• May 2, 2008
Photo: KEVIN A. WILSON, Autoweek

Recently, Ford Motor Company sponsored a contest with the goal of modernizing the iconic Model T, a car which revolutionized motorized transportation the world over. The winner of the competition, a 24-year-old junior at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit named Dong Trang, came up with an electric crossover of sorts. That's fitting, according to Peter Horbury, head of design for Ford in the Americas, because Henry Ford's original Model T sat high off the ground and had a modular design, capable of hauling people and their stuff at the same time.

What the modern-day designs don't share with their forebear is retro looks. Each of the modern T adaptations features fairly sleek styling and alternative power that goes along with our modern-day energy and emissions problems.

Trang's design is rather unique, featuring solar panels on the vehicle along with an energy-capturing suspension design that would help recharge the on-board batteries. Those batteries are also removable to provide power outside the vehicle. The seating arrangement is modular, allowing for up to four occupants or offering increased storage capacity. The rear hatch is also capable of folding away to offer a small pickup bed. Click past the break for some videos of Trang talking about his design.

[Source: Detroit Free Press, Autoweek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love that everybody on Autoblog is an expert on how design contests are integrated with actual production. Maybe you clowns should get your education on before you go around opening your stupid mouths about how "ugly" this thing is.

      Dumb and ugly is no way to go through life. You can hide one of those.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And the ones who think the Model-T is a "classic" have obviously never driven, worked on, or even touched one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It pretty much single handedly put Americans in cars. 15,000,000 million sold. If not classic, what?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "If not classic, then what?"

        A cheap piece of garbage that everybody in America could afford. The first Japanese car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        if you don't like it... there are other websites that are kinder and gentler
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's remember that this is a CONCEPT car. Just consider some of the ideas that are incorporated into the design rather than focusing on the design itself: Solar panels and suspension components that augment the hybrid powertrain, and a flexible, modular interior space.

      Aesthetics are not always the most important thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where are the power-take-offs so I can drive my log splitter? And can I plow with this thing? Model T's did everything back in the day. Will this?
      • 6 Years Ago
      He makes a very detailed model and is a good speaker. He is caught up in designing for himself and not the public. I sense a hint of arrogance in his work. But he is young and I'm sure he will grow out of it. O.K. idea's, I just wish they were better represented. I didn't see any package drawings in the video clips so I am assuming the proportion is all wrong.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, great-looking toy for kids!

      Oh, this is meant to be an actual car?

      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this the new 4 wheel Aptera !?
      • 6 Years Ago
      neat idea - yes
      real world - not so much

      i know... i know... its art and will never make it in the real world... i just think Ford has better things to do with its money then to have kids drawing cars for 100 years in the future when they should be working on what will beat out the Japanese and German mfg's today.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm sure we would all love to see your kid's designs, Pedro. When are you submitting them to Autoblog?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Poor Henry
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont know if my last post was included on here but I think that you guys have no freaking clue what youre talking about. Its easy to rip people apart on the internet. I want to see ANY of you low life losers design anything like what D.Tran did, and if you do PLEASE by all means post your design on here so all of us designers can critique it. You think you know about future design, but you dont...especially when it comes down to redesigning an iconic car such as the model T.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That is a lot better than anything Ford itself produced in the last 20 years or so.
      • 6 Years Ago
      or maybe its for chinese market or something.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow... the computer chair critics are out in force today. I'd like tosee any one of the people criticizing this kid's design post somedesigns of their own. (And no, I don't mean the modernized Trans-Amyou doodled in your notebook during your 4th period English class.)

      Whether this concept design is visually appealing or not isirrelevant. This contest will be a great addition to his resume, andif he keeps it up he'll land a job that most of us suckers onautoblog only dream of: designing cars and getting paid for it.
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