F is the New York Stock Exchange symbol for the Ford Motor Company, which celebrated the 100th birthday of its most famous product -- the Model T -- in 2008.
"Henry Ford's Model T was simple, affordable and reliable. It changed the way we live, work and play, providing mobility and prosperity on an undreamed-of scale," Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Company president and CEO, said at the 23rd annual Fabulous Ford's Forever show held in Buena Park, California in April of '08. "Today, a century of innovation later, Ford continues in the same tradition of the Model T, delivering high-quality, smart, safe and sustainable vehicles at a value."
According to an official Ford Motor Company history, "The Model T chugged into history Oct. 1, 1908. Henry Ford called it the 'universal car.' It became the symbol of low-cost, reliable transportation that could get through when other vehicles and horse-drawn wagons were stuck in muddy roads. The Model T won the approval of millions of Americans, who affectionately dubbed it 'Tin Lizzie.'
"The first Model Ts sold for $825 (for a two-door roadster) - an unexpected bargain compared to other cars," the Ford history notes. "But even more remarkable is that during its 19 years of production, Ford continued to steadily lower its price, thanks to manufacturing efficiencies including the moving assembly line introduced in 1913. In addition to its affordability, Model T stands out as the industry's truly the first global car. By 1921, it accounted for almost 57 percent of the world's automobile production."
Today, the Model T remains spectacularly popular with collectors, restorers and old car buffs of every age, gender and walk of life. Several aftermarket auto accessory companies have hundred-page catalogs filled with bolt-on replacement parts for the Model T made with modern materials and techniques and at least one company makes replica tires virtually identical in look (though better in material) with the ones that carried the first Model Ts out of Ford's Detroit factory in the early years of the 20th Century.
"Celebrating a hundred years of the Model T is a great milestone for Ford Motor Company," said Edsel Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford and member of the Board of Directors at Ford Motor Company. "No other vehicle has put its mark on the industry or world like the Model T, and true to my great-grandfather's vision, it was the simple, durable car that millions could afford and that many still treasure today."