Monica (automobile), Balbigny, Loire, France 1972 till 1974

Monica 560 drive

1973 Monica 1973 - Schriftzug am Heck

Monica 560

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1973 Monica 560
Overview
Manufacturer Monica
Model years 1973 – 1975
Assembly France: BalbignyLoire
Designer Tony Rascanu, David Coward
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Longitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Powertrain
Engine 5.6 L Chrysler LA V8(gasoline)
Transmission 3-speed automatic (TorqueFlite )
5-speed manual (ZF)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,769 mm (109.0 in)
Length 4,928 mm (194.0 in)
Width 1,803 mm (71.0 in)
Height 1,346 mm (53.0 in)
Kerb weight 1,821 kg (4,015 lb)

Mon­ica is the name of a French lux­ury au­to­mo­bile pro­duced in the com­mune of Bal­bigny in the de­part­ment of Loire be­tween 1972 and 1974.

The beginning

The Mon­ica car was a pro­ject of Jean Tastevin, a grad­u­ate en­gi­neer of the École cen­trale de Paris. His fa­ther Ar­naud bought the Ate­lier et Chantiers de Bal­bigny in 1930. That com­pany was a man­u­fac­turer of min­ing and rail­way equip­ment. In 1955 Jean suc­ceeded his fa­ther, be­com­ing Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor. He re­named the com­pany Com­pag­nie française de pro­duits métal­lurgiques, or CFPM, and began to spe­cial­ize in the man­u­fac­ture and rental of rail­road tank cars. The fac­tory where the rolling stock was man­u­fac­tured op­er­ated under a dif­fer­ent name, being Com­pag­nie Française de Matériels Fer­rovi­aires (CFMF). The com­pany pros­pered, even­tu­ally com­ing to have 400 em­ploy­ees.

Tastevin was an au­to­mo­bile en­thu­si­ast who per­son­ally owned cars from Aston Mar­tin and Facel Vega. After Facel Vega shut down in 1964 he bought a Jaguar, but re­gret­ted not being able to buy a French-made car of that class.

In pur­suit of both his in­ter­est in cars and a way to di­ver­sify his rail­way busi­ness, Tastevin began mak­ing plans to launch his own brand of au­to­mo­bile in 1966. He made his long-time as­sis­tant, Henri Szykowksi, the pro­ject man­ager. He would also set aside a por­tion of his fac­tory in Bal­gigny so that the cars could truly be said to be made in France.

The car was named in ho­n­our of Tastevin’s wife, Monique Tastevin.

Monica 1973 in video

Development history and prototypes

Au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer and rac­ing dri­ver Chris Lawrence’s com­pany Lawrence­Tune En­gines had de­vel­oped a 2.6-litre ver­sion of the Stan­dard en­gine used in the Tri­umph TR4. Lawrence’s ver­sion used a cross­flow cylin­der head of his own de­sign and Tecalemit-Jack­son fuel in­jec­tion to make a claimed 182 bhp (136 kW) bhp. Au­to­mo­tive jour­nal­ist Gérard ”Jabby” Crom­bac had seen the en­gine at the 1966 Rac­ing Show at Olympia West Hall in Lon­don. The ar­ti­cle he wrote about it had caught Tastevin’s eye. Tastevin wrote to Lawrence ask­ing about hav­ing Lawrence­Tune sup­ply 250 en­gines per year for his new car. Upon learn­ing that the car was not yet de­vel­oped, Lawrence of­fered the ser­vices of his own com­pany. Crom­bac, who was fa­mil­iar with Lawrence’s rac­ing ex­ploits, vouched for Lawrence and Tastevin en­trusted de­vel­op­ment of the Mon­ica to LawrenceTune.

The first chas­sis and the jig to pro­duce it were built to­gether. Lawrence laid out a chas­sis with a cen­tral tun­nel made of four square-sec­tion 18 gauge steel tubes with ex­ten­sive cross-brac­ing. Two long steel boxes with tri­an­gu­lar cross-sec­tions were made of 16 gauge steel and at­tached to the chas­sis in the door sill area. These stiff­ened the chas­sis and were also to serve as the car’s fuel tanks. 16 gauge alu­minum formed the front and rear bulk­heads and floors and was used on both sides of the cen­tral tun­nel to stiffen the car fur­ther. Voids in the tun­nel were filled with ex­panded polyurethane foam to add even more stiff­ness and deaden sound.

The front sus­pen­sion used very tall up­rights with the wheel spin­dles on one side and a short stub axle ex­tend­ing in­wards on the other. Spring­ing was by ver­ti­cally mounted coil-over-damper units mounted in­board and op­er­ated through rocker-style upper arms. The lower arms were con­ven­tional wide-based wish­bones made of a one-piece wish­bone and long ra­dius arm run­ning back to­wards the bulk­head. Steer­ing was rack-and-pin­ion mounted high, at the same level as the upper wish­bone.

The rear sus­pen­sion was a De Dion sys­tem with coil springs, two par­al­lel lead­ing links on each side and a Pan­hard rod. The dif­fer­en­tial was from the Rover P6B (also known as the Rover 3500) with a crown-and-pin­ion made by Hew­land, but with an ad­di­tional nose-piece that gave the op­tion of two rear-axle ra­tios; a high-nu­meric ratio for in town and a low-nu­meric ratio for high-speed cruising. A lever in the cock­pit al­lowed the ratio to be changed while in mo­tion.

Brak­ing was pro­vided by a dual-cir­cuit power as­sisted Lock­heed and Girling sys­tem with 12-inch vented disks in front and 10-inch solid disk brakes in the rear. The rear brakes were mounted in­board and the front brakes were mounted to the stub-axle on the front up­right, which brought them out of the wheels and into the air-stream for cool­ing.

As the pro­to­type chas­sis was near­ing com­ple­tion Lawrence began to have sec­ond thoughts about using the Lawrence­Tune/Stan­dard-Tri­umph en­gine. Lawrence knew that the Tri­umph en­gine was to be phased out of pro­duc­tion by 1967. He also felt that this rel­a­tively heavy, rough, and noisy en­gine was not ap­pro­pri­ate for a new lux­ury car.

Lawrence put Tastevin in touch with Ed­ward C. “Ted” Mar­tin, who had de­signed an en­gine that Lawrence thought would work well in the Monica. After eval­u­at­ing the en­gine Tastevin bought the de­sign, rights and ex­ist­ing tool­ing for Ted Mar­tin’s en­gine. The agree­ment in­cluded four com­plete 3.0 litre engines.

The Mar­tin en­gine was an all-al­loy V8 with a sin­gle over­head camshaft (SOHC) per bank dri­ven by a toothed-belt (orig­i­nally Gilmer belt – see also Tim­ing belt). De­signed for the new 3-litre limit an­nounced for the 1966 For­mula One sea­son, it weighed just 230 lb (100 kg) with an­cil­lar­ies and pro­duced 270 bhp (200 kW)@7000 rpm. An un­usual fea­ture of the Mar­tin V8 was that four of the con­nect­ing rods were forked at the big end, much like those on the Rolls Royce Mer­lin engine. The con­nect­ing rod for the op­pos­ing cylin­der bore fit into the gap of the forked rod. This meant that the cylin­der banks were not off­set on the crank-line, re­duc­ing over­all en­gine length. The en­gine was used in the Pearce-Mar­tin F1 car as well as the Lu­cas-Mar­tin, a mod­i­fied Lotus 35 For­mula 2 frame that was run briefly in For­mula One. It also ap­peared in 2.8-litre form in some spe­cials, in­clud­ing some of Lawrence’s own Deep Sander­son sports and rac­ing cars.

This ini­tial pro­to­type first ran at Sil­ver­stone in 1968 with­out bodywork. The dri­ve­train for the car was a 3-litre Mar­tin V8 dri­ving through a Tri­umph TR4 gear­box with overdrive. The car weighed 1070 kg. Over­all per­for­mance was good but the test­ing un­cov­ered prob­lems with the en­gine and its lack of road-car an­cil­lar­ies.

Body­work for the first pro­to­type was fab­ri­cated by Mau­rice Gomm. This car was very dif­fer­ent in ap­pear­ance from the sub­se­quent pro­to­types and the pro­duc­tion mod­els and has been com­pared to an over­sized Pan­hard CD. Nei­ther Tastevin nor his wife were happy with the ap­pear­ance of the first pro­to­type.

A sec­ond pro­to­type chas­sis was built and sent to Williams & Pritchard, who pro­duced a body for it in alu­minum. The style of this body was much more an­gu­lar than the first. Tastevin per­son­ally re­quested some last-minute changes to the shape which would be un­done in later pro­to­types, but in gen­eral pro­to­type #2 set the gen­eral di­rec­tion for sub­se­quent bodies. This sec­ond car was reg­is­tered as a Deep Sander­son and given reg­is­tra­tion num­ber 2 ARX. After its use as a de­vel­op­ment mule pro­to­type #2 was used as a per­sonal car by team mem­ber Colin James, after which it was ac­quired by Peter Dodds, an­other mem­ber of the Mon­ica team.

In 1969 pro­to­type chas­sis #3, the first to re­ceive a ZF 5-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, was built. At this time the Tastevins in­tro­duced Tudor (Tony) Ras­canu, a Ro­man­ian exile and for­mer shop man­ager for Vi­g­nale in Italy, to the pro­ject. Ras­canu was en­trusted with the job of com­pletely restyling the body­work for the third pro­to­type, but was not al­lowed to make any mod­i­fi­ca­tions to Lawrence’s chas­sis, which was to be sent to French coach-builder Henri Chapron in Paris. Chapron was to build a full-sized ma­que­tte, or body-form, of the re­vised car under Ras­canu’s oversight. Ras­canu and Capron’s work met with Tastevin’s ap­proval. With hid­den head­lamps in a slop­ing aero­dy­namic nose and wide hor­i­zon­tal tail­lights it was much more ap­peal­ing than the pre­vi­ous two at­tempts. The ma­que­tte was then sent to Car­rozze­ria Al­fredo Vi­g­nale in Turin to be used as a base for Vi­g­nale to pro­duce a body in steel.

Be­fore de­liv­er­ing the ma­que­tte to Vi­g­nale, Tastevin asked Lawrence to first de­liver pro­to­type #2 to the work­shops of Vir­gilio Con­rero, also in Turin. The fa­mous Alfa me­chanic was to do a de­tailed as­sess­ment of the Mar­tin en­gine and eval­u­a­tion of the car’s performance. Con­rero was crit­i­cal of al­most every as­pect of the Mar­tin en­gine and was skep­ti­cal of the power curves pro­vided by Lawrence. He told the fac­tory “this en­gine is a trap that will never work under nor­mal traf­fic conditions”. Con­rero in­sisted on a fly­ing-kilo­me­tre test of the pro­to­type, after which he would run his 2-litre Giuli­etta on the same course for com­par­i­son. Lawrence sus­pected that Con­rero was try­ing to dis­credit both the Mar­tin en­gine and Lawrence­Tune in an at­tempt to take Lawrence’s place on the Mon­ica pro­ject. He ex­am­ined the times recorded for the Mon­ica’s run and dis­cov­ered an ir­reg­u­lar­ity in the num­bers. When Tastevin con­fronted Con­rero with this in­for­ma­tion the test­ing was halted and Con­rero’s in­volve­ment in the pro­ject ended.

Lawrence de­liv­ered chas­sis #3 to Vi­g­nale’s car­roz­e­ria, and they com­pleted the body in steel. While pro­to­type #3 was a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment the Tastevins were not yet en­tirely sat­is­fied with its ap­pear­ance. Per­for­mance of this car was also dis­ap­point­ing due to it being be­tween 200 kg (440 lb) and 250 kg (550 lb) over­weight. By way of ex­pla­na­tion Lawrence drilled a hole into the scut­tle. The drill pen­e­trated 13 mm (0.5 in) of lead. Vi­g­nale, in the mean time, sold his com­pany to DeTomaso in De­cem­ber 1969 and died three days later in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent while dri­ving a Maserati.

Dur­ing the May 1968 events in France, Tastevin de­camped the en­tire staff of CFPM to Geneva and tasked Lawrence to keep the Mon­ica pro­ject going. Tastevin pro­vided Lawrence with fund­ing to find sub-con­trac­tors to build cars in England. Lawrence ap­proached Jensen, who he knew were al­ready build­ing cars for SunbeamVolvo and Austin-Healey as well as their own C-V8s and In­ter­cep­tors. Jensen was not set up to pro­duce the body pan­els though. Pan­els for their other as­sem­bly con­tracts came from out­side of the com­pany. Lawrence took pro­to­type #3 and went look­ing for some­one to pro­vide the pan­els. He found a com­pany named Air­flow Stream­line in Luton that spe­cial­ized in pro­duc­ing alu­minum cabs for trucks. Air­flow only asked for a com­plete set of en­gi­neer­ing draw­ings, a chas­sis and the num­ber of body pan­els that Lawrence would require. Chas­sis #4 and #6 were de­liv­ered to Air­flow Stream­line and Ras­canu was in­stalled there to su­per­vise the pro­duc­tion of the nec­es­sary draw­ings.

An­other sub-con­trac­tor would be needed to sup­ply the en­gines. Two pos­si­bil­i­ties pre­sented them­selves. One was Coven­try-Vic­tor, and the other was Rolls-Royce. Lawrence had heard that Rolls-Royce had re­cently idled one of their pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties due to the loss of a con­tract and might be in­ter­ested in tak­ing on the Mar­tin V8 project. Lawrence met with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Rolls-Royce, who were fas­ci­nated by the small size of the Mar­tin V8 and in­trigued by the forked con­nect­ing rods so rem­i­nis­cent of those in Rolls-Royce’s own Mer­lin. Rolls-Royce sub­se­quently won an­other de­fense con­tract which would re­ac­ti­vate the pre­vi­ously idled plant and bowed out of ne­go­ti­a­tions. Lawrence went back to Coven­try-Vic­tor.

In the in­ter­ven­ing time things had set­tled down in Paris, and Tastevin wanted to move the pro­ject along quickly. Chas­sis #5 was sent to the fac­tory in Bal­bigny while Lawrence set about es­tab­lish­ing a ma­chine shop at Lawrence­Tune En­gines able to pro­duce the en­gines as well. Prob­lems with cast­ings com­ing from a com­pany called Birm­ing­ham Al­loys prompted Lawrence to have Tastevin search his con­tacts in the French alu­minum in­dus­try for an al­ter­na­tive sup­plier, set­tling on a com­pany called Montupet.

Air­flow Steam­line was still with­out their tech­ni­cal draw­ings and was not get­ting any in­for­ma­tion out of Paris. It turned out that Ras­cenu, sadly, had died in 1970 be­fore being able to com­plete the drawings. Lawrence met with Air­flow Stream­line to dis­cuss the changes they wanted in the ma­que­tte and Lawrence con­vinced Air­flow to build two bod­ies on the two chas­sis they had using pro­to­type #3, which would be left there, as a struc­tural guide. The car they would pro­duce, pro­to­type #4, would be Lawrence’s favourite Mon­ica of all.

David Cow­ard was hired from Au­to­car mag­a­zine where he was work­ing as an illustrator. Prior to that he had worked at coach­builder James Young. Cow­ard re­fined Ras­canu’s de­sign by low­er­ing the side win­dow line and deep­en­ing the wind­screen to give the car a more con­tem­po­rary ap­pear­ance. The body was also low­ered three inches be­tween the floor pan and the roof and four inches were added to the width.

After sort­ing out some is­sues with pro­to­type #4 at­ten­tion turned to tool­ing. Tool­ing to pro­duce the body­work in alu­minum turned out to be pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive, but a com­pany named Ab­bate was found in Turin that would make tool­ing out of resin that would be able to pro­duce up to 100 body sets in steel. The price for the set would be £100,000.

When the un­rest in Paris had sub­sided the idea of con­tract­ing out pro­duc­tion of the car had ended, but Tastevin had kept Coven­try-Vic­tor under con­tract to pro­duce the en­gines. They had been asked to pro­duce 25 copies of the en­gine in a 2.8 litre dis­place­ment. Coven­try-Vic­tor was only able to pro­duce 18 en­gines be­fore de­clar­ing bankruptcy.

At the same time Lawrence had pressed ahead with pro­duc­ing the en­gines at Lawrence­Tune head­quar­ters in Eng­land. Tests of the 2.8 litre en­gine led him to be­lieve that this ver­sion was un­der-pow­ered for the car, and so he en­larged his. With dis­place­ment in­creased to 3423 cc fed by four 2-bar­rel Weber 40 DCLN down-draught car­bu­re­tors and the Mon­ica name in script cast into its valve-cov­ers, the re­vised en­gine pro­duced 240 bhp (180 kW)@6000 rpm. While max­i­mum torque wasn’t pro­duced until 4000 rpm the torque curve was rel­a­tively flat from 2500 to 4000 rpm.

Even­tu­ally the tech­ni­cal draw­ings were com­pleted and ap­proved by Tastevin, which Lawrence de­liv­ered to Turin along with pro­to­type #4 so that pro­duc­tion of the body pan­els using the resin/steel hy­brid tool­ing could begin. Com­par­isons have been drawn be­tween the final shape of the Mon­ica and many of its con­tem­po­raries, with the front view hav­ing been com­pared to the Maserati Indy and Lotus Elan +2, the rear to the Fer­rari 365 GT 2+2, and the side el­e­va­tion to the Aston Mar­tin DBS.

Prob­lems con­tin­ued with the en­gine how­ever. Blown head-gas­kets were com­mon and dif­fi­cul­ties with de­liv­er­ies of both block and cylin­der head cast­ings held back development.

In an ex­clu­sive ar­ti­cle in l’Auto-Jour­nal, writ­ers Jean Mis­tral and Gilles Guérithaut pub­lished a pre­view of the Mon­ica’s debut at the up­com­ing Salon de l’Auto in Oc­to­ber along with an in­ter­view with Tastevin. Among the things the founder re­vealed were his plans to build 400 cars per year.

Tastevin de­cided that the car would debut at the Salon de l’Auto show in Paris in Oc­to­ber 1971. The car on dis­play was pow­ered by a Mar­tin V8 and was called the Mon­ica 350. Tastevin arranged to have a car raised to the tenth floor of a Paris hotel the day be­fore the show, and then have it moved over to the Salon, where the car was re­ceived en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. The morn­ing after the day of the show Lawrence was ap­proached by Zora-Arkus Dun­tov, who asked if he could take the car for a drive. Lawrence handed him the keys.

Shortly after the Paris auto show, Tastevin phoned Lawrence and told him that he had arranged for the car to be eval­u­ated by a team from Matra. A team of six from Matra drove the cars for over three hours straight and then met with Tastevin. The out­come of the eval­u­a­tion was that the Matra en­gi­neers thought that the car should go into pro­duc­tion, but only with a dif­fer­ent engine.

Con­sid­er­a­tion was given to using an Aston Mar­tin V8, but that op­tion was too ex­pen­sive to pur­sue. Lawrence was sent to the United States to meet with Ford, Chevro­let and Chrysler to arrange for a sup­ply of en­gines. Ford and Chevro­let were quickly elim­i­nated from the run­ning but Chrysler was very open to the idea. At the be­gin­ning of 1973 the de­ci­sion was fi­nally made to aban­don the Mar­tin V8 and adopt a North Amer­i­can en­gine, specif­i­cally the 5.6-litre (5563 cc) “340” Chrysler LA se­ries V8.

To han­dle the extra weight power-steer­ing was added, and the rear axle was beefed up. As an added bonus, Chrysler shipped the en­gines with an air-con­di­tion­ing com­pres­sor, so that fea­ture was added at the same time. Other minor changes in­cluded fab­ri­cat­ing the req­ui­site motor mounts, hav­ing two new vents let into the fend­ers and, on later mod­els, two ad­di­tional grilles fit­ted to the hood.

Dur­ing road test­ing the new Chrysler en­gines began to fail. After in­ves­ti­gat­ing it be­came ap­par­ent that the cause of these prob­lems was that these en­gines were not de­signed to run for ex­tended du­ra­tion at the speeds pos­si­ble on the con­ti­nent. Lawrence re­turned to the States look­ing for the re­sources to rem­edy these prob­lems.

