The Ford Motor Plant built the Piquette Plant in 1904. The factory is a bit of an albatross, as its design is based on older factories (namely textile mills) in New England. But its architecture isn’t what makes this old factory so historic.
This plant was the birthplace of the Ford Model T, the iconic car that sparked mass automobile use in the United States. The car was produced four years after the factory opened, so this building also saw its fair share of Model T predecessors.
In addition to what it created, the factory was also remarkable for its quick speed (by the standards back then). It was the first automobile factory to produce more than 100 cars in a single day.
Ford outgrew the space a few years after the factory opened. Studebaker bought it in 1911 and used the building until 1993. The factory then passed through a series of hands as the century progressed. In 2001, it opened as a museum.
Visiting this museum is a must for any automobile history enthusiast. The floors, huge doors, and paint are all original, and the cars inside are gems. Look around, and you’ll spot a plethora of Ford Model Ts. There are also some interesting “orphans” like a Brush Runabout and one of the last Regal Model Ts (which is not the same as Ford).
Know Before You Go
The plant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours start at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. Adult admission is $12. Group tours (for 10 or more people) are $8 per person.