Cars in the 1920s

1929 Automobile Trade Journal and Motor Age showcasing a Buick
1929 Automobile Trade Journal and Motor Age showcasing a Buick
Service and Repair manuals for all makes and models.
Service and Repair manuals for all makes and models. | Source
Listing of patents on automobiles from 1888 to 1907
Listing of patents on automobiles from 1888 to 1907
Chart of Production vs. Cost of Ford Cars, 1908 to 1924
Chart of Production vs. Cost of Ford Cars, 1908 to 1924

In the 1920's cars had just become a commodity, with the Model T by Ford Motor Company, cars became more and more mainstream. Ford had the first assembly line of automobiles geared towards mass manufacturing.

Cars were becoming so mainstream that by 1929 some forty-three companies were manufacturing automobiles, those of which included: Buick, Stutz, Whippet, Pierce Arrow, Hudson, Essex, Franklin, Durant, Peerless, Marmon, Chrysler, and Dodge all had come around into the automobile industry.

With prices dropping each year since the 1920s, the Model T became one of the most widely used cars by 1924, it accounted for half the worlds' sales in cars. In 1923 GM sold more than 800,000 vehicles, making more than $80 billion as profit. As sales were not up to par, as good as they should have been, Ford quickly began thinking about ways to reduce costs. He came up with the idea of using interchangeable parts on an assembly line. Instead of a single worker producing a car from beginning to end, each worker would be trained to perform a single task in the process, much like assembly lines today. By 1914 he had reduced the cost to $490, and by 1921 the Model T cost only $310.

At the time, increased competition in the market drove the automotive industry. Some of those include Jordan Motor Car Company, founded in 1916 by Edward "Ned" Jordan, the factory produced assembled cars until 1931 using components from other manufacturers. They excelled in the market for their styling, not performance. Their advertising focused on the cars styling and advanced features. Jordan Motor had one of the first airflow systems in their cars, putting them way ahead of their time. Sadly with the stock market crash of 1929, in which the company survived, the competition lowered their prices and Jordan motors couldnt compete, in 1931 the company ceased production. It is said Jordan motors total production was between 30,000 to 100,000 units.

With competing companies fighting for their share of the automobile market, General Motors and Dupont introduced the concept of buying cars on credit in 1919. Instead of paying cash as the market had currently done business, General Motors introduced the General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC). This corporation bypassed financing through banks and sales boomed for GM, as by 1926, 75% of all car buyers were using credit to purchase their cars.

In 1925 the U.S. average for gasoline consumption surpassed 473 gallons. Ford hit a slump in 1927 that it had to shut down the Model T plants because they were not doing very well in sales, they planned a redesign of the Model T renamed "Model A." Ford sold over 300,000 Model A's before it even hit the market and sold well over fifteen million Model T's, by now, there were more than twenty million cars on the road in America. As the outcome of the Model T decision more than 100,000 workers lost their jobs.

By the end of 1927 Chevrolet introduced a cheaper, and better-looking car than the Model T and its annual sales surpassed that of Ford's.

With over 40 companies making cars by 1929, Ford had quite the competition on a saturated market. The automobile industry was quickly becoming a commodity and price wars were becoming common. The industry boomed, and society changed in big ways as public transportation dwindled and personal cars were becoming the norm.

For more prices on different cars of the 1920's you can check out (cars in the 1920's pricing). and HowStuffWorks has production numbers and prices as well.


Literary Digest article, Description of the new Ford automobile, 11/12/1927

Literary Digest article, Description of the new Ford automobile, 11/12/1927
Literary Digest article, Description of the new Ford automobile, 11/12/1927
Literary Digest article, Description of the new Ford automobile, 11/12/1927
Literary Digest article, Description of the new Ford automobile, 11/12/1927
Literary Digest article, Description of the new Ford automobile, 11/12/1927
Literary Digest article, Description of the new Ford automobile, 11/12/1927

Union Relations

Henry Ford had strong opinions —he increased his workers' minimum wage from $2.83 per 9-hour day to $5.00 per 8-hour day in 1914 but did not accept the 1935 Wagner Act establishing trade union rights. He refused to join Chrysler and General Motors in their post-strike agreements with the United Automobile Workers Union (UAW), instead using company enforcers and spies to discourage unionization in his plant.