The en­gines des­tined for use in Mon­i­cas would all be spe­cially tuned by Racer Brown in the United States. Mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the en­gines in­cluded a Racer Brown stage 3 road camshaft with hy­draulic lifters, an Edel­brock Tor­quer in­take man­i­fold, a 4-bar­rel Holly R6909 750 CFM car­bu­re­tor, a Chrysler ma­rine spec­i­fi­ca­tion oil pump, Cle­vite shell bear­ings, Forge True pis­tons, Ma­rine spec­i­fi­ca­tion valves, and a Fel­pro race-qual­ity gas­ket set.[1]:181 The com­pres­sion ratio was 10.5:1. All of these changes com­bined to bring out­put to 285 bhp (213 kW)@5400 rpm and 333 lb⋅ft (451 N⋅m)@4000 rpm.

It is re­ported that some cars may have been built with the larger 5.9 litre (5898 cc) “360” ver­sion of the Chrysler LA en­gine. These cars would have been des­ig­nated Mon­ica 590s. The di­men­sions at­trib­uted to this ver­sion by var­i­ous sources dif­fer, some­times sig­nif­i­cantly, from those of the 560 model. In par­tic­u­lar the 590 is listed as being 630mm shorter with a 100mm shorter wheel­base and 140 kg heav­ier. It was also more pow­er­ful, the en­gine being rated at 315 bhp (235 kW) and 332 lb⋅ft (450 N⋅m).

The re­vised and re­named Mon­ica 560 made its world pre­mier at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1973. It would ap­pear again at the Paris Auto Show in Oc­to­ber. The car was priced at 164,000 francs (roughly US$34,000 at the time), at a time when a Rolls-Royce Sil­ver Shadow cost 165,000 francs.

After the Geneva show Tastevin in­vited sev­eral rac­ing dri­vers and au­to­mo­tive jour­nal­ists to Paul Ri­card’s cir­cuit, Le Castel­let, to eval­u­ate the new Chrysler-pow­ered car. Among those there was dri­ver/jour­nal­ist Paul Frère, whom Tastevin in­vited to “lend a hand” in sort­ing out the car’s han­dling. He would also be the per­son who wrote the semi-of­fi­cial obit­u­ary for the Mon­ica car.

A rapid suc­ces­sion of pro­to­types would be built to fi­nal­ize the car. The cars at Le Castel­let were num­bers 8 and 9. Num­bers 10 and 11 were built for crash-test­ing and num­bers 12, 13 and 14 came after. Pro­to­type 14 was ba­si­cally pre-pro­duc­tion and would even­tu­ally be one of the cars Tastevin kept for his per­sonal use. Tastevin had hired a di­rec­tor to get pro­duc­tion under way at Bal­bigny, but noth­ing was built for a year while the new di­rec­tor stalled and made changes to the car. Even­tu­ally Tastevin fired the di­rec­tory and turned pro­duc­tion over to Lawrence­Tune again while he looked for a new director. The car was also sub­se­quently shown at the Earls Court auto show.

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AGENDA 21: SANTA MONICA TAKES OUT 1 CAR LANE FOR BIKE CORRIDOR ON BRIDGE.
LAFD Engine 43 / Auto / EB Santa Monica FWY @ Overland

The car

With the long de­vel­op­ment pe­riod fi­nally at an end, pro­duc­tion gets un­der­way in Bal­bigny.

The car is built on Lawrence’s steel-tube and sheet metal chas­sis. The body is Ras­canu’s de­sign with Cow­ard’s re­vi­sions ex­e­cuted en­tirely in steel. Five ex­te­rior colours are avail­able: At­lantic Blue, Azure Blue, Pur­ple Ama­ranth, Chest­nut Brown and Beige Sand. The final ver­sion of Lawrence’s rocker-arm/De Dion sus­pen­sion is au­to­mat­i­cally lev­el­ing, and the car sits on four Miche­lin 215/70VR-12 Col­lec­tion tires mounted on 14 inch alloy wheels. The orig­i­nal sill-mounted fuel tanks have been re­placed with a sin­gle tank under the floor of the trunk due to reg­u­la­tory re­stric­tions.

The power-as­sisted rack-and-pin­ion steer­ing is con­nected to an ad­justable steer­ing col­umn that is topped by a cus­tom Mo­tolita steer­ing wheel.

Brak­ing on the pro­duc­tion Mon­ica was still a dual cir­cuit sys­tem with Lock­heed disks in­board at the front op­er­ated by a 4-pis­ton caliper and Girling disks at the rear op­er­ated by a 3-pis­ton caliper but the disks front and rear were both now 11 inch ven­ti­lated pieces.

The seats are up­hol­stered in Con­nolly leather avail­able in three colours: Ma­rine, Ha­vana, and Cham­pagne. The floor is cov­ered in Shet­land wool car­pet­ing. The dash­board is fin­ished in burl elm wood and suede.

The state of the car is mon­i­tored by a brace of cus­tom Jaeger in­stru­ments all bear­ing the Mon­ica name. Gauges in­clude a speedome­ter, tachome­ter, oil tem­per­a­ture gauge, oil pres­sure gauge, am­me­ter, water tem­per­a­ture gauge, fuel gauge, and clock.

The win­dows are elec­tri­cally op­er­ated. A High-fi­delity sound sys­tem with in­te­grated tape recorder and player is stan­dard equip­ment, as is an air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem with sep­a­rate con­trols for the rear seat pas­sen­gers. The doors on the Mon­ica are elec­tri­cally op­er­ated to open and close silently at the touch of a but­ton. In the trunk is a com­plete set of cus­tom lug­gage.

With a quoted top speed of 240 km/h (150 mph) the Mon­ica 560 could lay claim to being “The fastest sedan in the world” at the time.

Pho­tos from the pe­riod in­di­cate that a fu­ture coupe and con­vert­ible were al­ready being planned.

The end

The Mon­ica 560 makes its last pub­lic ap­pear­ance at the Paris Auto Salon Paris Auto Show in Oc­to­ber 1974. On Feb­ru­ary 7 of 1975 Tastevin an­nounces the ces­sa­tion of pro­duc­tion and closes the com­pany.

Many fac­tors con­tributed to the fail­ure of the car. It en­dured a seven-year long ges­ta­tion pe­riod. The car was re­mark­ably ex­pen­sive while lack­ing the kind of rep­u­ta­tion or recog­ni­tion en­joyed by other more es­tab­lished mar­ques in this mar­ket. It faced com­pe­ti­tion from many sim­i­lar-sized low-vol­ume man­u­fac­tur­ers. Fi­nally, it had the mis­for­tune to be of­fi­cially re­leased just as the first major oil cri­sis made fuel prices jump and large ex­pen­sive mo­tor­cars less de­sir­able.

Five Mon­i­cas re­main­ing at the Lawrence­Tune head­quar­ters were sold by Lawrence to Cliff Davis and Bernie Ec­cle­stone, the pro­ceeds being pay­ment for Lawrence­Tunes work for Tastevin. Lawrence was dri­ving pre-pro­duc­tion car #21 at the time. The Tastevins kept three Mon­i­cas for their own use.

The pro­duc­tion as­sets of the Mon­ica com­pany and as many as thirty cars in var­i­ous stages of com­ple­tion were sold to French race dri­ver and For­mula One team owner Guy Ligier. Ligier did not re­sume pro­duc­tion.

In April 1976 Motor Sport mag­a­zine re­ported an an­nounce­ment by Bob Jankel of Pan­ther West­winds that his com­pany and C.J. Lawrence and Co. would re­sume pro­duc­tion of the Mon­ica. C.J. Lawrence and Co. would man­u­fac­ture sub-as­sem­blies and Pan­ther would as­sem­ble, paint and trim the car. Power was else­where ru­mored to be com­ing from a Jaguar V12 motor. Pro­duc­tion would move from Bal­bigny to Sur­rey. Noth­ing came of these plans.

Six pro­duc­tion Mon­i­cas are known to exist. At least three of the pro­to­types are re­ported to re­main in Britain. Chris Lawrence per­son­ally owned a pro­duc­tion Mon­ica for sev­eral years that was sold from his estate.

Gallery

Literature

  • Monica – edited by Emory Christer ISBN 978-6-134977-82-1
  • Preston Tucker & Others: Tales of Brilliant Automotive Innovations ISBN 978-1-845840-17-4
  • Monica, automobile française de prestige by Frédéric Brandely. Hardcover (published June, 2012) ISBN 979-1090084049
  • Monica, automobile française de prestige by Frédéric Brandely. Paperback. ISBN 978-2-913307-13-1
  • Kevin Brazendale: The Encyclopedia of classic cars. Advanced Marketing Services, London 1999, ISBN 1-57145-182-X (engl.).

References

  1. abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzaaabacadaeafagahaiajakal Lawrence, Chris (2008). Morgan Maverick. Yorkshire: Douglas Loveridge Publications. ISBN978-1-900113-04-5.
  2. abc “1972/1975 Monica…”http://www.gatsbyonline.com. Retrieved 2017-03-25.
  3. ^ “London Racing Car Show 1967”http://www.sportscars.tv. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  4. ^ “Ted Martin and the AMCO Engines”http://www.modelenginenews.org. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  5. ^ “Anglo-French Monica”http://www.motorsportmagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  6. ^ “Monica Prototype No. 2”classiccars.brightwells.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  7. ^ “Tudor Rascanu, de Dody à Tony”voronet.centerblog.net. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  8. ^ “ECLIPSE AVORTEE”http://www.automobile-sportive.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  9. ^ “Monica : Belle, luxueuse, française et ancêtre des coupés 4 portes”blog.p.free.fr. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  10. ^ Georgano, Nick (2001). The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (2nd ed.).
  11. ^ “1973 Monica 590 technical specifications”http://www.carfolio.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  12. ^ “History of Lawrence Tune     …… continued”http://www.lawrence-tune.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  13. ^ “Monica”http://www.allcarindex.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
  14. ^ “1974 Monica”http://www.silverstoneauctions.com. Retrieved 2016-12-13.

External links

BRISTOL CARS

bristol-metal-plate

Bristol Cars, Bristol England 1945-present

sticker375x360

Bristol Cars
Private limited company
Industry Automotive
Founded 1945 (Bristol)
Headquarters Bristol, England
Key people
Sir George White Tony Crook
Products Cars
Parent Kamkorp
Website www.bristolcars.co.uk

Bristol Cars is a manufacturer of hand-built luxury cars headquartered on Kensington High Street, London, England.

Bristol Cars is the last remaining descendant that retains the original name of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, a major aircraft manufacturer that at one point employed well over 50,000 people. After the Second World War, the Car Division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company was formed, later becoming Bristol Cars Limited.

Unlike most speciality automakers, Bristol does not court publicity and has only one showroom, on Kensington High Street in London. Nevertheless, the company maintains an enthusiastic and loyal clientele.

Bristol has always been a low-volume manufacturer; the most recent published official production figures were for 1982, which stated that 104 cars were produced in that year.

The company suspended manufacturing in March 2011, when administrators were appointed and 22 staff were made redundant. In April 2011, the company was purchased by Kamkorp. Since 2011, the company has been restoring and selling all models of the marque while a new model was being developed. The company returned to the automotive business in 2015 with an all-new model, called the Bullet, initially dubbed “Project Pinnacle”. The car was first revealed to the public on 26 July 2016, and production will begin the following year.

History

bristol-cars-showroom-kensington-high-streetThe Bristol Cars showroom on Kensington High Street

The British aircraft industry suffered a dramatic loss of orders and great financial difficulties following the Armistice of 1918. To provide immediate employment for its considerable workforce, the Bristol Aeroplane Company undertook the manufacture of a light car (the Bristol Monocar), the construction of car bodies for Armstrong Siddeley and bus bodies for their sister company, Bristol Tramways.

On the outbreak of World War II, Sir George Stanley White, managing director of the Bristol Aeroplane Company from 1911–1954, was determined not to suffer the same difficulties a second time. The company now employed 70,000 and he knew he must plan for the time when the voracious wartime demand for Bristol aircraft and aircraft engines would suddenly end. The company began working with AFN Ltd, makers of Frazer Nash cars and British importer of BMWs before the war, on plans for a joint venture in automotive manufacture.

bristol-450-le-mans-carsSir George Stanley White with Bristol the Bristol 450 Le Mans cars

As early as 1941, a number of papers were written or commissioned by George S. M. White, Sir Stanley’s son, proposing a post-war car manufacturing division. It was decided to purchase an existing manufacturer for this purpose. Alvis, Aston Martin, Lagonda, ERA and Lea-Francis were considered.

Beginning

A chance discussion took place in May 1945, between D. A. Aldington, a director of Frazer Nash then serving as an inspector for the wartime Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP), and Eric Storey, an assistant of George White at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It led to the immediate take-over of Frazer Nash by the Aeroplane Company.

Aldington and his two brothers had marketed the Fraser Nash BMW before the war, and proposed to build an updated version after demobilisation. This seemed the perfect match for the aeroplane company’s own ambitions to manufacture a high quality sports car. With the support of the War Reparations Board, H. J. Aldington travelled to Munich and purchased the rights to manufacture three BMW models and the 328 engine.

By July 1945, BAC had created a car division and bought a controlling stake in AFN. A factory was established at Filton Aerodrome, near Bristol.

George White and Reginald Verdon-Smith of the Aeroplane Company joined the new Frazer Nash Board, but in January 1947, soon after the first cars had been produced, differences between the Aldingtons and Bristol led to the resale of Frazer Nash. The Bristol Car Division became an independent entity.

Independence

Bristol Cars was sold after its parent joined with other British aircraft companies in 1960 to create the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), which later became part of British Aerospace.

The car division originally merged with Bristol Siddeley Engines, and was marked for closure, but was bought in September 1960 by George S.M. White the chairman and effective founder. White retained the direction of the company, but sold a forty per cent shareholding to Tony Crook, a leading Bristol agent. Crook became sole distributor.

New ownership

In September 1969, only a month before the unveiling of the new Bristol 411 at the Earl’s Court Motor Show, Sir George White (as he had become) suffered a serious accident in his Bristol 410. The car was only superficially damaged, but he suffered severe trauma.

As time passed it became clear that he would never regain his health sufficiently to return to full-time work. To safeguard the future of his workforce, he decided in 1973 to sell his majority shareholding to Crook. As the ties with the White family were severed, British Aerospace (successors to the Bristol Aeroplane Company) requested the company to move its factory from Filton Aerodrome and it found new premises in nearby Patchway. The showroom on Kensington High Street became the head office, with Crook shuttling between the two in Bristol’s light aircraft.

Under Crook’s direction the company produced at least six types, the names of which were largely borrowed from Bristol’s distinguished aeronautical past: the Beaufighter, Blenheim, Britannia and Brigand.

End of the second era

In February 1997, Crook, then aged 77, sold a fifty per cent holding in Bristol Cars to Toby Silverton, with an option to take full control within four years. Silverton, then son-in-law of Joe Lewis of the Tavistock Group and son of Arthur Silverton of Overfinch, joined the board with his father.

Crook and Toby Silverton produced the Speedster, Bullet and 411 Series 6, though 2002 saw the transfer of Bristol Cars fully into the ownership of Silverton and the Tavistock Group, with Silverton in the chair and Crook remaining as managing director. Together they developed a two-seater V10 named after the first Sir George White’s world-famous First World War two-seater aircraft, the Bristol Fighter.

Crook finally relinquished his connection with Bristol Cars in August 2007. In March 2011, it was announced that Bristol Cars had been placed into administration. Rescue came in April 2011, in the form of Frazer-Nash Research.

Pre-war BMW designs, Aldington brothers and early cars

1946-50-bristol%e2%80%85400Bristol 400, 1946–50

HJ Aldington, a director of the Bristol Aeroplane Company affiliated AFN (BMW’s pre-war concessionaire in the UK), used his British Army connections to visit the bombed BMW factory in Munich several times post-war. In 1945 he took plans for BMW cars back to Britain, and BMW chief engineer, Dr. Fritz Fiedler was also employed. Its first car was the Bristol 400, prototyped in 1946 and introduced at the 1947 Geneva Motor Show. Derived from immediately pre-WW2 BMW products (thanks to a connection to BMW through Frazer Nash), the chassis was based on the BMW 326, the engine on the 328, and the body on the 327. Even a variation on the famous double-kidney BMW grille was retained. Bristol, however, did a thorough examination of the car’s handling and ended up with performance “only matched by outright purpose-built competition cars”. Seven hundred of the Bristol 400 were built, 17 of which received “handsome” drophead bodywork from Pininfarina.

In 1949, the 400 was joined by the five-place 401. Bodied by Touring, it was aerodynamically sleeker, accelerated better, and had higher top speed. It was joined by the drophead 402, of which just 24 examples were built.

The 403 followed in 1953, which featured improved brakes, gearbox, dampers, heater, and engine (a detuned racing motor, in fact). Bristol would use this same engine in the

1954-bristol-450

450, entered at Le Mans in 1953; it broke its experimental crankshaft, but despite being less than aerodynamically ideal proved fully five seconds a lap quicker than the competition. Bristol withdrew from racing two years later.

Along with the 403 was the

bristol-404-two-door-saloon-at-the-adelaide-botanic-gardensBristol 404 two door saloon at the Adelaide Botanic Gardensbristol-405-four-door-saloonBristol 405 four-door saloon

404, on a shorter wheelbase, with a more powerful engine and styling reminiscent of the 450. The 404 introduced a concealed front wing-mounted spare wheel and battery. It was built to extremely exacting standards, and the price reflected it; this, plus newly introduced “punitive taxation”, meant only 40 were produced.

1968-bristols-traditional-wing-mounted-spare-wheel-on-a-bristol%e2%80%85410

Bristol’s traditional wing-mounted spare wheel on a Bristol 410

The 405, which entered production in 1954, was much more successful, not least for being Bristol’s only four-door. It remained in production until 1958, with 297 saloons and 43 drophead coupés produced in all.

Bristol debuted the

1958-bristol-406406 in 1958, and it remained in production until 1961.

V8 cars

The 406’s replacement, the 407, was powered by a 5.2 litre V8 provided by Chrysler of Canada.

It was followed in 1963 by the

1973-bristol-408408, with drastic restyling as well as improved suspension. This was succeeded by the1966-bristol-409-5211-cc409. Many buyers preferred the crisp steering and gearbox of the earlier six-cylinder cars.1968-bristol-410aThe 410, introduced in 1966, was a return to the high-performance touring tradition, offering the same top speed as the 409, and superior acceleration, with the same powerplant. It also saw Bristol become a private company and marked a return to quality to the exclusion of output: no more than three cars a week were to be made.

In 1969, the Bristol 411 appeared, with a new 6.2 litre Chrysler V8 (still rebuilt and modified by Bristol, as before) delivering higher top speed and even better acceleration.

1970-bristol%e2%80%85411-series-11970 Bristol 411 Series 1

Engines

Until 1961, all Bristol cars used Bristol-built derivatives of the BMW M328 2-litre six-cylinder engine. These engines also powered a number of sports and racing cars, including all post-war Frazer Nashes (apart from a few prototypes), some ACs, some Lotus and Cooper racing cars, and several others.

In 1961, with the launch of the Bristol 407, the company switched to larger Chrysler V8 engines, which were more suitable for the increasingly heavy cars. All post-1961 Bristols, including the later Blenheim and Fighter models, used Chrysler engines.

Kamkorp era (2011–)

Administration and purchase

On 3 March 2011 it was announced that Bristol Cars had gone into administration, with the immediate loss of 22 jobs.[18] On 21 April 2011 the company was purchased by Kamkorp, which also owns Frazer-Nash Research, a manufacturer of electric vehicles. The acquisition could thus be presented as a reunion of two great names of British motoring, despite there being no connection with the original Frazer Nash car company.

Bristol Bullet

bristol-bullet-and-a-bristol-405-drophead-coupe-on-display-at-salon-priveBristol Bullet and a Bristol 405 Drophead coupé on display at Salon Prive’

Main article: Bristol Bullet (car)
bristol-bullet-rear

In 2014 Bristol Cars announed the development of a new model codenamed “Project Pinnacle”. Initial reports indicated it would be a petrol-electric hybrid with a petrol engine from BMW. However a later media report and a May 2015 press release indicated that the car would have non-hybrid V8 power.

