Then and Now: 100 Years of Cars

Change is the only constant. And just like every single product, cars have also transformed a lot over the years. The decade of 1910 was an instrumental year that has enabled the cars to reach where they are today. Hailed unanimously as ‘The Most Influential Car of All Time’, Ford Model T made its debut in 1908. Over the next ten years, it was constantly revamped in design and features and consistently wowed everyone who saw this amazing machines. A hundred years hence, cars of today have drastically transformed in nearly every aspect. The engines are more powerful. The design is sleek. And what do we say about the speed, today’s fastest car can reach 0 to 100 mph in the time it took for this sentence to be written. Today, let’s just dig a bit deeper. We compare the best of 1910s, the Ford Model T to the best of 2010s, the Lamborghini Aventador, as we look into how much our beloved cars have changed. So without any further ado, let’s get right into it.


When Ford’s Model T was first launched, it looked nothing like the idea of a ‘car’ that we have. It looked like a big box that has been hallowed out with insides having filled by leather upholstery. But there’s a reason behind the way it looks. In 1910s, there were no such things as roads. To reach anywhere far off, you had to traverse mud filled alleyways, cross small streams of water and climb steep hills. And if you are having a particularly bad day, you’d have do all this in a single journey. And Ford Model T made all that easier. It was sturdy and faster than any other vehicle of its time. It wasn’t a beautiful design by today’s standards but in 1910s it blew people away with its new design language and the relative comfort it provided while going from one place to another.

Ford model T design

 Fast forward a hundred years, the design language of the modern cars is altogether a different story. Today the way a car shapes is decided primarily by the principles of aerodynamics and aestheticism. Modern super cars often tapered in the front to minimize the wind resistance. Lamborghini Aventador is the perfect example of one such car where both aerodynamics and aestheticism come together to build a car that is a beauty to behold and a beast within. In Aventador’s design there is a heavy use of sharp creases and planar surfaces it is directly inspired by the Stealth aircrafts such as F-22 Raptor and F-117A NightHawk.

Aventador design


The Model T had a front-mounted 177-cubic-inch inline four-cylinder engine, producing 20hp (15 kW), for a top speed of 40–45 mph (64–72 km/h). It delivered a whopping 12.7 HP to the rear wheels. Suddenly crossing the streets became something that you could lose your life doing as Bridget Driscoll of Crydon came to know in the most unfortunate manner. Hundred years later, the speed of today’s fastest cars is exponentially greater than the vintage cars. The Lamborghini Aventador takes only 2.9 seconds to reach 0-60 mph with the theoretical top speed of around 217 mph.

Aventador gif speed


Henry Ford, the man behind the Model T once said, “I will build a car for the great multitude. 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 so 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” He envisioned the Model T as a car that was for the masses. In 1910, the masses weren’t a suit-wearing armies of desk job workers. They were mostly farmers or skilled people who toiled outside in the open instead of a cubicle. This is why a Model T was designed in a way that it could be fitted with bucksaw, thresher, silo blower, conveyor for filling corn, cribs or haylofts. Need to catch a plane to somewhere quick, worry not the Model T will help you start it.

Model T applications diverse

 When it was first launched, the Model was available in colors such as grey, green, blue, and red. And even though Henry Ford had told his management “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”, it was only in 1914 that Ford could finally manage to manufacture the cars in only one color – Black The Lamborghini Aventador also comes up with a bevvy of features for both the comfort of the passengers as well as for those who want something exclusive. It comes equipped with rain sensing wipers and dusk sensing headlamps. You can customize its interior in a number of ways ranging from Suede leather interiors to a ‘Smoker Package’.

Aventador lights gif

It could be said that cars of both these eras are not even remotely similar but if you analyze a bit closely you’d realize that they are essentially the same. They both are designed in accordance with the environment they will be used in. They both come equipped with revolutionary features. And they both are the best in their own ways.

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