Ford model N motor car, 1906.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Designed by Henry Ford (1863-1947) the Model N motor car preceded and foreshadowed the famous Model T design. Like the Model T, the Model N featured a light yet strong chasis, a simple, robust four-cylinder engine, and was affordable, costing les than $500 to buy in 1906. The internal-expanding brakes on the rear-wheel hubs are operated by a pedal, and another brake on the driving shaft is controlled by a hand lever. The car has a maximum speed of 40 mph and a fuel consumption of 20 mpg.