2016-bristol-bullet2016 Bristol Bullet

The car, a 2-seater roadster, made its first public appearance, slightly camouflaged, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2016. In July the car was shown undisguised, technical details were announced, and its name given as Bristol Bullet. It is powered by a normally aspirated BMW V8 engine of 4.8 litres and 370 bhp driving the rear wheels, has a body of carbon fibre, weighs 1130 kg, and will cost £250,000. The planned production run is 70. The company states that the car is a precursor of future range-extender electric vehicles.

Models

1959-bristol-406-4-doors1956 Bristol 405 Drop Head Coupe, coachwork by Abbots of Farnham

1974-bristol%e2%80%85411-series-41974 Bristol 411 Series 4
bristol-407-zagato-the-inspiration-and-forerunner-to-the-aston-martin-db4-gt-zagatoBristol 407 Zagato the inspiration and forerunner to the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Bristol-engined cars

1947-bristol-cars-of-filtonType 400 (1946–50)1947-berlinetta-superleggera-su-telaio-bristol-401Type 401 (1948–53)1949-bristol-402-aType 402 (1949–50)

1953-bristol-403-2-litreType 403 (1953–55)bristol-404-two-door-coupeType 404 (1953–55)1954-arnolt-bristol Type 404X Arnolt Bristol (1954–58)1955-bristol-405-1971ccType 405 (1954–58)1958-61-bristol-406Type 406 (1958–61)1950-bristol-450-2litre 1953-bristol-450-le-mans-1953 1953-bristol-1953-450-2 1953-le-mans-bristol-450 1953-wisdom-fairman-bristol-450-le-mans-original-louis-klemantaski-race-photo 1954-bristol-450 1955-bristol-450-lemans 1956-1960-bristol-450-coupe bristol-450-cars-6-cylinders bristol-450-le-mans-cars bristol-450-lm-53-wisdom-fairman-dnf bristol-450 bristol-450lm bristol-type-450Type 450 (1953–55)

Chrysler-engined cars

1962-bristol-407-5130-cc-ohv-v8Type 407 (1961–63)1963-bristol-408-advert-408-of-1963-kept-the-same-basic-aesthetic-but-added-a-5-2-litre-318-cu-in-v8 bristol-407-408-409-and-410

Bristol 408 MkII. Introduced in 1965, the MkII gained a larger 5211cc V8 engine with a cast alloy gearbox
Bristol 408 MkII. Introduced in 1965, the MkII gained a larger 5211cc V8 engine with a cast alloy gearbox

1973-bristol-408Type 408 (1963–65)1966-bristol-409-5211-cc

1965-bristol-409 1966-bristol-409 bristol-409-6 bristol-409-b bristol-409-a bristol-409 bristol-409-7301Type 409 (1965–67)1968-bristol-410a 1968-bristols-traditional-wing-mounted-spare-wheel-on-a-bristol%e2%80%85410 bristol-410-1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Bristol 410
Bristol 410 1969. Introduced in 1967 the 410 evolved the 409 and was given a 5211cc V8 engine and revised grille and lighting.
Bristol 410 1969. Introduced in 1967 the 410 evolved the 409 and was given a 5211cc V8 engine and revised grille and lighting.

Type 410 (1967–69)bristol-411-series-3-with-quad-headlights bristol-411 bristol-411-1 1974-bristol%e2%80%85411-series-4 1970-bristol%e2%80%85411-series-1 1970-bristol-411-s1 1970-bristol-411-s1 1972-bristol-411-series-3 1975-76-bristol-411-2-door-saloon-series-5 1974-bristol-411-serie-6 1975-the-last-of-the-line-in-bristol-cars-411 1971-bristol-411-series-2 1974-bristol-411-london bristol-411-412-603-and-beaufighter 1974-bristol-411 1974-bristol-411-auto-van-inspector-lynley 1969-bristol-411-auto-van-inspector-lynleyType 411 (1969–76)

1978-bristol-412-sii-targa-zagato 1980-bristol-412-near-bury-st-eds bristol-412-car-classics 1979-bristol-type-412-usa-convertible-saloon 1978-86-bristol-412-convertible-saloon-series-2-a 1978-86-bristol-412-convertible-saloon-series-2 1975-78-bristol-412-convertible-saloon-series-1-a 1982-bristol-412-zagato 1982-bristol-412 1984-bristol-britannia-412 bristol-411-412-603-and-beaufighter 1982-bristol-412-s3Type 412/Beaufighter (1975–93) Beaufortbristol-brigand-car-frontside-603 1984-bristol-603-brigand bristol-603-in-paris 1978-82-bristol-603-series-2 bristol-411-412-603-and-beaufighterType 603 (1976–82)1984-bristol-britannia bristol-britannia-to-blenheimBritanniabristol-brigand-car-frontside-603 1984-bristol-603-brigand 1984-bristol-brigand 1982-bristol-brigandBrigand (1982–93)bristol-blenheim-4s bristol-blenheim-series-3 bristol-blenheim-utterly-exclusive bristol-blenheimBlenheim (1993–2011)1998-bristol-blenheim-2-3Blenheim 2bristol-blenheim-3b bristol-blenheim-3-01 bristol-blenheim-3a bristol-blenheim-3-62-8 bristol-blenheim-3Blenheim 3, 3S and 3Gbristol-blenheim-4 bristol-blenheim-4sBlenheim 4bristol-411-series-6 bristol-411-series-6-2009-03-2011-youtube 2010-present-bristol-series-6 bristol-serie-6-4627-5 1974-bristol-411-serie-6 bristol-serie-6Series 6 (2000–2011)

Blenheim Roadster/Speedster (2003–11)2004-bristol-fighter-goodwood bristol-fighter-t-a 2004-bristol-fighter-t 2005-bristol-cars-fighter 2004-bristol-fighter-a 2007-bristol-fighter bristol-fighter 2004-bristol-fighterFighter (2004–11)

BMW-engined cars

2016-bristol-bullet bristol-bullet-rear bristol-bullet-and-a-bristol-405-drophead-coupe-on-display-at-salon-priveBullet (2016–)

See also

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “Die wundersame Welt von Bristol”. Auto Bild (in German). 6 January 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2008.
  2. Jump up^ “Supercar Supermarket: BRISTOL FIGHTER – Feature”. Car and Driver. January 2001. Retrieved 16 May 2008.
  3. Jump up^ Lösch (1984), p. 402.
  4. Jump up^ “Bristol Cars announces 22 staff redundancies”. BBC News. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “Bristol Cars bought by Kamkorp Autokraft”. BBC News. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  6. Jump up^ “Bristol Cars”. Bristol Cars. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  7. Jump up^ Jenkins, Alex (18 July 2016). “Bristol Cars to make comeback with new Bristol Bullet”. Auto Express. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b Lawrence (1991), p. 58.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b “The Bristol Cars Story”. Bristolcars.co.uk. Retrieved13 March 2015.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b Rob de la Rive Box. “Encyclopaedia of Classic Cars: Sports Cars 1945-1975”. Books.google.com. p. 64. Retrieved2016-08-17.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Setright (1978), p. 233.
  12. Jump up^ “Farewell Tony Crook: Racing driver and ex-Bristol Cars owner dies at 93”. Bristol Post. 19 February 2014. Retrieved13 March 2015.
  13. Jump up^ Setright (1978), p. 232.
  14. Jump up^ Setright (1978), pp. 232–3.
  15. Jump up^ Setright (1978), pp. 233–4.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b c Setright (1978), p. 234.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Setright (1978), p. 235.
  18. Jump up^ “Bristol Cars goes into administration”. BBC News. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  19. Jump up^ Pollard, Tim (2015-06-02). “Bristol Cars is back with new 2015 Pinnacle model by CAR Magazine”. Carmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  20. Jump up^ “Bristol previews new Project Pinnacle anniversary car”.Autocar.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  21. Jump up^ “PRESS RELEASE : BRISTOL CARS CONFIRMS POWERTRAIN FOR 70th ANNIVERSARY PROJECT PINNACLE” (PDF). Bristolcars.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-17.
  22. Jump up^ “Bristol Bullet to be precursor of electrified models”.Autocar.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-17.

Other sources

  • Lawrence, Mike (1991). A to Z of Sports Cars. Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-81-8.
  • Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1984). World Cars. Herald Books.
  • Setright, L. J. K. (1978). Northey, Tom, ed. Bristol: A Quiet Touch of Class. World of Automobiles. 2. Phoebus.

External links

ARNOLT 1953-1968 Cars with Bertone Carrosserie

Arnolt

1958 Arnolt Bristol deluxe

Stanley H. Arnolt (bekend als “Wacky Arnolt“) was een Amerikaanse zakenman. Hij is in de autowereld bekend geworden doordat hij onder eigen naam auto’s met een Bertone carrosserie op de markt bracht.

Hij verkocht in de periode 1953 tot 1968 auto’s op basis van verschillende Engelse modellen. Hij liet de auto’s ontwerpen en bouwen door Bertone in Italië. De auto’s waren vooral bestemd voor de Amerikaanse markt.

Arnolt bouwde de volgende modellen:

  • Arnolt MG op basis van de MG TD
  • Arnolt Aston op basis van de Aston Martin DB 2/4
  • Arnolt Bentley
  • Arnolt Bristol op basis van de Bristol 404

Externe links 

Arnolt

SH Arnolt Inc. of Chicago and Warsaw Indiana sold four different manufacturer’s cars with Bertone bodies during the period 1953 to 1968.

Stanley H. “Wacky” Arnolt was a Chicago industrialist, who began importing foreign cars in the 1950s to the United States. Though sold as American cars, the cars were true hybrids, with British mechanicals, Italian bodywork, and U.S. sales and distribution, as well as in some cases final assembly and body work. SH Arnolt Inc. was a licensed automobile manufacturer in the State of Illinois.

A fortuitous meeting with Bertone at the Turin Auto Show in 1952 resulted in four collaborative efforts between Arnolt and Bertone.

Arnolt-MG

1955 Arnolt-MG

1955 Arnolt-MG

1955 Arnolt-MG a

1955 Arnolt-MG

The first was the Arnolt-MG, a four-seater Bertone-bodied car based on the MG TD chassis and XPAG 54hp engine. The Arnolt MG was designed by Giovanni Bertone, his son Nuccio, and Giovanni Michelotti. Of a planned production of 200 cars, 103 have been documented as built between 1953 and 1954 (67 coupes and 36 convertibles). Out of this total, the whereabouts of 36 are unknown and three are known to have been scrapped (as of 1993).

The initial price was $3145. In 1954, MG informed Arnolt that it could no longer supply chassis and engines due to demand for its own complete cars (as well as the replacement of the TD by the TF), so Arnolt began looking for a larger-engined car.

Arnolt Aston

An attempt to build a Bertone-bodied Aston Martin DB2/4 and sell it as an Arnolt Aston was stopped by Aston Martin after three cars were built. There were three Arnolt Astons designed by Bertone’s fresh new designer – Franco Scaglione (chassis numbers LML50/502, LML 50/505 and LML 50/507). All looked very much like Scaglione’s subsequent Arnolt Bristol, having sharply creased fender lines, and were open cars without hardtops. There were four additional Bertone Astons that were commissioned at Arnolt’s request and went through Arnolt’s hands. These four cars are sometimes mistakenly referred to as Arnolt Astons, but are not. These were 3 roadsters and 1 coupe. All of the seven Arnolt Astons still exist. One article refers to a possible eighth car, perhaps destroyed in the Chicago fire at Arnolt’s factory. The cars were fitted with Aston’s 125 hp, 2580 cc engine.

I owned LML 762, the last Arnolt Aston Martin manufactured, for 14 years, 1974 – 1988. Contrary to what is written above it was a TRUE Arnolt Aston Martin. In fact, it was the ONLY car of the 7 or 8 that had an Arnolt Aston Martin Badge. Any of the other cars that had a badge was identified only as an Arnolt. The Arnolt Aston Martin badge has since been copied and can be found on LML 504. The cars were not manufactured in chassis sequence number. The FIRST car built was LML 504, NOT any of the Arnolt-Bristol lookalikes, 502, 505 or 507. The Aston Martin Owner’s registry showed that 8 chassis were delivered to Bertone. It was my article that suggested that 8 cars in total were manufactured; this was confirmed by employees at Arnolt’s factory in Warsaw Indiana. Finally, while 502, 505 and 507 were originally fitted with the 2.5 liter engine, all were converted to the more powerful 3 liter engine before being sold. I personally inspected three of the other cars, LML 504, 506 and 765, and had extensive correspondence with the owner of 505.

1953 Arnolt's Bentley R-Type Continental by Bertone

Arnolt’s Bentley

Arnolt Bentley

Arnolt also had Bertone design and build a Bentley, which resembles a larger version of the Arnolt MG coupe because it was also penned by Giovanni Michelotti who was working for Bertone at the time. This car was commissioned for SH Arnolt as a personal car. Bertone built the body on a 1953 R Type Continental chassis. The car was fitted with monogrammed flasks and glasses, and a special cosmetics compartment for Mrs. Arnolt. The car was originally painted gold and fitted with tan hides.

Arnolt Bristol

1954 Arnolt-Bristol

1954 Arnolt-Bristol

Arnolt then negotiated with Bristol Cars Ltd in the UK for the purchase of 200 of their 404 series chassis and 1971 cc, six-cylinder 130 hp engines. According to an article by Wouter Melissen Arnolt needed to find a new chassis source to meet his obligation to Bertone, in whom he had invested heavily, after MG proved unable to fill the original order for 200 cars. The chassis Bristol supplied were sent to Carrozzeria Bertone where they received a highly aerodynamic body with a flowing design that allowed the minimal hood height to clear the cars’ three single barrel Solex 32 carburetors. The bodies were designed by Bertone’s new designer/aerodynamicist, Franco Scaglione (soon to be famous as the designer of the

1955 Alfa Romeo BAT 9

Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept cars). The very tall Bristol engine created problems for designing a sleek-looking sports car. Franco Scaglione handled these with particular genius – first by incorporating a hood scoop to lower the surrounding sheet metal, and then by incorporating sharply creased fender lines out over the wheels to draw the eye’s attention away from the unusually tall peak in the hood. A few design changes were requested by SH Arnolt.

Arnolt created a racing team for the Sebring 12-hour race, and in 1955, at their first attempt, the special lightweight cars finished first, second and fourth in the Sports 2000 class. The following year they took second and third in class. In 1957 the team withdrew after Bob Goldich’s fatal accident on the first lap of his first stint in the car co-driven by Wacky Arnolt, while a privately entered Arnolt Bristol finished fifth in class. 1960 brought a final class win, the team placing 14th, 22d and 39th overall.

Technoclassica 2005 in Essen
Arnolt Bristol deluxe, gesehen bei der Technoclassica in Essen 2005. Der 1958 in Stahlblech-Leichtbauweise auf einem Bristol 404-Chassis gebaute Roadster ist von Bertone entworfen. 6 Zylinder, 3 Vergaser, 1971 cm³ Hubraum, 4 Gänge. Von den 142 gebauten Fahrzeugen sollen noch ~ 60 existieren, dieses wurde für 115.000 € angeboten

Arnolt Bristol deluxe (1958)

The cars were available in four body styles: competition—a stripped road racer; bolide—a slightly better-appointed road racer; deluxe—a better-appointed version of the bolide (side windows and convertible top, instruments mounted in a housing in front of the driver, glove box set in the dash); and coupé, with pop-up headlights. At least one open car was subsequently fitted with a removable hardtop by S.H. Arnolt. Prices as per a 1956 factory letter were $3995 for the competition model, $4245 for the bolide, $4995 for the deluxe and $5995 for the coupe.

Factory options for the Arnolt Bristols included a front sway bar, remote shifter, 11-inch Alfin drum brakes, convertible top, bumpers, Borrani KO steel wheels (nine sets were sold, and one car was sold with Borrani wire wheels) and several different rear end gear ratios. A special racing fuel tank was installed in some of the race cars but was never offered for sale to the public. Late in 1959 and 60, the 12-inch bell-shaped Bristol drum setup was offered, and in 1961 Bristol front disc brakes were offered to retro fit to the Arnolt Bristol. The majority of the cars had steel bodies, with aluminum trunk and hood.

The cars came with an owner’s manual, spares manual and shop workbook, as well as a spare wheel and tire and complete tool kit. Additional items such as Arnolt key fobs, neck ties, ice buckets and Arnolt logo head scarves were available from the company. A wide variety of promotional literature, including brochures and postcards, was also produced.

All of the cars were originally sold with Bristol BS1 MkII six-cylinder engines; some have subsequently been fitted with other engines.

All Arnolt Bristols were built between January 14, 1953 and December 12, 1959. The majority were built in 1954 and 1959. A total of 142 cars were produced, of which 12 were written off after a factory fire. The fire-damaged cars were used as a source of spares by Arnolt in later years. The total production included six coupes, and two aluminum alloy-bodied cars. One of the cars was originally right hand drive: the rest were all left hand drive. One of the cars never received a body, and was used as a rolling chassis for auto shows. This chassis is still in the possession of the Arnolt family.

Approximately 85 of the cars are still known to be extant, in conditions that vary from needing complete restoration to concours quality.

Despite the racing successes, the cars did not sell well.

Some of the cars did not sell until after 1960, and the last car to be sold, fitted with four headlights, remained unsold until 1968.

Common Misconceptions

A number of published sources have contained errors on the production numbers of the Arnolt Bristol. In part, this may be because some authors production or sales figures have been compared to existing copies of the SH Arnolt sales ledger. It is important to note that this ledger only records sales of the cars in the United States. As a result, European sales were not included. One result is that several sources claim only three coupes were built, when there were in fact six: one was sold in France and the other two in Spain (the chassis numbers of all of which are recorded in the Bristol Owner’s Club registry.) At the Paris Auto Show in 1955, an up-and-coming actor, Lee Marvin, saw the Arnolt Bristol coupe and purchased it. In later years, Marvin would win the Oscar for Best Actor, and after his death, his ultra-rare Arnolt Bristol Coupe (the only Arnolt ever built with the coved front fenders that would inspire the Corvette designers) sold at auction for $451,000.

A second misconception is that the cars were originally fitted with any engines other than the Bristol six-cylinder. All Arnolt Bristols were originally sold with the Bristol engine, and SH Arnolt did not fit any of the 283 Corvette engines some sources claim were sold by the factory. In later years, because of the spacious engine compartment, a variety of engines have been fitted to individual cars, including Chevrolet 283, 351 and 454 engines, and the Pontiac 389.

A third misconception is that SH Arnolt built the cars. The Arnolt Bristol was built in Filton as a powered chassis; the body was fitted by Bertone in Italy, and only final assembly, fitting of options, prep work and (occasionally) paint and upholstery changes were done in Warsaw, Indiana.

References

Arnolt-Bristol-Bolide-Roadster

1956 Arnolt-Bristol Coupe

FORD Motor Company Dearborn Michigan USA 1903 – still going strong Part II

FORD Motor Company

1903 Ford logo

Dearborn Michigan USA 1903 – still going strong Part II

1896 Quadricycle at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI

1896 Quadricycle at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI

1899 Ford Model T

1899 Ford Model T

1903 Ford logo

1903

1903 Ford Model A - original sales leaflet

1903 Ford Model A – original sales leaflet

Ford Model A (1903–04)

Ford Model A
1903 Ford Model A
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Fordmobile
Ford Model AC
Production 1903–1904
1700 produced
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Body style 2-seat runabout
rear-entry 4-seat tonneau
Powertrain
Engine Flat-2 1668 cc (101.788 cu in) 8hp.
Transmission 2-speed planetary
Dimensions
Wheelbase 72 in (1.8 m)
Curb weight 1,240 lb (562 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Quadricycle
Successor Ford Model B
Ford Model C

The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford Motor Company, beginning production in 1903. Ernst Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.

