Tag: ford

July 22, 1934 – Car loving crook John Dillinger shot dead in Chicago
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July 22, 1934 – Car loving crook John Dillinger shot dead in Chicago

Public enemy number 1, John Dillinger, was shot and killed outside the Biograph Theather on this day in 1934. After an eight year stint behind bars, Dillinger spent the his last year on earth robbing banks, holding up restaurants and stealing fast cars. Dillinger often spoke of his love for fine automobiles, and when he wasn't stealing them, he had no problem laying down the cash for a top notch set of wheels. Dillinger, often given some sort of false Robin Hood label, was a star in the eye of the public despite his murderous crime spree. With so many infatuated with the fugitive, car companies were quick to capitalize on news of Dillinger's preference in certain automobiles. Above: The 1933 Essex Terraplane 8 purchased by John Dillinger in 1934 on display at the ACD museum. Photo ...
July 15, 1914 – Dodge Brothers make their last Ford part
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July 15, 1914 – Dodge Brothers make their last Ford part

John Dodge and his younger brother Horace were inseparable as children growing up in Michigan. Little changed in adulthood. Their father ran a machine shop and both took an interest in the trade from a young age. Their skills led them to start a bicycle company in 1896, which they later sold. With the capital they started a printing machine company in Windsor, Ontario, but this too would soon be sold. They returned to Detroit, where they'd spent many years in their youth, to start a machine shop. It wasn't long before they found themselves overloaded with orders from many of the cities new automobile businesses. Above: Henry Ford driving a 1903 Ford, which the Dodge Brothers built parts forTop: John and Horace Dodge in the back of the first Dodge Brothers car (1914) An order pla...
July 3, 1945 – The first postwar cars
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July 3, 1945 – The first postwar cars

Ford got a jump on postwar production by, well, not waiting until the war was actually over. On this day in 1945, Ford began production of 1946 model year cars, more than a month before World War II would actually come to an end on the Pacific Front. Ford was the first major American automaker to begin manufacturing personal vehicles since the outbreak of war led to all automakers transitioning into the production of military goods. Above: a 1946 FordTop: Harry Truman's 1946 Ford Super DeLuxe Tudor sedan was the 1st car to roll off the famous Ford assembly line when production resumed after World War II. It was Henry Ford II that pushed for production to begin as early as it did. It’s curious to note that the first new Ford, a white 1946 Super DeLuxe Tudor sedan, went to President H...
July 1, 2005 – The final Ford Thunderbird
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July 1, 2005 – The final Ford Thunderbird

On this day in 2005 the last Ford Thunderbird rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Wixom, Michigan plant. The Thunderbird was developed in the years following World War II as a competitor to the Chevrolet Corvette, though billed as a personal luxury vehicle. When it was released in 1955 it outsold the Corvette 14,000 units to just 700. Above: First generation Ford ThunderbirdTop: Last generation Ford Thunderbird In the decades that followed, the Thunderbird would go through numerous changes, including growing from two seats to four in 1958. In an attempt to capitalize on buyers’ nostalgia, Ford released a retro Thunderbird in 2002 to much fanfare. Despite promising initial sales of the old school T-Bird, the success eventually waned, leading to the car being discontinued.
June 19, 1966 -Ford goes 1, 2, 3 at Le Mans
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June 19, 1966 -Ford goes 1, 2, 3 at Le Mans

When the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans came to an end on this day in 1966 it was a Ford GT40 in first, second and third place, marking the first time an American automobile won the race. With the three Mk. II Fords so far out in front of the rest of the field during the last pit stop, Henry Ford II decided to stage a publicity photo at the finish line, having all three cross nearly simultaneously. The leading #1 car driven by Ken Miles and Denny Hulme crossed the finish line next to the #2 car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon, with the #5 GT40 trailing shortly behind. The #1 and #2 cars had both completed 360 laps but the #2 car started farther back, meaning even though they tied, the #2 car covered more ground anad therefore received the the first place trophy. Ken Miles, who was going ...
June 16, 1903 –  The paperwork to incorporate Ford Motor Company is signed
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June 16, 1903 – The paperwork to incorporate Ford Motor Company is signed

