Driving is as simple as pressing the gas with your right foot, braking with the pedal to the left, and — for those (lucky) few to have a vehicle with a manual transmission — engaging the clutch to the left of that, right? For this part of the world in the year 2015, that’s true. But when the automobile was gaining traction as a replacement for the horse and buggy, it wasn’t quite that easy, simply because automotive standards had yet to be created. Even the popular Ford Model T, which put America (and much of the world) on wheels, didn’t set a standard. So, how did one drive a Model T in 1915? Thanks to XCAR, we get an idea.
Here’s how a Model T is configured:
- Right pedal: brake
- Middle pedal: reverse
- Left pedal: gear engager and neutral
- Hand brake: shifter for second gear
- Turn-signal stalk: throttle
While it may appear confusing to have forward and backward pedals next to each other, the reason for the setup was actually quite practical, as it allowed the driver to rock the vehicle back and forth in case the Ford Model T got stuck in the era’s poorly-developed roads and infrastructure.
For a snapshot of what motoring was like 100 years ago, plus a good history lesson on Henry Ford‘s creation, check out the video below.