1903 ford model A a

1903 ford model A a

The car came as a two-seater runabout or four-seater tonneau model with an option to add a top. The horizontal-mounted flat-2, situated amidships of the car, produced 8 hp (6 kW). A planetary transmission was fitted with two forward speeds and reverse, a Ford signature later seen on the Ford Model T. The car weighed 1,240 lb (562 kg) and could reach a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h). It had a 72 inch (1.8 m) wheelbase and sold for a base price of US$750. Options included a rear tonneau with two seats and a rear door for $100, a rubber roof for $30 or a leather roof for $50. Band brakes were used on the rear wheels. However, it was $150 more than its most direct competitor, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, and so did not sell as well.

1904 Ford Model A

1904 Ford Model A

The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 initial investment funds with only $223.65 left in its bank account when the first Model A was sold. The success of this car model generated a profit for the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford‘s first successful business.

1904 Ford Model A-C

1904 Ford Model A-C

Although Ford advertised the Model A as the “most reliable machine in the world”, it suffered from many problems common to vehicles of the era, including overheating and slipping transmission bands. The Model A was sold only in red by the factory, though some were later repainted in other colors.

Model AC

Some 1904 Model A cars were equipped with the larger, more powerful engine of the Model C and were sold as the Model AC.

Ford Model B (1904)

See also Ford Model B (1932)

Ford Model B
1905 Ford Model B
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1904–1906
500 produced
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Body style 2-row 4-passenger touring car
Related Cadillac 8 1/2
Powertrain
Engine 283.5CID 24hp Straight-4
Transmission 2-speed planetary
Dimensions
Wheelbase 92 in (2337 mm)
Curb weight 1700lbs.
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model A
Successor Ford Model K

Ford Model B was an upscale touring car (with polished wood and brass trim) introduced in 1904. It was Ford’s first car to use the front-engine layout, with a large 24 hp 4-cylinder engine positioned at the front behind a conventional radiator. The smaller Model A-derived Model C positioned its flat 2-cylinder motor under the seat.

1904 Ford Model B Touring

1904 Ford Model B Touring

Priced at $2000 (equivalent to $52000 today), the Model B was a high end car. Produced for three years, sales were predictably slower than the Model C which was priced at 1/3 the cost. The Model B was replaced by the derivative Model K in 1906.

Ford Model C

1904 Ford C
Ford Model C
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1904–1905
800 produced
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Body style 2-seat runabout
rear-entry 4-seat tonneau
Powertrain
Engine 120.5CID 10hp Flat-2
Transmission 2-speed planetary
Dimensions
Wheelbase 78 in (198 cm)
Curb weight 1,250 lb (567 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model A
Successor Ford Model F

The Ford Model C was a version of the first Ford Model A with more modern look. It had a slightly more powerful engine and 15 cm (6 inches) longer wheelbase. It was the entry-level car in the Ford model lineup, slotting below the upscale Model B. Production ended in 1905 with 800 cars made. The Model C was replaced by the derivative Model F in 1905.

1904 Ford Model C a

1904 Ford Model C

Both Models A and C were produced at the same time, but the Model A could also be bought with a Model C engine, an option called Ford Model AC. The Model C engine was a flat-2 giving 8 hp (6 kW) at first and 10 hp (7 kW) by 1905 with a claimed top speed of 38 mph.[1] The Model C was sold for $850 (equivalent to $22000 today), with the option of making it a four-seater for an extra $100. The top cost extra, rubber for $30 and leather for $50.

1904 Ford Model C b

1904 Ford Model C

Although the Model C had a protruding front “box” like a modern car, unlike the flat-front Model A, this was purely ornamental — the engine remained under the seat (the gas tank was what was under the hood).

1904 Ford Model C runabout a

1904 Ford Model C runabout

1904 Ford Model C Runabout

1904 Ford Model C Runabout

1904 Ford Model C

1904 Ford Model C

1904 Model C

1904 Ford  Model C

The Model C was the first vehicle to be built at Ford Motor Company of Canada.

Ford Model F

For the tractor, see Fordson tractor#F Series.
Ford Model F
1904 Ford Model F
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1905–1906
1000 produced
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Class Entry-level car
Body style 2-row phaeton
Powertrain
Engine 127CID 12hp Flat-2
Transmission 2-speed planetary
Dimensions
Wheelbase 84 in (2134 mm)
Curb weight 1400 lb (635 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model C
Successor Ford Model N

The Ford Model F is an automobile produced by the Ford Motor Company. It was a development of the Model A and Model C, but was larger, more modern, and more luxurious. It was a four-seater phaeton withrunning boards and a side-entrance tonneau standard. Production started in 1905 and ended in 1906 after about 1000 were made. In 1905, it was priced at US$2,000 ($52,496 in 2015); by contrast, the Colt Runabout was $1,500, the FAL was $1,750, the Cole 30 $1,500, the Enger 40 $2,000, and the Lozier Light Six Metropolitan $3,250. All had green bodies.

Ford Model K

Ford Model K
1907 Ford Model K Tourer (Warbirds & Wheels museum)
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1906–1908
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Class Upscale
Body style 2-row touring car
Powertrain
Engine 405CID cast iron block 40hp Straight-6
Transmission planetary 2-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 114 in (290 cm)
Curb weight 2,400 lb (1,089 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model B

Ford Model K was an upscale automobile produced by the Ford Motor Company. It was introduced in 1906 and replaced the earlier Model B. The model K was aimed at the top end of the market and featured an inline-6 (the only Ford six until 1941) giving 40 hp (30 kW). The wheelbase was 120 in (2896 mm) and could be ordered either as touring or roadster. Contrary to popular folklore, the Model K was a good seller for Ford Motor Company. In 1906, the first year it was offered, the Model K produced over eighty five percent of Ford Motor Company’s new car profit (1906 Ford Motor Company internal audit records). In 1907, the second, and primary sales year of the Model K, almost five hundred Model K were sold, the best selling six cylinder model in the world. As period journals reported, Ford Motor Company went in another direction, moving to one chassis, a mid priced car, the Model T, leaving the multi-line business model used by most auto makers of the period. However, sales and profits from the Model K helped Ford Motor Company become the largest automaker in number of sales in 1907, and along with the Model N, was the only Ford model sold through three model years (1906-1908) prior to the advent of the Model T.

Ford Model N

This article is about the automobile. For the tractor, see Ford N-Series tractor.
Ford Model N
1906 Ford N
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Ford Model R
Ford Model S
Production 1906–1908
13,250 produced
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Class Entry-level car
Body style 2-row phaeton
Powertrain
Engine 149CID 15hp Model N EngineStraight-4
Transmission 2-speed planetary
Dimensions
Wheelbase 84 in (213 cm)
Curb weight 800 lb (363 kg) (1906); 1,050 lb (476 kg) (1907 Model N); 1,400 lb (635 kg) (1907 Models R and S)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model F
Successor Ford Model T

The Ford Model N is an automobile that was produced by the Ford Motor Company. It was introduced in 1906 as a successor to the Models A and C as the company’s inexpensive entry-level line.

The Model N diverged from its predecessors in that it was a front-engine car with a 4-cylinder engine. The 15 hp straight-4 drove the rear wheels via a long shaft. This was also the first American car to use vanadium steel. The car had a wheelbase size of 84 in (2.1 m).

A successful model, 7000 cars were made until production ended in 1908. At US$500 the car was viewed as highly affordable at the time; by contrast, the high-volume OldsmobileRunabout went for $650, Western‘s Gale Model A was $500, the Brush Runabout $485, the Black went for as low as $375, and the Success hit the amazingly low $250. Maroon was the only factory color for the Model N.

Ford Model R

1907 Ford Model R

1907 Ford Model R

The Model R was a higher trim level of the Model N with a larger body, wheels covered by full cycle fenders, running boards, and an oil lamp. Model R was $750, $150 above the $600 base Model N. The Model R was only produced in 1907, from April through October, and 2500 were sold. Its color was red.

Model S

1907 Ford Model S Drivers Side Front View

1907-ford-model-s-drivers-side-front-view

The Model S was another adaptation of the Model N. Ford’s last US market right-hand-drive model, it featured a more modern cowl, with hood and fenders that flowed into full running boards. Another notable difference was the optional extra third mother-in-law seat behind the front bench. The basic model sold for $700. Extras such as a convertible top, gas lamps, as well as umbrella holders were available. 3750 cars were sold between 1907 and 1909.

1907 Ford Model S Runabout

1907 Ford Model S Runabout

1907 Ford Model S Drivers Side Front View 1907 Ford S side

1907 Ford S side

1908 Ford Model S Image

1908 Ford Model S Image

1908 Ford Model S Runabout

1908 Ford Model S Runabout

1909 Ford logo

1909 logo

Ford Model T

  (Redirected from Model T)
Ford Model T
1919 Ford Model T Coupe

1919 Ford Model T Coupe
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1908–1927
Assembly
Designer Henry Ford, Childe Harold WillsJoseph A. Galamb andEugene Farkas
Body and chassis
Class Full-size Ford, economy car
Body style
  • 2-door touring (1909–11)
  • 3-door touring (1912–1925)
  • 4-door touring (1926–1927)
  • no door roadster (1909–11)
  • 1-door roadster(1912–1925)
  • 2-door roadster (1926–1927)
  • roadster pickup (1925–1927)
  • 2-door coupé (1909–1912, 1917–1927)
  • 2-door Coupelet (1915–17)
  • Town car (1909–1918)
  • C-cab wagon (1912)
  • 2-(Center) door sedan (1915–1923)
  • 2-door sedan (1924–1927)
  • 4-door sedan (1923–1927)
  • Separate chassis were available all years from independent coachbuilders
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 177 C.I.D. (2.9 L) 20 hp I4
Transmission 2-speed planetary gear
Dimensions
Wheelbase 100.0 in (2,540 mm)
Length 134 in (3,404 mm)
Curb weight 1,200 pounds (540 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model S
Successor Ford Model A

The Ford Model T (colloquially known as the Tin Lizzie, Tin Lizzy, T‑Model Ford,Model T, or T) is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford‘s Ford Motor Company from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car that opened travel to the common middle-classAmerican; some of this was because of Ford’s efficient fabrication, including assembly lineproduction instead of individual hand crafting.

The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, ahead of the BMC Mini, Citroën DS, and Volkswagen Type 1, and still makes top ten list of most sold cars (ranked nr. 8) as of 2012.

Although automobiles had already existed for decades, their adoption had been limited, and they were still mostly scarce and expensive. Automobiles were considered extreme luxury for the common man until the Model T. The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular for the mass market. The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan. On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at hisfactory in Highland Park, Michigan.

There were several cars produced or prototyped by Henry Ford from the founding of the company in 1903 until the Model T was introduced. Although he started with theModel A, there were not 19 production models (A through T); some were only prototypes. The production model immediately before the Model T was the Model S, an upgraded version of the company’s largest success to that point, the Model N. The follow-up was the Ford Model A (rather than any Model U). The company publicity said this was because the new car was such a departure from the old that Henry wanted to start all over again with the letter A.

The Model T was Ford’s first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, marketed to the middle class. Henry Ford said of the vehicle:

I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.

Although credit for the development of the assembly line belongs to Ransom E. Oldswith the first mass-produced automobile, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, beginning in 1901, the tremendous advancements in the efficiency of the system over the life of the Model T can be credited almost entirely to the vision of Ford and his engineers.

Characteristics

 1908 Ford Model T advertisement

The Model T was designed by Childe Harold Wills, and Hungarian immigrants Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas. Henry Love, C. J. Smith, Gus Degner and Peter E. Martin were also part of the team. Production of the Model T began in the third quarter of 1908. Collectors today sometimes classify Model Ts by build years and refer to these as “model years“, thus labeling the first Model Ts as 1909 models. This is a retroactive classification scheme; the concept of model years as we conceive it today did not exist at the time. The nominal model designation was “Model T”, although design revisions did occur during the car’s two decades of production.

Engine

Main article: Ford Model T engine
1926 Model T engine

 1926 Model T engine

The Model T had a front-mounted 177-cubic-inch (2.9 L) inline four-cylinder engine, producing 20 hp (15 kW), for a top speed of 40–45 mph (64–72 km/h). According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel economy on the order of 13–21 mpg-US(16–25 mpg-imp; 18–11 L/100 km). The engine was capable of running on gasoline,kerosene, or ethanol, although the decreasing cost of gasoline and the later introduction of Prohibition made ethanol an impractical fuel for most users.

The ignition system used an unusual trembler coil system to drive the spark plugs, as used for stationary gas engines, rather than the expensive magnetos that were used on other cars. This ignition also made the Model T more flexible as to the quality or type of fuel it used. The need for a starting battery and also Ford’s use of an unusual AC alternator located inside the flywheel housing encouraged the adoption of electric lighting, rather than oil or acetylene lamps, but it also delayed the adoption of electric starting.

Transmission and drive train

The three pedal controls of the Model T

 The three pedal controls of the Model T
1920 A driver's controls

 A driver’s controls in 1920

The Model T was a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Its transmission was a planetary geartype billed as “three speed”. In today’s terms it would be considered a two-speed, because one of the three speeds was reverse.

The Model T’s transmission was controlled with three foot pedals and a lever that was mounted to the road side of the driver’s seat. The throttle was controlled with a lever on the steering wheel. The left pedal was used to engage the gear. With the floor lever in either the mid position or fully forward and the pedal pressed and held forward the car entered low gear. When held in an intermediate position the car was in neutral. If the driver took his foot off the left pedal, the Model T entered high gear, but only when the lever was fully forward – in any other position the pedal would only move up as far as the central neutral position. This allowed the car to be held in neutral while the driver cranked the engine by hand. The car could thus cruise without the driver having to press any of the pedals. There was no separateclutch pedal.

When the car was in neutral, the middle pedal was used to engage reverse gear, and the right pedal operated the transmission brake – there were no separate brakes on the wheels. The floor lever also controlled the parking brake, which was activated by pulling the lever all the way back. This doubled as an emergency brake.

Although it was uncommon, the drive bands could fall out of adjustment, allowing the car to creep, particularly when cold, adding another hazard to attempting to start the car: a person cranking the engine could be forced backward while still holding the crank as the car crept forward, although it was nominally in neutral. As the car utilized a wet clutch, this condition could also occur in cold weather, where the thickened oil prevents the clutch discs from slipping freely. Power reached the differential through a single universal joint attached to a torque tube which drove the rear axle; some models (typically trucks, but available for cars as well) could be equipped with an optional two-speed Ruckstell rear axle shifted by a floor-mounted lever which provided an underdrive gear for easier hill climbing. All gears werevanadium steel running in an oil bath.

Transmission bands and linings

There were two main types of band lining material used:

  • Cotton – Cotton woven linings were the original type fitted and specified by Ford. Generally, the cotton lining is “kinder” to the drum surface, with damage to the drum caused only by the retaining rivets scoring the drum surface. Although this in itself did not pose a problem, a dragging band resulting from improper adjustment caused overheating transmission and engine, diminished power, and—in the case of cotton linings—rapid destruction of the band lining.
  • Wood – Wooden linings were originally offered as a “longer life” accessory part during the life of the Model T. They were a single piece of steam bent cottonwood fitted to the normal Model T Transmission band. These bands give a very different feel to the pedals, with much more of a “bite” feel. The sensation is of a definite “grip” of the drum and seemed to noticeably increase the feel, in particular of the brake drum.

Suspension and wheels

1925 Ford_model_t_suspension.triddle

 The suspension components of a Ford Model T. The coil-spring device is an aftermarket accessory, the “Hassler shock absorber”.

Model T suspension employed a transversely mounted semi-elliptical spring for each of the front and rear beam axles which allowed a great deal of wheel movement to cope with the dirt roads of the time.

The front axle was drop forged as a single piece of vanadium steel. Ford twisted many axles eight times and sent them to dealers to be put on display to demonstrate its superiority. The Model T did not have a modern service brake. The right foot pedal applied a band around a drum in the transmission, thus stopping the rear wheels from turning. The previously mentioned parking brake lever operated band brakes acting on the inside of the rear brake drums, which were an integral part of the rear wheel hubs. Optional brakes that acted on the outside of the brake drums were available from aftermarket suppliers.

Wheels were wooden artillery wheels, with steel welded-spoke wheels available in 1926 and 1927.

Tires were pneumatic clincher type, 30 in (76 cm) in diameter, 3.5 in (8.9 cm) wide in the rear, 3 in (7.5 cm) wide in the front. Clinchers needed much higher pressure than today’s tires, typically 60 psi (410 kPa), to prevent them from leaving the rim at speed. Horseshoe nails on the roads, together with the high pressure, made flat tires a common problem.

Balloon tires became available in 1925. They were 21 in × 4.5 in (53 cm × 11 cm) all around. Balloon tires were closer in design to today’s tires, with steel wires reinforcing the tire bead, making lower pressure possible – typically 35 psi (240 kPa) – giving a softer ride. The old nomenclature for tire size changed from measuring the outer diameter to measuring the rim diameter so 21 in (530 mm) (rim diameter) × 4.5 in (110 mm) (tire width) wheels has about the same outer diameter as 30 in (76 cm) clincher tires. All tires in this time period used an inner tube to hold the pressurized air; “tubeless” tires were not generally in use until much later.

Wheelbase was 100 inches (254 cm); while standard tread width was 56 in (142 cm), 60 in (152 cm) tread could be obtained on special order, “for Southern roads”, identical to the pre-Civil War track gauge for many railroads in the former Confederacy.

Colors

By 1918, half of all the cars in the US were Model Ts. However, it was a monolithic bloc; Ford wrote in his autobiography that in 1909 he told his management team that in the future “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”.

However, in the first years of production from 1908 to 1913, the Model T was not available in black but rather only grey, green, blue, and red. Green was available for the touring cars, town cars, coupes, and Landaulets. Grey was only available for the town cars, and red only for the touring cars. By 1912, all cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. It was only in 1914 that the “any color so long as it is black” policy was finally implemented. It is often stated that Ford suggested the use of black from 1914 to 1926 due to the cheap cost and durability of black paint. During the lifetime production of the Model T, over 30 different types of black paint were used on various parts of the car. These were formulated to satisfy the different means of applying the paint to the various parts, and had distinct drying times, depending on the part, paint, and method of drying.

Body

1910 Model T, photographed in Salt Lake City

 1910 Model T, photographed in Salt Lake City
DCF 1.0

 Ford Speedster T
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 1925 Ford “New Model” T Tudor Sedan

Although Ford classified the Model T with a single letter designation throughout its entire life and made no distinction by model years, there were enough significant changes to the body over the production life that the car can be classified into five distinct generations. One of the most immediately visible and identifiable areas of change were in the hood and cowl areas although there were also many other changes made to the vehicle.

  • 1909–1914 – T1 – Characterized by a nearly straight, five sided hood, with a flat top containing a center hinge and two side sloping sections containing the folding hinges. The firewall was flat from the windshield down with no distinct cowl.
  • 1915–1916 – T2 – The hood design was nearly the same five sided design with the only obvious change being the addition of louvers to the vertical sides. There was a significant change to the cowl area with the windshield relocated significantly behind the firewall and joined with a compound contoured cowl panel.
  • 1917–1923 – T3 – The hood design was changed to a tapered design with a curved top. the folding hinges were now located at the joint between the flat sides and the curved top. This is sometime referred to as the low hood to distinguish if from the later hoods. The back edge of the hood now met the front edge of the cowl panel so that no part of the flat firewall was visible outside of the hood. This design was used the longest and during the highest production years accounting for about half of the total number of Model T’s built.
  • 1923–1925 – T4 – This change was made during the 1923 calendar year so models built earlier in the year have the older design while later vehicles have the newer design. The taper of the hood was increased and the rear section at the firewall is about an inch taller and several inches wider than the previous design. While this is a relatively minor change, the parts between the third and fourth generation are not interchangeable.
  • 1926–1927 – T5 – This design change made the greatest difference in the appearance of the car. The hood was again enlarged with the cowl panel no longer a compound curve and blended much more with the line of the hood. The distance between the firewall and the windshield was also increased significantly. This style is sometimes referred to as the high hood.

The styling on the fifth generation was a preview for the following Model A but the two models are visually quite different as the body on the ‘A was much wider and had curved doors as opposed to the flat doors on the T.