The 1937 "Battle of the Overpass" in which the enforcers attacked and severely injured canvassing union representatives marked a historic moment in labor history. Ford was censured by the National Labor Relations Board despite their denials. In 1941, Ford Motor Company finalized a contract with the UAW.

In 1943, Edsel Ford died of cancer at the age of 49 and his father resumed total control of the company. He died four years later of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 83.

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Comments 25 comments

selena 7 years ago

the bestr thing i ever seen in my age 79 years old in iam so happy and its so graet about OMG i cant belive my old ladies eyes IKD wat happend to the cars from along time ago.the best


I am not telling 7 years ago

I just read over my comment and I noticed a mistake. expensive european cars could sell anywhere from 4,000 to* 40,000 dollars. My bad.


harbour8 brah 7 years ago

thanks that helped alot


Nevaeh 7 years ago

This is awsome whoop whoop whoop


? u to find out  6 years ago

omg ! u guys are so0o day ! the cars in the 1920 remind me of a movie i use to watch when i was a kid lol WTF.... gotta go


schoolgirl 6 years ago

very very interestng


awesomeness 6 years ago

this thing about cars has just helped me sooooooooooooo much on me history report

dont worry i didn't plagerize


ben 6 years ago

i love old cars they ar the best


Used Cars North Carolina 6 years ago

Its so rare to find people who can appreciate old stuff. these cars are priceless indeed!

Looking at your blog reminds me of my uncle who is so obsessed with vintage cars. Thank you.

Dale


Fifth Wheel RV  5 years ago

wow! back in the days i like there cars, today i am doing reseach about 1920 cars history. i wish they could bring those cars back. those cars are better than todays cars.


cam newton 5 years ago

this is chill


Atv tires 5 years ago

I like the 1920 cars shape really so different...


Rv Dealers 5 years ago

1920's was the era of Automobile revolution. Ford introduce the concept of interchangeable parts whereas GM came up with the financing. Such things changed the face of the Automobile sector.


kim possible 5 years ago

wow.is all i have to say to some of the things you people post. any ways i am with i am not telling the cars are price less and should be treated as so.plus its also fun to go back in history and learn about our ancestors past and what they use to drive.:)


ANJANI KUMAR RAWAT 5 years ago

IT'S REALLY GOOD!!!


PUGSLEEEEEY 5 years ago

This made my day thanks to ma peeps out there ;)


loved it 5 years ago

thanks for the info i am writing a report for my project and this really helped


divided 4 years ago

80 billion divided by 800,000 is $100,000 profit per vehicle!are you sure about that?


LIP profile image

LIP 4 years ago from United States Author

@Divided

here is the price and vehicles sold per year: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1923-1927-ford-model...


who cares 4 years ago

this stuff is pretty sweet. it's just what i need 4 my project.


boobbomb 4 years ago

FTW@!!!!!


RBJ33 profile image

RBJ33 4 years ago

Good Afternoon LIP

Wow I see this hub was published 4 years ago and here I am just getting to it.

I'm sorry you didn't include the Jordan Automobiles in your hub. I have written a hub on Jordan that I want to publish just as soon as I can figure out how to get all the great photos included.

Edward "Ned" Jordan began building automobiles in 1916 and continued to 1931. The high year was 1926 when he sold 11,000 units. His major contribution to the auto industry was his advertising - he is credited with the way autos are advertised today - he was the first to write "romantic" ads and appeasl to the females. He was the first to offer automobiles in colors other than Japan Black - he was enshrined in the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2010.


LIP profile image

LIP 4 years ago from United States Author

thanks @RBJ33 I have amended my article to include information about Jordan Motors, interesting stuff I learned with the research!


lala 4 years ago

i love old cars soo muchh!!!!


Mels 3 years ago

The 1920's the Era Of Auto Revolution, and how amazing. Remember with these classic cars comes great responsibility: http://www.1carcover.co.za/

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