Ballinrobe's first car sighting

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Ballinrobe's first car sighting' page

April, 18th, 1901

By Averil Staunton

The first car to be seen in Ballinrobe according to the Ballinrobe Chronicle belonged to the Mitchell Brothers, Tourmakeady in April 1901. It does not mention what make or type of car.

Gerry Walsh sent in this interesting piece in about a 1914 Ford Model T Station Wagon including the photo. It might interest car enthusiasts.

Ford Model T

On May 31st, 1927 the last Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line. It was the first affordable automobile, due in part to the assembly line process, developed by Henry Ford.

Engine size

It had 2.9-liter, 20-horsepower engine and could travel at speeds up to 45 miles per hour. It had a 10-gallon fuel tank and could run on kerosene, petrol, or ethanol, but it couldn't drive uphill if the tank was low, because there was no fuel pump; people got around this design flaw by driving up hills in reverse.

Ford believed that "the man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed". 

Costings 1909 v 1927

The Model T cost $850 in 1909, and as efficiency in production increased, the price dropped. By 1927, you could get a Model T for $290. "I will build a car for the great multitude," said Ford. "It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces".

This page was added by Averil Staunton on 14/11/2013.