Diverse applications

A Model T homemade tractor pulling a plow

 A Model T homemade tractor pulling a plow
1918 Pullford auto-to-tractor conversion advertisement

 Pullford auto-to-tractor conversion advertisement, 1918

When the Model T was designed and introduced, the infrastructure of the world was quite different from today’s. Pavement was a rarity except for sidewalks and a few big-city streets. (The sense of the term “pavement” as equivalent with “sidewalk” comes from that era, when streets and roads were generally dirt and sidewalks were a paved way to walk along them.) Agriculture was the occupation of many people. Power tools were scarce outside factories, as were power sources for them;electrification, like pavement, was found usually only in larger towns. Rural electrification and motorized mechanization were embryonic in North America and Europe, and nonexistent elsewhere.

Henry Ford oversaw the requirements and design of the Model T based on the realities of that world. Consequently, the Model T was (intentionally) almost as much a tractor and portable engine as it was an automobile. It has always been well regarded for its all-terrain abilities and ruggedness. It could travel a rocky, muddy farm lane, ford a shallow stream, climb a steep hill, and be parked on the other side to have one of its wheels removed and a pulley fastened to the hub for a flat belt to drive a bucksaw, thresher, silo blower, conveyor for filling corn cribs or haylofts,baler, water pump (for wells, mines, or swampy farm fields), electrical generator, and countless other applications. One unique application of the Model T was shown in the October 1922 issue of Fordson Farmer magazine. It showed a minister who had transformed his Model T into a mobile church, complete with small organ.

During this era, entire automobiles (including thousands of Model Ts) were even hacked apart by their industrious owners and reconfigured into custom machinery permanently dedicated to a purpose, such as homemade tractors, ice saws, or many others. Dozens of aftermarket companies sold prefab kits to facilitate the T’s conversion from car to tractor. The Model T had been around for a decade before the Fordson tractor became available (1917–1918), and many Ts had been converted for field use. (For example, Harry Ferguson, later famous for his hitches and tractors, worked on Eros Model T tractor conversions before he worked with Fordsons and others.) During the next decade, Model T tractor conversion kits were harder to sell, as the Fordson and then the Farmall (1924), as well as other light and affordable tractors, served the farm market. But during the Depression(1930s), Model T tractor conversion kits had a resurgence, because by then used Model Ts and junkyard parts for them were plentiful and cheap.

Like many popular car engines of the era, the Model T engine was also used on home-built aircraft (such as the Pietenpol Sky Scout) and motorboats.

Many Model Ts were converted into vehicles which could travel across heavy snows with kits on the rear wheels (sometimes with an extra pair of rear-mounted wheels and two sets of continuous track to mount on the now-tandemed rear wheels, essentially making it a half-track) and skis replacing the front wheels. They were popular for rural mail delivery for a time. The common name for these conversions of cars and small trucks wassnowflyers. These vehicles were extremely popular in the northern reaches of Canada where factories were set up to produce them.

A number of companies built Model T–based railcars. In The Great Railway Bazaar, Paul Theroux mentions a rail journey in India on such a railcar. The New Zealand Railways Department‘s RM class included a few.

Production

Mass production

1913 Ford assembly line

 Ford assembly line, 1913

The knowledge and skills needed by a factory worker were reduced to 84 areas. When introduced, the T used the building methods typical at the time, assembly by hand, and production was small. Ford’s Piquette plant could not keep up with demand for the Model T, and only 11 cars were built there during the first full month of production. More and more machines were used to reduce the complexity within the 84 defined areas. In 1910, after assembling nearly 12,000 Model Ts, Henry Ford moved the company to the new Highland Park complex.

As a result, Ford’s cars came off the line in three-minute intervals, much faster than previous methods, reducing production time by a factor of eight (requiring 12.5 hours before, 93 minutes afterwards), while using less manpower. By 1914, the assembly process for the Model T had been so streamlined it took only 93 minutes to assemble a car. That year Ford produced more cars than all other automakers combined. The Model T was a great commercial success, and by the time Henry made his 10 millionth car, 50 percent of all cars in the world were Fords. It was so successful that Ford did not purchase any advertising between 1917 and 1923, instead it became so famous that people now considered it a norm; more than 15 million Model Ts were manufactured, reaching a rate of 9,000 to 10,000 cars a day in 1925, or 2 million annually, more than any other model of its day, at a price of just $260 (or about $3,230 in 2015 dollars). Model T production was finally surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle on February 17, 1972.

Henry Ford’s ideological approach to Model T design was one of getting it right and then keeping it the same; he believed the Model T was all the car a person would, or could, ever need. As other companies offered comfort and styling advantages, at competitive prices, the Model T lost market share. Design changes were not as few as the public perceived, but the idea of an unchanging model was kept intact. Eventually, on May 26, 1927, Ford Motor Company ceased US production and began the changeovers required to produce the Model A. Some of the other Model T factories in the world continued a short while.

Model T engines continued to be produced until August 4, 1941. Almost 170,000 were built after car production stopped, as replacement engines were required to service already produced vehicles. Racers and enthusiasts, forerunners of modern hot rodders, used the Model T’s block to build popular and cheap racing engines, including Cragar, Navarro, and famously the Frontenacs (“Fronty Fords”) of the Chevrolet brothers, among many others.

The Model T employed some advanced technology, for example, its use of vanadium steel alloy. Its durability was phenomenal, and many Model Ts and their parts remain in running order nearly a century later. Although Henry Ford resisted some kinds of change, he always championed the advancement of materials engineering, and often mechanical engineering and industrial engineering.

In 2002, Ford built a final batch of six Model Ts as part of their 2003 centenary celebrations. These cars were assembled from remaining new components and other parts produced from the original drawings. The last of the six was used for publicity purposes in the UK.

Although Ford no longer manufactures parts for the Model T, many parts are still manufactured through private companies as replicas to service the thousands of Model Ts still in operation today. On May 26, 1927 Henry Ford and his son Edsel, drove the 15 millionth Model T out of the factory. This marked the famous automobile’s official last day of production at the main factory.

Price and Production

The assembly line system allowed Ford to sell his cars at a price lower than his competitors due to the efficiency of the system. As he continued to fine tune the system, he was able to keep reducing his costs. As his volume increased, he was able to also lower the prices due to fixed costs being spread over a larger number of vehicles. Other factors affected the price such a material costs and design changes.

The figures below are US production numbers compiled by R.E. Houston, Ford Production Department, August 3, 1927. The figures between 1909 and 1920 are for Ford’s fiscal year. From 1909 to 1913, the fiscal year was from October 1 to September 30 the following calendar year with the year number being the year it ended in. For the 1914 fiscal year, the year was October 1, 1913 through July 31, 1914. Starting in August 1914, and through the end of the Model T era, the fiscal year was August 1 through July 31. Beginning with January 1920 the figures are for the calendar year.

Year Production Price for
Runabout
Notes
1909 10,666 $825 ($21,650 in 2015) Touring car was $850
1910 19,050 $900
1911 34,858 $680
1912 68,773 $590
1913 170,211 $525
1914 202,667 $440 Fiscal year was only 10 months long due to change in end date
from Sep 30 to July 31
1915 308,162 $390
1916 501,462 $345
1917 735,020 $500
1918 664,076 $500
1919 498,342 $500
1920 941,042 $395 Production for fiscal year 1920, (August 1, 1919 through July 31, 1920)
Price was $550 in March but dropped by Sept
1920 463,451 $395 Production for balance of calendar year, August 1 though Dec 31
Total ‘1920’ production (17 months) = 1,404,493
1921 971,610 $325 Price was $370 in June but dropped by Sept.
1922 1,301,067 $319
1923 2,011,125 $364
1924 1,922,048 $265
1925 1,911,705 $260 ($3,500 in 2015) Touring car was $290
1926 1,554,465 $360
1927 399,725 $360 Production ended before mid-year to allow retooling for the Model A

Recycling

Henry Ford used wood scraps from the production of Model Ts to make charcoal. Originally named Ford Charcoal, the name was changed to Kingsford Charcoal after Ford’s brother-in-law E. G. Kingsford brokered the selection of the new charcoal plant site.

First global car

1921 The first Ford assembly plant in La Boca, Buenos Aires

 The first Ford assembly plant in La Boca, Buenos Aires, c. 1921
1923 Ford T in Canada

 A 1923 Ford T in Canada

The Ford Model T was the first automobile built by various countries simultaneously since they were being produced in Walkerville, Canada and in Trafford Park, Greater Manchester, England starting in 1911 and were later assembled in Germany,Argentina, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan, as well as several locations throughout the US. Ford made use of the knock-down kitconcept almost from the beginning of the company as freight cost had Ford assembling on the west coast of the US.

The Aeroford was an English automobile manufactured in Bayswater, London, from 1920 to 1925. It was a Model T with distinct hood and grille to make it appear to be a totally different design, what later would have been called badge engineering. The Aeroford sold from £288 in 1920, dropping to £168-214 by 1925. It was available as a two-seater, four-seater, or coupé.

Advertising and marketing

Ford created a massive publicity machine in Detroit to ensure every newspaper carried stories and advertisements about the new product. Ford’s network of local dealers made the car ubiquitous in virtually every city in North America. As independent dealers, the franchises grew rich and publicized not just the Ford but the very concept of automobiling; local motor clubs sprang up to help new drivers and to explore the countryside. Ford was always eager to sell to farmers, who looked on the vehicle as a commercial device to help their business. Sales skyrocketed – several years posted 100% gains on the previous year.

Car clubs

1919 Ford Model T stakebed

 1919 Ford Model T stakebed

Cars built before 1919 are classed as veteran cars and later models as vintage cars. Today, four main clubs exist to support the preservation and restoration of these cars: the Model T Ford Club International, the Model T Ford Club of America and the combined clubs of Australia. With many chapters of clubs around the world, the Model T Ford Club of Victoria has a membership with a considerable number of uniquely Australian cars. (Australia produced its own car bodies, and therefore many differences occurred between the Australian bodied tourers and the US/Canadian cars.) In the UK, the Model T Ford Register of Great Britain celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. Many steel Model T parts are still manufactured today, and even fiberglass replicas of their distinctive bodies are produced, which are popular for T-bucket style hot rods (as immortalized in the Jan and Dean surf music song “Bucket T”, which was later recorded by The Who). In 1949, more than twenty years after the end of production, 200,000 Model Ts were registered in the United States. In 2008, it was estimated that about 50,000 to 60,000 Ford Model T remain roadworthy.

In popular media

Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and aesthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation. Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than about the clitoris, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars. With the Model T, part of the concept of private property disappeared. Pliers ceased to be privately owned and a tire iron belonged to the last man who had picked it up. Most of the babies of the period were conceived in Model T Fords and not a few were born in them. The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped that it never quite recovered.

  • In Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World, where Henry Ford is regarded as a messianic figure, graveyard crosses have been truncated to T’s. Additionally, the calendar is converted to an “A.F.” system, wherein the first calendar year leads from the introduction of the Model T.
  • The phrase to “go the way of the Tin Lizzie” is a colloquialism referring to the decline and elimination of a popular product, habit, belief or behavior as a now outdated historical relic which has been replaced by something new.
  • The Tin Lizzie is mentioned (simply as “Lizzie”) in George and Ira Gershwin‘s song They All Laughed.

Gallery

Model T Ford Automobile Chronology
1908 Runabout - Note flat firewall
1908 Runabout – Note flat firewall
1910 Runabout
1910 Runabout
1911 Touring
1911 Touring
1913 Runabout
1913 Runabout
1914_Ford_Model_T_Touring
1914 Touring
1915_Ford_Model_T_Runabout
1915 Runabout – Note curved cowl panel
1916_Ford_Model_T_touring_car
1916 Touring
1917_Ford_Model_T_Runabout
1917 Runabout – Note new curved hood matches cowl panel
1919_Ford_Model_T_Runabout_GMR995
1919 Runabout
1920_Ford_Model_T_Touring_3
1920 Touring
1921_Ford_Model_T_Touring_2
1921 Touring
1923_Ford_Model_T_Runabout_AZW456
1923 Runabout (early ’23 model)
1924_Ford_Model_T_Touring_CX_894
1924 Touring – Note higher hood and slightly shorter cowl panel – late ’23 models were similar
1925_Ford_Model_T_Touring
1925 Touring
1926_Ford_Model_T_Runabout_ECH956
1926 Runabout – Note higher hood and longer cowl panel
1926_Ford_Model_T_Touring_EOT835
1926 Touring
1927_Ford_Model_T_Runabout
1927 Runabout
1927_Ford_A_40A_Standard_Roadster_pic6
1927 Model A – Shown for comparison, note wider body and curved doors

(1932–1937, UK)Ford Model Y

Ford Model Y
Ford model Y
Overview
Manufacturer Ford of Britain
Ford SAF
Ford Germany
Production 1932–37
175,000 made.
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door saloon 4-door saloon
2-door estate
2-door van
2-door pickup
Powertrain
Engine 0.9 L Straight-4
Dimensions
Wheelbase 78 in (1,981 mm)
Length 141 in (3,581 mm)
Width 55 in (1,397 mm)
Height 64 in (1,626 mm)
Curb weight 1,540 lb (700 kg)
Chronology
Successor Ford 7Y

The Model Y is the first Ford automobile specifically designed for markets outside the United States of America, replacing the Model A in Europe.

Production locations

It was in production in England, where it is sometimes remembered as the “Ford Eight”,reflecting its fiscal horsepower rating, from 1932 until September 1937,

1932 ford gb y1932 Ford Model Y pickup1933 Ford Model Y Tudor1933-37 Ford Y 8 hp 933 cc SV BWW1934 English Ford model Y pickup1934 Ford Model Y estate car woodie1935 Ford Model Y ad VF7951937 Ford Y Type Hot Rod Engine 3528cc

The car was also produced in France (where it was known as the Ford 6 CV, despite actually falling within the 5CV French car tax band) from 1932 to 1934, and in Germany as the Ford Köln from 1933 to 1936.

Smaller numbers were assembled in Australia (where a coupé version was also produced), Japan, Latvia (branded as the Ford Junior) and in Spain (branded as the Ford Forito). Plans to build it in the U.S. were scrubbed when a cost accounting showed that it would only be slightly cheaper to build than the Ford Model B.

The car

The car was powered by a 933 cc, 8 (RAC)hp Ford Sidevalve engine. The little Ford was available in two and four-door versions. In June 1935 a reduced specification two-door model was the only closed-body car ever to sell in Britain for just £100, a price it held until July 1937.

The suspension was by the traditional Ford transverse leaf springs front and rear and the engine drove the rear wheels through a three-speed gearbox which, right from the start, featured synchromesh between the top two ratios. The maximum speed was just under 60 mph (95 km/h) and fuel consumption was 32 miles per imperial gallon (8.8 L/100 km; 27 mpg-US).

Even by the standards of the time, the UK-built Ford 8, like its major competitor the Austin 7, was found noteworthy for its “almost unbelievable lack of brakes.”

Evolution

For the first 14 months the original model with a short radiator grille was produced, this is known as the “short rad”. After this in October 1933 the “long rad” model, with its longer radiator grille and front bumper with the characteristic dip was produced. By gradually improving production efficiency and by simplifying the body design the cost of a “Popular” Model Y was reduced to £100, making it the cheapest true 4-seater saloon ever, although most customers were persuaded to pay extra for a less austere version. Both 4-door (Fordor) and 2-door (Tudor) saloons were produced and these could be had either with a fixed roof, or the slightly more expensive sliding “sun” roof.

Additional body version

Also offered was an attractive 5 cwt van, which proved very popular with small businesses.

Ford did not produce an open-top car because it was thought that the chassis was too flexible, but several specialist coach builders produced a range of Model Y tourers.

Commercial

Market reaction in Britain

Although of American design, the Model Y took the British market by storm, and when it was first introduced it made a major dent in the sales figures of Austin, Morris, Singer, and Hillman. It went on to take more than 50 per cent of the 8(RAC)HP sales.

Volumes

Some 175,000 Model Ys were produced worldwide (153,117 in England, 11,121 in Germany) and the ‘Y’ and ‘C’ Register has knowledge of approximately 1250 survivors.

Ford Model C:a successor in Germany but not in Britain

In Britain the larger and faster 10(RAC)hp Model C never sold in such great numbers as the Model Y although there was a very attractive factory produced tourer. In 1935 the styling was enhanced with some small modifications and the model was designated the CX.

In Germany the position was reversed. The locally produced Ford Model C was branded as the Ford Eifel, and remained in production for four years after the manufacturer had given up on the locally produced Type Y, the Ford Köln. The Ford Köln was outcompeted by the Opel 1.0/1.2 litre, and only 11,121 Kölns were produced, while a more respectable 62,495 Ford Eifels were manufactured between 1935 and 1940.

End of Part II

FORD Motor Company Dearborn Michigan USA 1903 – still going strong Part I

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company
Public company
Traded as NYSEF
(S&P 500 Component)
Industry Automotive
Founded June 16, 1903; 111 years ago
Founder Henry Ford
Headquarters Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Products
Services
Revenue Increase US$146.91 billion (2013)
Increase US$5.42 billion (2013)
Increase US$7.15 billion (2013)
Total assets Increase US$202.02 billion (2013)
Total equity Increase US$26.38 billion (2013)
Owner Ford Family (2%)
Number of employees
181,000 (2013)
Divisions
Subsidiaries
Slogan
  • Go Further
  • Built Ford Tough
Website www.ford.com

The Ford Motor Company (commonly referred to as simply Ford) is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and most luxury cars under the Lincoln brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer, Troller, and Australian performance car manufacturer FPV. In the past it has also produced tractors and automotive components. Ford owns a 2.1% stake in Mazda of Japan, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom, and a 49% stake in Jiangling of China. It also has a number of joint-ventures, two in China (Changan Ford Mazda and Ford Lio Ho), one in Thailand (AutoAlliance Thailand), one in Turkey (Ford Otosan), and one in Russia (Ford Sollers). It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family, although they have minority ownership. It is described by Forbes as “the most important industrial company in the history of the United States.”

Ford introduced methods for large-scale manufacturing of cars and large-scale management of an industrial workforce using elaborately engineered manufacturing sequences typified by moving assembly lines; by 1914 these methods were known around the world as Fordism. Ford’s former UK subsidiaries Jaguar and Land Rover, acquired in 1989 and 2000 respectively, were sold to Tata Motors in March 2008. Ford owned the Swedish automaker Volvo from 1999 to 2010. In 2011, Ford discontinued the Mercury brand, under which it had marketed entry-level luxury cars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East since 1938.

Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker (preceded by General Motors) and the fifth-largest in the world based on 2010 vehicle sales. At the end of 2010, Ford was the fifth largest automaker in Europe. Ford is the eighth-ranked overall American-based company in the 2010 Fortune 500 list, based on global revenues in 2009 of $118.3 billion. In 2008, Ford produced 5.532 million automobiles and employed about 213,000 employees at around 90 plants and facilities worldwide.

The company went public in 1956 but the Ford family, through special Class B shares, still retain 40 percent voting rights.

History

Henry Ford (ca. 1919)

Ford Model N

This article is about the automobile. For the tractor, see Ford N-Series tractor.
Ford Model N
1906 Ford N
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Ford Model R
Ford Model S
Production 1906–1908
13,250 produced
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Class Entry-level car
Body style 2-row phaeton
Powertrain
Engine 149CID 15hp Model N Engine Straight-4
Transmission 2-speed planetary
Dimensions
Wheelbase 84 in (213 cm)
Curb weight 800 lb (363 kg) (1906); 1,050 lb (476 kg) (1907 Model N); 1,400 lb (635 kg) (1907 Models R and S)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model F
Successor Ford Model T

The Ford Model N is an automobile that was produced by the Ford Motor Company. It was introduced in 1906 as a successor to the Models A and C as the company’s inexpensive entry-level line.

The Model N diverged from its predecessors in that it was a front-engine car with a 4-cylinder engine. The 15 hp straight-4 drove the rear wheels via a long shaft. This was also the first American car to use vanadium steel. The car had a wheelbase size of 84 in (2.1 m).