At approximately 9:30 am on this day in 1903, in Detroit, Michigan, Henry Ford and 12 investors met to sign the paperwork necessary to form a new corporation to be called Ford Motor Company. The documents were notarized and sent to the office of the Michigan Secretary of State. The papers were dated June 16, 1903, however they were not received until the next day, which is when the company was legally incorporated. Within a month, the company had its first order for the company's new Model A. It had a two-cylinder engine that pumped out 8 horsepower and could hit speeds of up to 30 mph. His-"T"-ory Drives Me Crazy - Get it here! Ford Motor Company soon earned a reputation for affordable, reliable, and mass produced automobiles that effectively changed the United States and many othe...
June 4, 1896 – Henry Ford drives the Quadricycle for the first time
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June 4, 1896 – Henry Ford drives the Quadricycle for the first time

On this day in 1896 Henry Ford test drove his first automobile, the Quadricycle, for the first time He rolled the two cylinder, four horsepower buggy that sat on four bicycle tires out of his workshop after more than two years of experimentation and building. In his first tests he achieved speeds of more than 20 miles per hour during his initial test drives. The Quadricycle featured a 2 speed transmission, without reverse, a chain driven, ethanol powered engine, and no brakes. Ford sold his first Quadricycle for $200 to Charles Ainsley. He later built two more, one in 1899, and another in 1901. He bought his first one back for $60 and it now resides at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
June 1, 1909 – The Ocean to Ocean race begins
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June 1, 1909 – The Ocean to Ocean race begins

To raise interest in the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYPE) being held in Seattle, Washington, a transcontinental race from New York to Seattle was held. It began on this day in 1909, the same day the AYPE kicked off. Dubbed the Ocean to Ocean Endurance Race, sponsorship came in part from Henry Ford and Robert Guggenheim, who put up the trophy and prize money, which was $2,000 for first and $1,500 for second.  His T ory Drives Me Crazy. Cool Model T shirt! The race had two segments. The first was an endurance race from New York City to St. Louis. During this portion of the event the drivers could only run their vehicles in daylight and they were to obey speed limits. The second half, from St. Louis to Seattle, was a speed race, as there were fewer laws regarding automobiles...
May 31, 1929 – Ford heads to the USSR
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May 31, 1929 – Ford heads to the USSR

A historic agreement between Ford Motor Company and the Soviet Union was signed on this day in 1929. It cemented plans for Ford to begin producing cars in the USSR, which was eager to create jobs in the automotive industry. Henry Ford believed the best way to undermine communism was to introduce capitalism, which is why he had no qualms in doing business in the USSR, a country not formally recognized by the U.S. government during diplomatic negotiations. A May 1929 New York Times article quoted Ford saying, “No matter where industry prospers, whether in India or China, or Russia, all the world is bound to catch some good from it.” Above: The Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ) today.Top: The first Ford assembled under license in the USSR leaves the GAZ factory in 1932. The agreement was si...
May 26, 1927 – The 15 millionth Ford Model T
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May 26, 1927 – The 15 millionth Ford Model T

Henry Ford and his son Edsel drove the 15 millionth Model T out of Ford’s Highland Park, Michigan, factory on this day in 1927, marking the last day of production for the car that changed how the world moved. The Model T, or “Tin Lizzie” as it was affectionately known, had first been introduced in October 1908. This vehicle opened the American masses and people around the world to the opportunity to purchase an affordable, efficient and reliable vehicle. While initially sold for approximately $850, equivalent to about $20,000 today, the price would drop as production numbers improved. By 1925 the price was less than $300 (~ $6,000 today), making them attainable for just about anyone. Above: Henry Ford with the Ten Millionth Model T and his first car, the QuadricycleTop: Henry & Eds...