminate the problem of drivers using large trucks and SUVs to intimidate people who drive smaller vehicles.

Reducing speed would eliminate a lot of problems, however. I believe there is too much speeding that goes on in areas where there are low speed limits. It’s hard for me to pull out of my driveway without having somebody on my bumper the minute I pull out.

If we all went back to Model T’s, the road would become more of what it is meant to be: a mode of transportation, as opposed to a racetrack. Yeah, right.