A successful model, 7000 cars were made until production ended in 1908. At US$500 the car was viewed as highly affordable at the time; by contrast, the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout went for $650, Western‘s Gale Model A was $500, the Brush Runabout $485, the Black went for as low as $375, and the Success hit the amazingly low $250. Maroon was the only factory color for the Model N.

Model R

The Model R was a higher trim level of the Model N with a larger body, wheels covered by full cycle fenders, running boards, and an oil lamp. Model R was $750, $150 above the $600 base Model N. The Model R was only produced in 1907, from April through October, and 2500 were sold. Its color was red.

Model S

The Model S was another adaptation of the Model N. Ford’s last US market right-hand-drive model, it featured a more modern cowl, with hood and fenders that flowed into full running boards. Another notable difference was the optional extra third mother-in-law seat behind the front bench. The basic model sold for $700. Extras such as a convertible top, gas lamps, as well as umbrella holders were available. 3750 cars were sold between 1907 and 1909.

1910 Ford Model T, photographed in Salt Lake City

 A 1910 Model T, photographed in Salt Lake City

20th century

Henry Ford’s first attempt at a car company under his own name was the Henry Ford Company on November 3, 1901, which became the Cadillac Motor Company on August 22, 1902, after Ford left with the rights to his name. The Ford Motor Company was launched in a converted factory in 1903 with $28,000 in cash from twelve investors, most notably John and Horace Dodge (who would later found their own car company). During its early years, the company produced just a few cars a day at its factory on Mack Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Groups of two or three men worked on each car, assembling it from parts made mostly by supplier companies contracting for Ford. Within a decade the company would lead the world in the expansion and refinement of the assembly line concept; and Ford soon brought much of the part production in-house in a vertical integration that seemed a better path for the era.

Henry Ford was 39 years old when he founded the Ford Motor Company, which would go on to become one of the world’s largest and most profitable companies, as well as being one to survive the Great Depression. As one of the largest family-controlled companies in the world, the Ford Motor Company has been in continuous family control for over 100 years.

After the first modern automobile was already created in the year 1886 by German inventor Carl Benz (Benz Patent-Motorwagen), more efficient production methods were needed to make the automobile affordable for the middle-class; which Ford contributed to, for instance by introducing the first moving assembly line in 1913.

In 1908 Ford introduced the first engine with a removable cylinder head, in the Model T.

Ford Model T

  (Redirected from Model T)
Ford Model T
1919 Ford Model T Coupe

1919 Ford Model T Coupe
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1908–1927
Assembly
Designer Henry Ford, Childe Harold WillsJoseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas
Body and chassis
Class Full-size Ford, economy car
Body style
  • 2-door touring (1909–11)
  • 3-door touring (1912–1925)
  • 4-door touring (1926–1927)
  • no door roadster (1909–11)
  • 1-door roadster(1912–1925)
  • 2-door roadster (1926–1927)
  • roadster pickup (1925–1927)
  • 2-door coupé (1909–1912, 1917–1927)
  • 2-door Coupelet (1915–17)
  • Town car (1909–1918)
  • C-cab wagon (1912)
  • 2-(Center) door sedan (1915–1923)
  • 2-door sedan (1924–1927)
  • 4-door sedan (1923–1927)
  • Separate chassis were available all years from independent coachbuilders
Layout FR layout
Powertrain
Engine 177 C.I.D. (2.9 L) 20 hp I4
Transmission 2-speed planetary gear
Dimensions
Wheelbase 100.0 in (2,540 mm)
Length 134 in (3,404 mm)
Curb weight 1,200 pounds (540 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Model S
Successor Ford Model A

The Ford Model T (colloquially known as the Tin Lizzie, Tin Lizzy, T‑Model Ford, Model T, or T) is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford‘s Ford Motor Company from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American; some of this was because of Ford’s efficient fabrication, including assembly lineproduction instead of individual hand crafting.

The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, ahead of the BMC Mini, Citroën DS, and Volkswagen Type 1, and still makes top ten list of most sold cars (ranked nr. 8) as of 2012.

Although automobiles had already existed for decades, their adoption had been limited, and they were still mostly scarce and expensive. Automobiles were considered extreme luxury for the common man until the Model T. The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular for the mass market. The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan. On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan.

There were several cars produced or prototyped by Henry Ford from the founding of the company in 1903 until the Model T was introduced. Although he started with the Model A, there were not 19 production models (A through T); some were only prototypes. The production model immediately before the Model T was the Model S, an upgraded version of the company’s largest success to that point, the Model N. The follow-up was the Ford Model A (rather than any Model U). The company publicity said this was because the new car was such a departure from the old that Henry wanted to start all over again with the letter A.

The Model T was Ford’s first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, marketed to the middle class. Henry Ford said of the vehicle:

I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.

Although credit for the development of the assembly line belongs to Ransom E. Olds with the first mass-produced automobile, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, beginning in 1901, the tremendous advancements in the efficiency of the system over the life of the Model T can be credited almost entirely to the vision of Ford and his engineers.

Characteristics

 1908 Ford Model T advertisement

The Model T was designed by Childe Harold Wills, and Hungarian immigrants Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas. Henry Love, C. J. Smith, Gus Degner and Peter E. Martin were also part of the team. Production of the Model T began in the third quarter of 1908. Collectors today sometimes classify Model Ts by build years and refer to these as “model years“, thus labeling the first Model Ts as 1909 models. This is a retroactive classification scheme; the concept of model years as we conceive it today did not exist at the time. The nominal model designation was “Model T”, although design revisions did occur during the car’s two decades of production.

Engine

Main article: Ford Model T engine

1926 Model T engine

 1926 Model T engine

The Model T had a front-mounted 177-cubic-inch (2.9 L) inline four-cylinder engine, producing 20 hp (15 kW), for a top speed of 40–45 mph (64–72 km/h). According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel economy on the order of 13–21 mpg-US (16–25 mpg-imp; 18–11 L/100 km). The engine was capable of running on gasoline, kerosene, or ethanol, although the decreasing cost of gasoline and the later introduction of Prohibition made ethanol an impractical fuel for most users.

The ignition system used an unusual trembler coil system to drive the spark plugs, as used for stationary gas engines, rather than the expensive magnetos that were used on other cars. This ignition also made the Model T more flexible as to the quality or type of fuel it used. The need for a starting battery and also Ford’s use of an unusual AC alternator located inside the flywheel housing encouraged the adoption of electric lighting, rather than oil or acetylene lamps, but it also delayed the adoption of electric starting.

Transmission and drive train

The three pedal controls of the Model T

 The three pedal controls of the Model T

1920 A driver's controls

 A driver’s controls in 1920

The Model T was a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Its transmission was a planetary gear type billed as “three speed”. In today’s terms it would be considered a two-speed, because one of the three speeds was reverse.

The Model T’s transmission was controlled with three foot pedals and a lever that was mounted to the road side of the driver’s seat. The throttle was controlled with a lever on the steering wheel. The left pedal was used to engage the gear. With the floor lever in either the mid position or fully forward and the pedal pressed and held forward the car entered low gear. When held in an intermediate position the car was in neutral. If the driver took his foot off the left pedal, the Model T entered high gear, but only when the lever was fully forward – in any other position the pedal would only move up as far as the central neutral position. This allowed the car to be held in neutral while the driver cranked the engine by hand. The car could thus cruise without the driver having to press any of the pedals. There was no separate clutch pedal.

When the car was in neutral, the middle pedal was used to engage reverse gear, and the right pedal operated the transmission brake – there were no separate brakes on the wheels. The floor lever also controlled the parking brake, which was activated by pulling the lever all the way back. This doubled as an emergency brake.

Although it was uncommon, the drive bands could fall out of adjustment, allowing the car to creep, particularly when cold, adding another hazard to attempting to start the car: a person cranking the engine could be forced backward while still holding the crank as the car crept forward, although it was nominally in neutral. As the car utilized a wet clutch, this condition could also occur in cold weather, where the thickened oil prevents the clutch discs from slipping freely. Power reached the differential through a single universal joint attached to a torque tube which drove the rear axle; some models (typically trucks, but available for cars as well) could be equipped with an optional two-speed Ruckstell rear axle shifted by a floor-mounted lever which provided an underdrive gear for easier hill climbing. All gears were vanadium steel running in an oil bath.

Transmission bands and linings

There were two main types of band lining material used:

  • Cotton – Cotton woven linings were the original type fitted and specified by Ford. Generally, the cotton lining is “kinder” to the drum surface, with damage to the drum caused only by the retaining rivets scoring the drum surface. Although this in itself did not pose a problem, a dragging band resulting from improper adjustment caused overheating transmission and engine, diminished power, and—in the case of cotton linings—rapid destruction of the band lining.
  • Wood – Wooden linings were originally offered as a “longer life” accessory part during the life of the Model T. They were a single piece of steam bent cottonwood fitted to the normal Model T Transmission band. These bands give a very different feel to the pedals, with much more of a “bite” feel. The sensation is of a definite “grip” of the drum and seemed to noticeably increase the feel, in particular of the brake drum.

Suspension and wheels

1925 Ford_model_t_suspension.triddle

 The suspension components of a Ford Model T. The coil-spring device is an aftermarket accessory, the “Hassler shock absorber”.

Model T suspension employed a transversely mounted semi-elliptical spring for each of the front and rear beam axles which allowed a great deal of wheel movement to cope with the dirt roads of the time.

The front axle was drop forged as a single piece of vanadium steel. Ford twisted many axles eight times and sent them to dealers to be put on display to demonstrate its superiority. The Model T did not have a modern service brake. The right foot pedal applied a band around a drum in the transmission, thus stopping the rear wheels from turning. The previously mentioned parking brake lever operated band brakes acting on the inside of the rear brake drums, which were an integral part of the rear wheel hubs. Optional brakes that acted on the outside of the brake drums were available from aftermarket suppliers.

Wheels were wooden artillery wheels, with steel welded-spoke wheels available in 1926 and 1927.

Tires were pneumatic clincher type, 30 in (76 cm) in diameter, 3.5 in (8.9 cm) wide in the rear, 3 in (7.5 cm) wide in the front. Clinchers needed much higher pressure than today’s tires, typically 60 psi (410 kPa), to prevent them from leaving the rim at speed. Horseshoe nails on the roads, together with the high pressure, made flat tires a common problem.

Balloon tires became available in 1925. They were 21 in × 4.5 in (53 cm × 11 cm) all around. Balloon tires were closer in design to today’s tires, with steel wires reinforcing the tire bead, making lower pressure possible – typically 35 psi (240 kPa) – giving a softer ride. The old nomenclature for tire size changed from measuring the outer diameter to measuring the rim diameter so 21 in (530 mm) (rim diameter) × 4.5 in (110 mm) (tire width) wheels has about the same outer diameter as 30 in (76 cm) clincher tires. All tires in this time period used an inner tube to hold the pressurized air; “tubeless” tires were not generally in use until much later.

Wheelbase was 100 inches (254 cm); while standard tread width was 56 in (142 cm), 60 in (152 cm) tread could be obtained on special order, “for Southern roads”, identical to the pre-Civil War track gauge for many railroads in the former Confederacy.

Colors

By 1918, half of all the cars in the US were Model Ts. However, it was a monolithic bloc; Ford wrote in his autobiography that in 1909 he told his management team that in the future “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”.

However, in the first years of production from 1908 to 1913, the Model T was not available in black[24] but rather only grey, green, blue, and red. Green was available for the touring cars, town cars, coupes, and Landaulets. Grey was only available for the town cars, and red only for the touring cars. By 1912, all cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. It was only in 1914 that the “any color so long as it is black” policy was finally implemented. It is often stated that Ford suggested the use of black from 1914 to 1926 due to the cheap cost and durability of black paint. During the lifetime production of the Model T, over 30 different types of black paint were used on various parts of the car. These were formulated to satisfy the different means of applying the paint to the various parts, and had distinct drying times, depending on the part, paint, and method of drying.

Body

1910 Model T, photographed in Salt Lake City

 1910 Model T, photographed in Salt Lake City

DCF 1.0

 Ford Speedster T

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 1925 Ford “New Model” T Tudor Sedan

Although Ford classified the Model T with a single letter designation throughout its entire life and made no distinction by model years, there were enough significant changes to the body over the production life that the car can be classified into five distinct generations. One of the most immediately visible and identifiable areas of change were in the hood and cowl areas although there were also many other changes made to the vehicle.

  • 1909–1914 – T1 – Characterized by a nearly straight, five sided hood, with a flat top containing a center hinge and two side sloping sections containing the folding hinges. The firewall was flat from the windshield down with no distinct cowl.
  • 1915–1916 – T2 – The hood design was nearly the same five sided design with the only obvious change being the addition of louvers to the vertical sides. There was a significant change to the cowl area with the windshield relocated significantly behind the firewall and joined with a compound contoured cowl panel.
  • 1917–1923 – T3 – The hood design was changed to a tapered design with a curved top. the folding hinges were now located at the joint between the flat sides and the curved top. This is sometime referred to as the low hood to distinguish if from the later hoods. The back edge of the hood now met the front edge of the cowl panel so that no part of the flat firewall was visible outside of the hood. This design was used the longest and during the highest production years accounting for about half of the total number of Model T’s built.
  • 1923–1925 – T4 – This change was made during the 1923 calendar year so models built earlier in the year have the older design while later vehicles have the newer design. The taper of the hood was increased and the rear section at the firewall is about an inch taller and several inches wider than the previous design. While this is a relatively minor change, the parts between the third and fourth generation are not interchangeable.
  • 1926–1927 – T5 – This design change made the greatest difference in the appearance of the car. The hood was again enlarged with the cowl panel no longer a compound curve and blended much more with the line of the hood. The distance between the firewall and the windshield was also increased significantly. This style is sometimes referred to as the high hood.

The styling on the fifth generation was a preview for the following Model A but the two models are visually quite different as the body on the ‘A was much wider and had curved doors as opposed to the flat doors on the T.

Diverse applications

A Model T homemade tractor pulling a plow

 A Model T homemade tractor pulling a plow

1918 Pullford auto-to-tractor conversion advertisement

 Pullford auto-to-tractor conversion advertisement, 1918

When the Model T was designed and introduced, the infrastructure of the world was quite different from today’s. Pavement was a rarity except for sidewalks and a few big-city streets. (The sense of the term “pavement” as equivalent with “sidewalk” comes from that era, when streets and roads were generally dirt and sidewalks were a paved way to walk along them.) Agriculture was the occupation of many people. Power tools were scarce outside factories, as were power sources for them; electrification, like pavement, was found usually only in larger towns. Rural electrification and motorized mechanization were embryonic in North America and Europe, and nonexistent elsewhere.

Henry Ford oversaw the requirements and design of the Model T based on the realities of that world. Consequently, the Model T was (intentionally) almost as much a tractor and portable engine as it was an automobile. It has always been well regarded for its all-terrain abilities and ruggedness. It could travel a rocky, muddy farm lane, ford a shallow stream, climb a steep hill, and be parked on the other side to have one of its wheels removed and a pulley fastened to the hub for a flat belt to drive a bucksaw, thresher, silo blower, conveyor for filling corn cribs or haylofts, baler, water pump (for wells, mines, or swampy farm fields), electrical generator, and countless other applications. One unique application of the Model T was shown in the October 1922 issue of Fordson Farmer magazine. It showed a minister who had transformed his Model T into a mobile church, complete with small organ.

During this era, entire automobiles (including thousands of Model Ts) were even hacked apart by their industrious owners and reconfigured into custom machinery permanently dedicated to a purpose, such as homemade tractors, ice saws, or many others. Dozens of aftermarket companies sold prefab kits to facilitate the T’s conversion from car to tractor. The Model T had been around for a decade before the Fordson tractor became available (1917–1918), and many Ts had been converted for field use. (For example, Harry Ferguson, later famous for his hitches and tractors, worked on Eros Model T tractor conversions before he worked with Fordsons and others.) During the next decade, Model T tractor conversion kits were harder to sell, as the Fordson and then the Farmall (1924), as well as other light and affordable tractors, served the farm market. But during the Depression(1930s), Model T tractor conversion kits had a resurgence, because by then used Model Ts and junkyard parts for them were plentiful and cheap.

Like many popular car engines of the era, the Model T engine was also used on home-built aircraft (such as the Pietenpol Sky Scout) and motorboats.

Many Model Ts were converted into vehicles which could travel across heavy snows with kits on the rear wheels (sometimes with an extra pair of rear-mounted wheels and two sets of continuous track to mount on the now-tandemed rear wheels, essentially making it a half-track) and skis replacing the front wheels. They were popular for rural mail delivery for a time. The common name for these conversions of cars and small trucks wassnowflyers. These vehicles were extremely popular in the northern reaches of Canada where factories were set up to produce them.

A number of companies built Model T–based railcars. In The Great Railway Bazaar, Paul Theroux mentions a rail journey in India on such a railcar. The New Zealand Railways Department‘s RM class included a few.

Production

Mass production

1913 Ford assembly line

 Ford assembly line, 1913

The knowledge and skills needed by a factory worker were reduced to 84 areas. When introduced, the T used the building methods typical at the time, assembly by hand, and production was small. Ford’s Piquette plant could not keep up with demand for the Model T, and only 11 cars were built there during the first full month of production. More and more machines were used to reduce the complexity within the 84 defined areas. In 1910, after assembling nearly 12,000 Model Ts, Henry Ford moved the company to the new Highland Park complex.

As a result, Ford’s cars came off the line in three-minute intervals, much faster than previous methods, reducing production time by a factor of eight (requiring 12.5 hours before, 93 minutes afterwards), while using less manpower. By 1914, the assembly process for the Model T had been so streamlined it took only 93 minutes to assemble a car. That year Ford produced more cars than all other automakers combined. The Model T was a great commercial success, and by the time Henry made his 10 millionth car, 50 percent of all cars in the world were Fords. It was so successful that Ford did not purchase any advertising between 1917 and 1923, instead it became so famous that people now considered it a norm; more than 15 million Model Ts were manufactured, reaching a rate of 9,000 to 10,000 cars a day in 1925, or 2 million annually, more than any other model of its day, at a price of just $260 (or about $3,230 in 2015 dollars). Model T production was finally surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle on February 17, 1972.

Henry Ford’s ideological approach to Model T design was one of getting it right and then keeping it the same; he believed the Model T was all the car a person would, or could, ever need. As other companies offered comfort and styling advantages, at competitive prices, the Model T lost market share. Design changes were not as few as the public perceived, but the idea of an unchanging model was kept intact. Eventually, on May 26, 1927, Ford Motor Company ceased US production and began the changeovers required to produce the Model A. Some of the other Model T factories in the world continued a short while.

Model T engines continued to be produced until August 4, 1941. Almost 170,000 were built after car production stopped, as replacement engines were required to service already produced vehicles. Racers and enthusiasts, forerunners of modern hot rodders, used the Model T’s block to build popular and cheap racing engines, including Cragar, Navarro, and famously the Frontenacs (“Fronty Fords”) of the Chevrolet brothers, among many others.

The Model T employed some advanced technology, for example, its use of vanadium steel alloy. Its durability was phenomenal, and many Model Ts and their parts remain in running order nearly a century later. Although Henry Ford resisted some kinds of change, he always championed the advancement of materials engineering, and often mechanical engineering and industrial engineering.

In 2002, Ford built a final batch of six Model Ts as part of their 2003 centenary celebrations. These cars were assembled from remaining new components and other parts produced from the original drawings. The last of the six was used for publicity purposes in the UK.

Although Ford no longer manufactures parts for the Model T, many parts are still manufactured through private companies as replicas to service the thousands of Model Ts still in operation today. On May 26, 1927 Henry Ford and his son Edsel, drove the 15 millionth Model T out of the factory. This marked the famous automobile’s official last day of production at the main factory.

Price and Production

The assembly line system allowed Ford to sell his cars at a price lower than his competitors due to the efficiency of the system. As he continued to fine tune the system, he was able to keep reducing his costs. As his volume increased, he was able to also lower the prices due to fixed costs being spread over a larger number of vehicles. Other factors affected the price such a material costs and design changes.

