Phil Loder reports on Steve Carter’s 1915 Ford Model T Machine Gun Carrier, one of the many military adaptations of the innovative American car design
World War One witnessed the mechanisation of land armies on a scale never seen before. The many inventions of the previous decades, including cars, trucks, buses and aeroplanes, were adapted for use on or over battlefields, or to supply the forces locked in combat. Horses were still essential to move equipment and supplies, but the potential of motorised vehicles had been identified.
Karl Benz invented the car in Germany in the mid-1880s, and Henry Ford built his first vehicle in the United States in 1896. By 1908, Ford and his team had created the Model T, aiming for a vehicle that was affordable, durable and simple to operate. Manufacturing began at the company’s Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan, and the first vehicle was shipped to a customer in October that year.