Spirit of the Model T Ford hailed

The spirit of Ford's iconic Model T, the car that brought motoring to the masses, is being hailed on its 100th anniversary.

As US car manufacturers stare disaster in the face, and drivers flinch at soaring fuel prices, looking back to the good old days is becoming an increasingly attractive option.

As 750 cars took part in largest gathering of Model Ts since they left the factory, Edsel Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry, spoke of "the product that delivered freedom".

He told the gathering: "You are the keepers of the flame. As long as we have people who love the Model T, we will never forget what brought us here."

John Heitmann, a history professor at the University of Dayton, said the Model T is one of the most historically significant cars of the 20th century and maybe the single most important American car.

Henry Ford realised there was a big market for cars - and not just for the wealthy - and that people would keep buying them, Mr Heitmann said, adding: "It was kind of the common car for the common person."

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