The figures below are US production numbers compiled by R.E. Houston, Ford Production Department, August 3, 1927. The figures between 1909 and 1920 are for Ford’s fiscal year. From 1909 to 1913, the fiscal year was from October 1 to September 30 the following calendar year with the year number being the year it ended in. For the 1914 fiscal year, the year was October 1, 1913 through July 31, 1914. Starting in August 1914, and through the end of the Model T era, the fiscal year was August 1 through July 31. Beginning with January 1920 the figures are for the calendar year.

Year Production Price for
Runabout
Notes
1909 10,666 $825 ($21,650 in 2015) Touring car was $850
1910 19,050 $900
1911 34,858 $680
1912 68,773 $590
1913 170,211 $525
1914 202,667 $440 Fiscal year was only 10 months long due to change in end date
from Sep 30 to July 31
1915 308,162 $390
1916 501,462 $345
1917 735,020 $500
1918 664,076 $500
1919 498,342 $500
1920 941,042 $395 Production for fiscal year 1920, (August 1, 1919 through July 31, 1920)
Price was $550 in March but dropped by Sept
1920 463,451 $395 Production for balance of calendar year, August 1 though Dec 31
Total ‘1920’ production (17 months) = 1,404,493
1921 971,610 $325 Price was $370 in June but dropped by Sept.
1922 1,301,067 $319
1923 2,011,125 $364
1924 1,922,048 $265
1925 1,911,705 $260 ($3,500 in 2015) Touring car was $290
1926 1,554,465 $360
1927 399,725 $360 Production ended before mid-year to allow retooling for the Model A

Recycling

Henry Ford used wood scraps from the production of Model Ts to make charcoal. Originally named Ford Charcoal, the name was changed to Kingsford Charcoal after Ford’s brother-in-law E. G. Kingsford brokered the selection of the new charcoal plant site.

First global car

1921 The first Ford assembly plant in La Boca, Buenos Aires

 The first Ford assembly plant in La Boca, Buenos Aires, c. 1921

1923 Ford T in Canada

 A 1923 Ford T in Canada

The Ford Model T was the first automobile built by various countries simultaneously since they were being produced in Walkerville, Canada and in Trafford Park, Greater Manchester, England starting in 1911 and were later assembled in Germany, Argentina, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan, as well as several locations throughout the US. Ford made use of the knock-down kit concept almost from the beginning of the company as freight cost had Ford assembling on the west coast of the US.

The Aeroford was an English automobile manufactured in Bayswater, London, from 1920 to 1925. It was a Model T with distinct hood and grille to make it appear to be a totally different design, what later would have been called badge engineering. The Aeroford sold from £288 in 1920, dropping to £168-214 by 1925. It was available as a two-seater, four-seater, or coupé.

Advertising and marketing

Ford created a massive publicity machine in Detroit to ensure every newspaper carried stories and advertisements about the new product. Ford’s network of local dealers made the car ubiquitous in virtually every city in North America. As independent dealers, the franchises grew rich and publicized not just the Ford but the very concept of automobiling; local motor clubs sprang up to help new drivers and to explore the countryside. Ford was always eager to sell to farmers, who looked on the vehicle as a commercial device to help their business. Sales skyrocketed – several years posted 100% gains on the previous year.

Car clubs

1919 Ford Model T stakebed

 1919 Ford Model T stakebed

Cars built before 1919 are classed as veteran cars and later models as vintage cars. Today, four main clubs exist to support the preservation and restoration of these cars: the Model T Ford Club International, the Model T Ford Club of America and the combined clubs of Australia. With many chapters of clubs around the world, the Model T Ford Club of Victoria has a membership with a considerable number of uniquely Australian cars. (Australia produced its own car bodies, and therefore many differences occurred between the Australian bodied tourers and the US/Canadian cars.) In the UK, the Model T Ford Register of Great Britain celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. Many steel Model T parts are still manufactured today, and even fiberglass replicas of their distinctive bodies are produced, which are popular for T-bucket style hot rods (as immortalized in the Jan and Dean surf music song “Bucket T”, which was later recorded by The Who). In 1949, more than twenty years after the end of production, 200,000 Model Ts were registered in the United States. In 2008, it was estimated that about 50,000 to 60,000 Ford Model T remain roadworthy.

In popular media

Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and aesthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation. Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than about the clitoris, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars. With the Model T, part of the concept of private property disappeared. Pliers ceased to be privately owned and a tire iron belonged to the last man who had picked it up. Most of the babies of the period were conceived in Model T Fords and not a few were born in them. The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped that it never quite recovered.

  • In Aldous Huxley‘s Brave New World, where Henry Ford is regarded as a messianic figure, graveyard crosses have been truncated to T’s. Additionally, the calendar is converted to an “A.F.” system, wherein the first calendar year leads from the introduction of the Model T.
  • The phrase to “go the way of the Tin Lizzie” is a colloquialism referring to the decline and elimination of a popular product, habit, belief or behavior as a now outdated historical relic which has been replaced by something new.
  • The Tin Lizzie is mentioned (simply as “Lizzie”) in George and Ira Gershwin‘s song They All Laughed.

Gallery

Model T Ford Automobile Chronology
1908 Runabout - Note flat firewall
1908 Runabout – Note flat firewall
1910 Runabout
1910 Runabout
1911 Touring
1911 Touring
1913 Runabout
1913 Runabout
1914_Ford_Model_T_Touring
1914 Touring
1915_Ford_Model_T_Runabout
1915 Runabout – Note curved cowl panel
1916_Ford_Model_T_touring_car
1916 Touring
1917_Ford_Model_T_Runabout
1917 Runabout – Note new curved hood matches cowl panel
1919_Ford_Model_T_Runabout_GMR995
1919 Runabout
1920_Ford_Model_T_Touring_3
1920 Touring
1921_Ford_Model_T_Touring_2
1921 Touring
1923_Ford_Model_T_Runabout_AZW456
1923 Runabout (early ’23 model)
1924_Ford_Model_T_Touring_CX_894
1924 Touring – Note higher hood and slightly shorter cowl panel – late ’23 models were similar
1925_Ford_Model_T_Touring
1925 Touring
1926_Ford_Model_T_Runabout_ECH956
1926 Runabout – Note higher hood and longer cowl panel
1926_Ford_Model_T_Touring_EOT835
1926 Touring
1927_Ford_Model_T_Runabout
1927 Runabout
1927_Ford_A_40A_Standard_Roadster_pic6
1927 Model A – Shown for comparison, note wider body and curved doors

In 1927, Ford introduced the Model A, the first car with safety glass in the windshield. Ford launched the first low priced V8 engine powered car in 1932.

The creation of a scientific laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan in 1951, doing unfettered basic research, lead to Ford’s unlikely involvement in superconductivity research. In 1964 Ford Research Labs made a key breakthrough with the invention of a superconducting quantum interference device or SQUID.

Ford offered the Lifeguard safety package from 1956, which included such innovations as a standard deep-dish steering wheel, optional front, and, for the first time in a car, rear seatbelts, and an optional padded dash. Ford introduced child-proof door locks into its products in 1957, and in the same year offered the first retractable hardtop on a mass-produced six-seater car. The Ford Mustang was introduced in 1964. In 1965 Ford introduced the seat belt reminder light.

With the 1980s, Ford introduced several highly successful vehicles around the world. During the 1980s, Ford began using the advertising slogan, “Have you driven a Ford, lately?” to introduce new customers to their brand and make their vehicles appear more modern. In 1990 and 1994 respectively, Ford also acquired Jaguar Cars and Aston Martin. During the mid- to late 1990s, Ford continued to sell large numbers of vehicles, in a booming American economy with a soaring stock market and low fuel prices.

With the dawn of the new century, legacy healthcare costs, higher fuel prices, and a faltering economy led to falling market shares, declining sales, and diminished profit margins. Most of the corporate profits came from financing consumer automobile loans through Ford Motor Credit Company.

21st century

William Clay Ford, Jr., great-grandson of Henry Ford, serves as the executive chairman at the board of Ford Motor Company.

By 2005, both Ford and GM‘s corporate bonds had been downgraded to junk status, as a result of high U.S. health care costs for an aging workforce, soaring gasoline prices, eroding market share, and an over dependence on declining SUV sales. Profit margins decreased on large vehicles due to increased “incentives” (in the form of rebates or low interest financing) to offset declining demand. In the latter half of 2005, Chairman Bill Ford asked newly appointed Ford Americas Division President Mark Fields to develop a plan to return the company to profitability. Fields previewed the Plan, named The Way Forward, at the December 7, 2005 board meeting of the company and it was unveiled to the public on January 23, 2006. “The Way Forward” included resizing the company to match market realities, dropping some unprofitable and inefficient models, consolidating production lines, closing 14 factories and cutting 30,000 jobs.

Ford moved to introduce a range of new vehicles, including “Crossover SUVs” built on unibody car platforms, rather than more body-on-frame chassis. In developing the hybrid electric powertrain technologies for the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV, Ford licensed similar Toyota hybrid technologies to avoid patent infringements. Ford announced that it will team up with electricity supply company Southern California Edison (SCE) to examine the future of plug-in hybrids in terms of how home and vehicle energy systems will work with the electrical grid. Under the multi-million-dollar, multi-year project, Ford will convert a demonstration fleet of Ford Escape Hybrids into plug-in hybrids, and SCE will evaluate how the vehicles might interact with the home and the utility’s electrical grid. Some of the vehicles will be evaluated “in typical customer settings”, according to Ford.

William Clay Ford Jr., great-grandson of Henry Ford (and better known by his nickname “Bill”), was appointed Executive Chairman in 1998, and also became Chief Executive Officer of the company in 2001, with the departure of Jacques Nasser, becoming the first member of the Ford family to head the company since the retirement of his uncle, Henry Ford II, in 1982. Upon the retirement of President and Chief Operation Officer Jim Padilla in April 2006, Bill Ford assumed his roles as well. Five months later, in September, Ford named Alan Mulally as President and CEO, with Ford continuing as Executive Chairman. In December 2006, the company raised its borrowing capacity to about $25 billion, placing substantially all corporate assets as collateral. Chairman Bill Ford has stated that “bankruptcy is not an option”. Ford and the United Auto Workers, representing approximately 46,000 hourly workers in North America, agreed to a historic contract settlement in November 2007 giving the company a substantial break in terms of its ongoing retiree health care costs and other economic issues. The agreement included the establishment of a company-funded, independently run Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) trust to shift the burden of retiree health care from the company’s books, thereby improving its balance sheet. This arrangement took effect on January 1, 2010. As a sign of its currently strong cash position, Ford contributed its entire current liability (estimated at approximately US$5.5 billion as of December 31, 2009) to the VEBA in cash, and also pre-paid US$500 million of its future liabilities to the fund. The agreement also gives hourly workers the job security they were seeking by having the company commit to substantial investments in most of its factories.

The automaker reported the largest annual loss in company history in 2006 of $12.7 billion, and estimated that it would not return to profitability until 2009. However, Ford surprised Wall Street in the second quarter of 2007 by posting a $750 million profit. Despite the gains, the company finished the year with a $2.7 billion loss, largely attributed to finance restructuring at Volvo.

On June 2, 2008, Ford sold its Jaguar and Land Rover operations to Tata Motors for $2.3 billion.

During Congressional hearings held in November 2008 at Washington D.C., and in a show of support, Ford’s Alan Mulally stated that “We at Ford are hopeful that we have enough liquidity. But we also must prepare ourselves for the prospect of further deteriorating economic conditions”. Mulally went on to state that “The collapse of one of our competitors would have a severe impact on Ford” and that Ford Motor Company’s supports both Chrysler and General Motors in their search for government bridge loans in the face of conditions caused by the 2008 financial crisis. Together, the three companies presented action plans for the sustainability of the industry. Mulally stated that “In addition to our plan, we are also here today to request support for the industry. In the near-term, Ford does not require access to a government bridge loan. However, we request a credit line of $9 billion as a critical backstop or safeguard against worsening conditions as we drive transformational change in our company”  GM and Chrysler received government loans and financing through T.A.R.P. legislation funding provisions.

On December 19, the cost of credit default swaps to insure the debt of Ford was 68 percent the sum insured for five years in addition to annual payments of 5 percent. That meant $6.8 million paid upfront to insure $10 million in debt, in addition to payments of $500,000 per year. In January 2009, Ford reported a $14.6 billion loss in the preceding year, a record for the company. The company retained sufficient liquidity to fund its operations. Through April 2009, Ford’s strategy of debt for equity exchanges erased $9.9 billion in liabilities (28% of its total) in order to leverage its cash position. These actions yielded Ford a $2.7 billion profit in fiscal year 2009, the company’s first full-year profit in four years.

In 2012, Ford’s corporate bonds were upgraded from junk to investment grade again, citing sustainable, lasting improvements.

On October 29, 2012, Ford announced the sale of its climate control components business, its last remaining automotive components operation, to Detroit Thermal Systems LLC for an undisclosed price.

On November 1, 2012, Ford announced that CEO Alan Mulally will stay with the company until 2014. Ford also named Mark Fields, the president of operations in Americas, as its new chief operating officer  Ford’s CEO Mulally was paid a compensation of over $174 million in his previous seven years at Ford since 2006. The generous amount has been a sore point for some workers of the company.

Logo evolution

Corporate affairs

Executive management

Members of the Ford board as of July 2014 are: Richard A. Gephardt, Stephen Butler, Ellen Marram, Kimberly Casiano, Mark Fields (President and CEO), Edsel Ford II, Homer Neal, William Clay Ford Jr. (Executive Chairman), Anthony F. Earley, Jr., James P. Hackett, John L. Thornton, James H. Hance, Jr., William W. Helman IV, Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., John C. Lechleiter and Gerald L. Shaheen.

Financial results

In 2010, Ford earned a net profit of $6.6 billion and reduced its debt from $33.6 billion to $14.5 billion lowering interest payments by $1 billion following its 2009 net profit of $2.7 billion. In the U.S., the F-Series was the best-selling vehicle for 2010. Ford sold 528,349 F-Series trucks during the year, a 27.7% increase over 2009, out of a total sales of 1.9 million vehicles, or every one out of four vehicles Ford sold. Trucks sales accounts for a big slice of Ford’s profits, according to USA Today. Ford’s realignment also included the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary, Hertz Rent-a-Car to a private equity group for $15 billion in cash and debt acquisition. The sale was completed on December 22, 2005. A 50–50 joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra of India, called Mahindra Ford India, Limited (MIFL), ended with Ford buying out Mahindra’s remaining stake in the company in 2005. Ford had previously upped its stake to 72% in 1998.

Operations

Ford has manufacturing operations worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and South Africa. Ford also has a cooperative agreement with Russian automaker GAZ.

North America

1930-45 The_Ford_building_--_Jericho_Turnpike,_Mineola,_Garden_City

Ford dealer in Garden City, New York, ca. 1930-1945

In the first five months of 2010, auto sales in the U.S. rose to 4.6 million cars and light trucks, an increase of 17% from a year earlier. The rise was mainly caused by the return of commercial customers that had all but stopped buying in 2009 during the recession. Sales to individual customers at dealerships have increased 13%, while fleet sales have jumped 32%. Ford reported that 37% of its sales in May came from fleet sales when it announced its sales for the month increased 23%. In the first seven months of 2010, vehicle sales of Ford increased 24%, including retail and fleet sales. Fleet sales of Ford for the same period rose 35% to 386,000 units while retail sales increase 19%. Fleet sales account for 39 percent of Chrysler’s sales and 31 percent for GM’s.

Europe

Main article: Ford of Europe

Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre inLaindon, United Kingdom, the largest automotive research and development facility in the country

The Ford Research Center in Aachen, Germany

At first, Ford in Germany and Ford in Britain built different models from one another until the late 1960s, with the Ford Escort and then the Ford Capri being common to both companies. Later on, the Ford Taunus and Ford Cortina became identical, produced in left hand drive and right hand drive respectively. Rationalisation of model ranges meant that production of many models in the UK switched to elsewhere in Europe, including Belgium and Spain as well as Germany. The Ford Sierra replaced the Taunus and Cortina in 1982, drawing criticism for its radical aerodynamic styling, which was soon given nicknames such as “Jellymould” and “The Salesman’s Spaceship.”

Increasingly, the Ford Motor Company has looked to Ford of Europe for its “world cars”, such as the Mondeo, Focus, and Fiesta, although sales of European-sourced Fords in the U.S. have been disappointing. The Focus has been one exception to this, which has become America’s best selling compact car since its launch in 2000.

In February 2002, Ford ended car production in the UK. It was the first time in 90 years that Ford cars had not been made in Britain, although production of the Transit van continued at the company’s Southampton facility until mid-2013, engines at Bridgend and Dagenham, and transmissions at Halewood. Development of European Ford is broadly split between Dunton in Essex (powertrain, Fiesta/Ka, and commercial vehicles) and Cologne (body, chassis, electrical, Focus, Mondeo) in Germany. Ford also produced the Thames range of commercial vehicles, although the use of this brand name was discontinued circa 1965. Elsewhere in continental Europe, Ford assembles the Mondeo range in Genk (Belgium), Fiesta in Valencia (Spain) and Cologne (Germany), Ka in Valencia (Spain), Focus in Valencia (Spain), Saarlouis (Germany) and Vsevolozhsk (Russia). Transit production is in Kocaeli (Turkey), Southampton (UK), and Transit Connect in Kocaeli (Turkey).

Ford also owns a joint-venture production plant in Turkey. Ford Otosan, established in the 1970s, manufactures the Transit Connect compact panel van as well as the “Jumbo” and long-wheelbase versions of the full-size Transit. This new production facility was set up near Kocaeli in 2002, and its opening marked the end of Transit assembly in Genk.

Another joint venture plant near Setúbal in Portugal, set up in collaboration with Volkswagen, formerly assembled the Galaxy people-carrier as well as its sister ships, the VW Sharan and SEAT Alhambra. With the introduction of the third generation of the Galaxy, Ford has moved the production of the people-carrier to the Genk plant, with Volkswagen taking over sole ownership of the Setúbal facility.

In 2008, Ford acquired a majority stake in Automobile Craiova, Romania. Starting 2009, the Ford Transit Connect was Ford’s first model produced in Craiova, followed, in 2012, by low-capacity car engines and a new small class car, the B-Max.

Ford Europe has broken new ground with a number of relatively futuristic car launches over the last 50 years.

Its 1959 Anglia two-door saloon was one of the most quirky-looking small family cars in Europe at the time of its launch, but buyers soon became accustomed to its looks and it was hugely popular with British buyers in particular. It was still selling well when replaced by the more practical Escort in 1967.

The third incarnation of the Ford Escort was launched in 1980 and marked the company’s move from rear-wheel drive saloons to front-wheel drive hatchbacks in the small family car sector.

The fourth generation Escort was produced from 1990 until 2000, although its successor – the Focus – had been on sale since 1998. On its launch, the Focus was arguably the most dramatic-looking and fine-handling small family cars on sale, and sold in huge volumes right up to the launch of the next generation Focus at the end of 2004.

The 1982 Ford Sierra – replacement for the long-running and massively popular Cortina and Taunus models – was a style-setter at the time of its launch. Its ultramodern aerodynamic design was a world away from a boxy, sharp-edged Cortina, and it was massively popular just about everywhere it was sold. A series of updates kept it looking relatively fresh until it was replaced by the front-wheel drive Mondeo at the start of 1993.

The rise in popularity of small cars during the 1970s saw Ford enter the mini-car market in 1976 with its Fiesta hatchback. Most of its production was concentrated at Valencia in Spain, and the Fiesta sold in huge figures from the very start. An update in 1983 and the launch of an all-new model in 1989 strengthened its position in the small car market.

On October 24, 2012, Ford announced that it would be closing its Genk assembly plant in eastern Belgium by the end of 2014.

Oceania

Ford FG Falcon (Australia)

In Australia and New Zealand, the popular Ford Falcon has long been considered the average family car and is considerably larger than the Mondeo, Ford’s largest car sold in Europe. Between 1960 and 1972, the Falcon was based on a U.S. model of the same name, but since then has been entirely designed and manufactured in Australia, occasionally being manufactured in New Zealand. Like its General Motors rival, the Holden Commodore, the Falcon uses a rear wheel drive layout. High performance variants of the Falcon running locally built engines produce up to 362 hp (270 kW). A ute (short for “utility”, known in the US as pickup truck) version is also available with the same range of drivetrains. In addition, Ford Australia sells highly tuned limited-production Falcon sedans and utes through its performance car division, Ford Performance Vehicles.

