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Motor Car Chassis - Ford Motor Co., Model T, Tarrant Motors, 1911 Object Reg. No: ST 008914

This rolling chassis and engine was purchased by the Museum from the importers, Tarrant Motors Pty Ltd in 1916. It is thought to be a 1911 model car and was sourced second-hand in Ballarat by Tarrant Motors who then sectioned the major components for the Museum. A similar 'split' chassis unit was exhibited by Tarrants at the 1912 Victorian Motor Exhibition at the Royal Exhibition Building with the working parts turned over by an electric motor. This exhibit is likely to have provided the idea for the acquisition of a sectioned chassis for display by the Museum.

This unit represents the form in which many motor cars were imported. Lower import tariffs were charged on cars without bodies to protect the local motor body-building industry. Bodies were made by local firms such as Tarrants who operated several assembly and body-building works in Melbourne devoted to Model T vehicles as well as other makes such as Fiat and BSA. Chassis and engines units for Ford cars were imported from Ford's factory in Ontario, Canada to take advantage of lower tariffs on goods of British Empire origin. According to advertising by Tarrant Motors, Ford Model T cars were usually imported in shipments of about sixty chassis units and an October 1910 advertisement stated that "they sell as fast as we can land them".
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 1600 mm (Height), 1585 mm (Width), 3295 mm (Length)
Dimension Comment: Height to top edge of steering wheel from floor. Underside of chassis rails 610 mm from floor.

More information

Tagged with: motor cars, internal combustion engines, innovation design
Themes this item is part of: Engineering Collection, Transport Collection, 1912 Victorian Motor Exhibition
Primary Classification: ROAD TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Motor Vehicles
Tertiary Classification: motor cars
Inscriptions: Tyres: "Dunlop Weftless Cord 30 x 3½ Made in Australia"
Model Name/Number: Model T
Designer: Ford Motor Co, 1908-1927
Importer: Tarrant Motors Pty Ltd, Australia, 1911-1916


bianca Posted on 04 Mar 2010 3:22 PM
where was the model t imported?
kaay thanks :)
Discovery Centre Posted on 06 Mar 2010 1:30 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Bianca, thanks for your enquiry. The Model T became a popular export world-wide. Many were equipped with unique features to ensure their suitability, such as an enlarged radiator tank for better cooling in tropical climates. During the twenties, the roadster and touring bodies were supplied with an optional khaki-coloured top material as the black version would get too hot in the intense sunlight. Also, the majority of the export destination countries (such as Australia) drove on the left side of the road, so the cars had the steering wheel on the right-hand side.
The Ford Model T was the first automobile built by various countries simultaneously. It was being produced in Canada as early as 1909, in England in 1911, and later assembled in Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Japan, thereby ending the need for exportation. The Model T was introduced to Australia in 1908, and in 1909 some 348 were sold. Australia became Ford's best overseas outlet for Canadian-built Model Ts.
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