In Australia, the Commodore and Falcon have traditionally outsold all other cars and comprise over 20% of the new car market. In New Zealand, Ford was second in market share in the first eight months of 2006 with 14.4 per cent. More recently Ford has axed its Falcon-based LWB variant of its lineup– the Fairlane and LTD ranges, and announced that their Geelong engine manufacturing plant may be shut down from 2013. They have also announced local manufacturing of the Focus small car starting from 2011.

In Australia, the Laser was one of Ford Australia‘s most successful models, and was manufactured in Ford’s Homebush plant from 1981 until the plant’s closure in September 1994. It outsold the Mazda 323, despite being almost identical to it, because the Laser was manufactured in Australia and Ford was perceived as a local brand.

In New Zealand, the Ford Laser and Telstar were assembled alongside the Mazda 323 and 626 until 1997, at the Vehicle Assemblers of New Zealand (VANZ) plant in Wiri, Auckland. The Sierra wagon was also assembled in New Zealand, owing to the popularity of station wagons in that market.

The scheduled closure of Ford’s Australian manufacturing base in 2016 was confirmed in late May 2013. Headquartered in the Victorian suburb of Broadmeadows, the company had registered losses worth AU$600 million over the five years prior to the announcement. It was noted that the corporate fleet and government sales that account for two-thirds of large, local car sales in Australia are insufficient to keep Ford’s products profitable and viable in Australia. The decision will affect 1200 Ford workers—over 600 employees in Geelong and more than 500 in Broadmeadows—who will lose their jobs by October 2016.

East and Southeast Asia

Ford formed its first passenger-vehicle joint venture in China in 2001, six years behind GM and more than a decade after VW. It has spent as of 2013 $4.9 billion to expand its lineup and double production capacity in China to 600,000 vehicles. This includes Ford’s largest-ever factory complex in the southwestern city of Chongqing. Ford had 2.5 percent of the Chinese market in 2013, while VW controlled 14.5 percent and GM had 15.6 percent, according to consultant LMC Automotive. GM outsells Ford in China by more than six-to-one.

The Ford stamping plant in Geelong, Australia

With the acquisition of a stake in Japanese manufacturer Mazda in 1979, Ford began selling Mazda’s Familia and Capella (also known as the 323 and 626) as the Ford Laser and Telstar, replacing the European-sourced Escort and Cortina. Through its relationship with Mazda, Ford also acquired a stake in South Korean manufacturer Kia, which built the (Mazda-based) Ford Festiva from 1988–1993, and the Ford Aspire from 1994–1997 for export to the United States, but later sold their interest to Hyundai (which also manufactured the Ford Cortina until the 1980s). Kia continued to market the Aspire as the Kia Avella, later replaced by the Rio and once again sold in the US.

Ford’s presence in Asia has traditionally been much smaller, confined to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Taiwan, where Ford has had a joint venture with Lio Ho since the 1970s. Ford began assembly of cars in Thailand in 1960, but withdrew from the country in 1976, and did not return until 1995, when it formed a joint venture with Mazda called Auto Alliance. Now in Bo-win Sub District, Sriracha District of the Chonburi it is located The Ford Motor Company (Thailand) Limited, making passenger automobiles. The factory built in 1941 in Singapore was shortly taken over by the Japanese during the war and was the site of a surrender of the British to the Japanese, at the factory site which is now a national monument in Singapore.

On April 30, 2013, Ford Motor Co. launched their car and truck line in Myanmar. Previously, heavy importation taxes have stifled imported car purchases in Myanmar, but due to currency reform, lifting of previous import restrictions, and the abolishment of shadow currency, Myanmar’s car market has grown in demand.

Ford of Japan

Ford established a manufacturing facility in the port city of Yokohama in February 1925, where Model T vehicles were assembled using imported knock-down kits. The factory subsequently produced 10,000 Model A’s up to 1936. Production ceased in 1940 as a result of political tensions between Japan and the United States.

After World War II, Ford did not have a presence in Japan, as the Ford facility was appropriated by the Japanese Government until 1958, when property was returned as a possession of the Ford Motor Company and became a research and development location for Ford partner Mazda. In 1979, Ford acquired a 24.5% ownership stake in Mazda, and in 1982 Ford and Mazda jointly established a sales channel to sell Ford products in Japan, including vehicles manufactured in North America, at a dealership called Autorama(Japanese). The Autorama sales channel was renamed Ford Sales of Japan in 1997.

Vehicles sold at Autorama locations were the North American assembled Ford Explorer, Probe (1989–1998), Mustang, Taurus (1989–1997), Thunderbird (1990–1993), Lincoln Continental, and Lincoln LS. Ford products manufactured in Europe that were sold in Japan were the Ford Mondeo, Ka, Focus, Focus C-MAX, Fiesta, and the Galaxy. Mazda manufactured Ford vehicles in Japan and sold them as Fords at the Autorama locations. They were the Ford Telstar (Mazda Capella), Laser, Festiva, Festiva Mini Wagon,Ixion (Mazda Premacy), Freda (Mazda Bondo Friendee), Spectron (Mazda Bongo), and commercial trucks J80 and the J100 (Mazda Bongo truck).

Ford increased its shareholding in Mazda to 33.4% in 1996. Ford currently sells a small range of vehicles in Japan; as of October 2010, the Ford Mustang, Escape, Explorer (and Explorer truck), Ford Kuga, Lincoln Navigator and Lincoln MKX were available in Japan. Ford maintains a regional office in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.

South and West Asia

Ford India began production in 1998 at Chennai, Tamil Nadu, with its Ford Escort model, which was later replaced by locally produced Ford Ikon in 2001. It has since added Fusion, Fiesta, Mondeo and Endeavour to its product line.

On March 9, 2010, Ford Motor Co. launched its first made-for-India compact car. Starting at 349,900 ($7,690), the Figo is Ford’s first car designed and priced for the mass Indian market. On July 28, 2011, Ford India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State of Gujarat for the construction of an assembly and engine plant in Sanand, and planned to invest approximately US$1 billion on a 460-acre site.

Ford’s market presence in the Middle East has traditionally been small, partly due to previous Arab boycotts of companies dealing with Israel. Ford and Lincoln vehicles are currently marketed in ten countries in the region. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE are the biggest markets. Ford also established itself in Egypt in 1926, but faced an uphill battle during the 1950s due to the hostile nationalist business environment. Ford’s distributor in Saudi Arabia announced in February 2003 that it had sold 100,000 Ford and Lincoln vehicles since commencing sales in November 1986. Half of the Ford/Lincoln vehicles sold in that country were Ford Crown Victorias. In 2004, Ford sold 30,000 units in the region, falling far short of General Motors‘ 88,852 units and Nissan Motors‘ 75,000 units.

South America

During much of the 20th century, Ford faced protectionist government measures in South America, with the result that it built different models in different countries, without particular regard to rationalization or economy of scale inherent to producing and sharing similar vehicles between the nations. In many cases, new vehicles in a country were based on those of the other manufacturers it had entered into production agreements with, or whose factories it had acquired. For example, the Corcel and Del Rey in Brazil were originally based on Renault vehicles.

In 1987, Ford of Brasil and Ford of Argentina merged their operations with the Brazilian and Argentinan operations of Volkswagen Group, forming a new joint-venture company called Autolatina with a shared model range. Sales figures and profitability were disappointing, and Autolatina was dissolved in 1995. With the advent of Mercosur, the regional common market, Ford was finally able to rationalize its product line-ups in those countries. Consequently, the Ford Fiesta and Ford EcoSport are only built in Brazil, and the Ford Focus only built in Argentina, with each plant exporting in large volumes to the neighboring countries. Models like the Ford Mondeo from Europe could now be imported completely built up. Ford of Brazil produces a pick-up truck version of the Fiesta, the Courier, which is also produced in South Africa as the Ford Bantam in right hand drive versions.

Africa

In Africa, Ford’s market presence has traditionally been strongest in South Africa and neighbouring countries, with only trucks being sold elsewhere on the continent. Ford in South Africa began by importing kits from Canada to be assembled at its Port Elizabeth facility. Later Ford sourced its models from the UK and Australia, with local versions of the Ford Cortina including the XR6, with a 3.0 V6 engine, and a Cortina-based ‘bakkie’ or pick-up, which was exported to the UK. In the mid-1980s Ford merged with a rival company, owned by Anglo American, to form the South African Motor Corporation (Samcor).

Following international condemnation of apartheid, Ford divested from South Africa in 1988, and sold its stake in Samcor, although it licensed the use of its brand name to the company. Samcor began to assemble Mazdas as well, which affected its product line-up, and saw the European Fords like the Escort and Sierra replaced by the Mazda-based Laser and Telstar. Ford bought a 45 per cent stake in Samcor following the demise of apartheid in 1994, and this later became, once again, a wholly owned subsidiary, the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. Ford now sells a local sedan version of the Fiesta (also built in India and Mexico), and the Focus. The Falcon model from Australia was also sold in South Africa, but was dropped in 2003, while the Mondeo, after briefly being assembled locally, was dropped in 2005.

Products and services

Automobiles

The 2013 model year Lincoln MKS

Ford Motor Company sells a broad range of automobiles under the Ford marque worldwide, and an additional range of luxury automobiles under the Lincoln marque in the United States. The company has sold vehicles under a number of other marques during its history. The Mercury brand was introduced by Ford in 1939, continuing in production until 2011 when poor sales led to its discontinuation. In 1958, Ford introduced the Edsel brand, but poor sales led to its discontinuation in 1960. In 1985, the Merkur brand was introduced in the United States to market products produced by Ford of Europe; it was discontinued in 1989.

Ford acquired the British sports car maker Aston Martin in 1989, later selling it on March 12, 2007, although retaining an 8% stake. Ford purchased Volvo Cars of Sweden in 1999, selling it to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010. In November 2008, it reduced its 33.4% controlling interest in Mazda of Japan to a 13.4% non-controlling interest. On November 18, 2010, Ford reduced their stake further to just 3%, citing the reduction of ownership would allow greater flexibility to pursue growth in emerging markets. Ford and Mazda remain strategic partners through exchanges of technological information and joint ventures, including an American joint venture plant in Flat Rock, Michigan called Auto Alliance. Ford sold the United Kingdom-based Jaguar and Land Rover companies and brands to Tata Motors of India in March 2008.

Marque Country of origin Years used/owned Markets
Ford United States 1903–Present Global
Lincoln United States 1922–Present North America, Middle East
Mercury United States 1939 – 2011 North America, Middle East
Edsel United States 1958 – 1960 North America
Merkur United States 1985 – 1989 North America
Jaguar United Kingdom 1989 – 2008 Global
Aston Martin United Kingdom 1989 – 2007 Global
Volvo Sweden 1999 – 2010 Global
Land Rover United Kingdom 2000 – 2008 Global
Mazda Japan 1996 – 2010 Global
FPV Australia 2002 – 2014 Australia
Troller Brazil 2007–Present Brazil

Trucks

An advert for the 1939 Ford V-8 pick-up truck

An advert for the 1961 Ford H-Series truck

Ford has produced trucks since 1908, beginning with the Ford Model TT, followed by the Model AA, and the Model BB. Countries where Ford commercial vehicles are or were formerly produced include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada (also badged as Mercury), France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Philippines, Spain (badged Ebro too), Turkey, UK (badged also Fordson and Thames) and USA.

From the 1940s to late 1970s Ford’s Ford F-Series were used as the base for light trucks for the North American market.

Most of these ventures are now extinct. The European one that lasted longest was the lorries arm of Ford of Britain, which became part of the Iveco group in 1986. Ford had a minority share in the new company and Iveco took over sales and production of the Ford Cargo range. Ford’s last significant European truck models were the Transcontinental and the Cargo.

In the United States, Ford’s heavy trucks division (Classes 7 and 8) was sold in 1997 to Freightliner Trucks, which rebranded the lineup as Sterling. Freightliner is in the process of discontinuing this line.

Line of heavy trucks made by Ford for the North American market:

Ford continues to manufacture medium duty trucks under the F-650 and F-750 badges. In 2001, the company entered into a joint venture with Navistar International to produce medium and heavy duty commercial trucks. The first new model from the new corporation, known as Blue Diamond Truck Company LLC, was the 2006 model year LCF, the first Ford branded cab-over-engine design in the United States since Freightliner’s acquisition of the Cargo in the mid-1990s. The LCF was discontinued in 2009 and Ford’s 2011 medium and heavy-duty commercial offerings are limited to the two F-Series.

In 1999 the end of the F800 indicated Ford was no longer producing in any F-series heavy truck chassis.

In Europe, Ford manufactures the Ford Transit jumbo van which is classed as a Large Goods Vehicle and has a payload of up to 2,265 kg, there are options of a panel van, pickup or chassis cab. The Ford Transit is also available as a light van called the Ford Transit Connect and the Ford Ranger pickup is available.

Buses

A Ford B700 bus chassis, with a body by Thomas Built

Ford manufactured complete buses in the company’s early history, but today the role of the company has changed to that of a second stage manufacturer. In North America, the E-Series is still used as a chassis for small school buses and the F-650 is used in commercial bus markets. In the 1980s and 1990s, the medium-duty B700 was a popular chassis used by school bus body manufacturers including Thomas Built, Ward and Blue Bird, but Ford lost its market share due to industry contraction and agreements between body manufacturers. Older bus models included:

Prior to 1936, Ford buses were based on truck bodies:

  • Model B – 1930s
  • Model T – 1920s
  • F-105 school bus

A 1937 Ford Transit Bus in Seattle

In 1936, Ford introduced the Ford Transit Bus, a series of small transit buses with bodies built by a second party. Originally a front-engine design, it was modified to a rear-engine design in 1939. About 1,000 to 1,200 of the original design were built, and around 12,500 of the rear-engine design, which was in production until 1947 (rebranded as the Universal Bus in 1946).

Rear-engine Transit Bus chassis model numbers:

  • 09-B/19-B City transit bus – 1939–1941
  • 19-B/29-B City transit bus – 1941–1942
  • 49-B/79-B City transit bus – 1944–1947
  • 69-B City transit bus – 1946–1947
  • 29-B City transit bus – 1946–1947
  • 72-T transit bus – 1944–1945

After 1946 the Transit City bus was sold as the Universal Bus with the roof changed from fabric/wood to all-metal:

  • 79-B Universal transit bus – 1946–1947

Succeeding the Ford Transit Bus was the Ford 8M buses:

  • 8MB transit bus – with Wayne Works 1948–?

Following World War II and from 1950s onwards Ford lost out to General Motors. This led to the end of transit buses for Ford in North America.

  • B500 or B-series – 1950-1990s based on Ford F-series truck chassis used by school bus body manufacturers

In Europe, Ford manufactures the Ford Transit Minibus which is classed in Europe as a Passenger Carrying Vehicle and there are options of 12, 15 or 17 seaters. In the past European models included:

  • EM
  • N-138
  • D series buses (Australia)

Tractors

A Ford N series tractor

The “Henry Ford and Son Company” began making Fordson tractors in Henry’s hometown of Springwells (later part of Dearborn), Michigan from 1907 to 1928, from 1919 to 1932, at Cork, Ireland, and 1933–1964 at Dagenham, England, later transferred to Basildon. They were also produced in Leningrad beginning in 1924.

In 1986, Ford expanded its tractor business when it purchased the Sperry-New Holland skid-steer loader and hay baler, hay tools and implement company from Sperry Corporation and formed Ford-New Holland which bought out Versatile tractors in 1988. This company was bought by Fiat in 1993 and the name changed from Ford New Holland to New Holland. New Holland is now part of CNH Global.

Financial services

Ford offers automotive finance through Ford Motor Credit Company.

Automotive components

Ford’s FoMoCo parts division sells aftermarket parts under the Motorcraft brand name. It has spun off its parts division under the name Visteon.

Motorsport

Main article: Ford Racing

Along with Shelby and Chevrolet, Ford is one of only three American constructors to win titles on the international scene at the FIA World Championships. As a constructor, Ford won the World Sportscar Championship three times in 1966, 1967 and 1968, and theWorld Rally Championship three times in 1979, 2006 and 2007.

Stock car racing

NASCAR Ford Fusion race car

Ford is one of three manufacturers in NASCAR‘s three major series: Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series. Major teams include Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, and Richard Petty Motorsports. Ford is represented by the mid-size Fusion in the Sprint Cup, the Mustang in the Nationwide Series, and by the F-150 in the Camping World Truck Series. Some of the most successful NASCAR Fords were the aerodynamic fastback Ford Torino, Ford Torino Talladega, Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II, and Mercury Montegos, and the aero-era Ford Thunderbirds. The Ford nameplate has won eight manufacturer’s championships in Sprint Cup, while Mercury has won one. In the Sprint Cup Series, Ford earned its 1,000th victory in the 2013 Quicken Loans 400. The Ford Fusion is also used in the ARCA Remax Series. Ford had last won a drivers’ championship in the Cup Series with Kurt Busch in 2004.

Formula One

Ford was heavily involved in Formula One for many years, and supplied engines to a large number of teams from 1967 until 2004. These engines were designed and manufactured by Cosworth, the racing division that was owned by Ford from 1998 to 2004. Ford-badged engines won 176 Grands Prix between 1967 and 2003 for teams such as Team Lotus and McLaren. Ford entered Formula One as a constructor in 2000 under the Jaguar Racing name, after buying the Stewart Grand Prix team which had been its primary ‘works’ team in the series since 1997. Jaguar achieved little success in Formula One, and after a turbulent five seasons, Ford withdrew from the category after the 2004 season, selling both Jaguar Racing (which became Red Bull Racing) and Cosworth (to Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven).

Rally

Main article: Ford World Rally Team

Ford has a long history in rallying and has been active in the World Rally Championship since the beginning of the world championship, the 1973 season. Ford took the 1979 manufacturers’ title with Hannu Mikkola, Björn Waldegård and Ari Vatanen driving the Ford Escort RS1800. In the Group B era, Ford achieved success with Ford RS200. Since the 1999 season, Ford has used various versions of the Ford Focus WRC to much success. In the 2006 season, BP-Ford World Rally Team secured Ford its second manufacturers’ title, with the Focus RS WRC 06 built by M-Sport and driven by “Flying FinnsMarcus Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen. Continuing with Grönholm and Hirvonen, Ford successfully defended the manufacturers’ world championship in the 2007 season. Ford is the only manufacturer to score in the points for 92 consecutive races; since the 2002 season opener Monte Carlo Rally.

Sports cars

Main article: Ford GT § Racing

Ford sports cars have been visible in the world of sports car racing since 1964. Most notably the GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in the 1960s and is the only American car to ever win overall at this prestigious event. Ford also won the 1968 International Championship for Makes with the GT40, which still stands today as one of the all-time greatest racing cars. Swiss team Matech GT Racing, in collaboration with Ford Racing, opened a new chapter with the Ford GT, winning the Teams title in the 2008 FIA GT3 European Championship.

Ford Mustang GT (racing GT car)

The Ford Mustang has arguably been Ford’s most successful sports car. Jerry Titus won the 1965 SCCA Pro B National Championship with a Mustang and the model went on to earn Ford the SCCA Trans-Am Championshiptitle in both 1966 and 1967. Ford won the Trans-Am Championship again in 1970 with Parnelli Jones and George Follmer driving Boss 302 Mustangs for Bud Moore Engineering. Ford took the 1985 and 1986 IMSA GTO Championship with Mustangs driven by John Jones and Scott Pruett before returning to Trans-Am glory with a championship in 1989 with Dorsey Schroeder. Ford dominated Trans-Am in the 1990s with Tommy Kendalwinning championships in 1993, 1995, 1996, and 1997 with Paul Gentilozzi adding yet another title in 1999. In 2005 the Ford Mustang FR500C took the championship in the Rolex Koni Challenge Series in its first year on the circuit. In 2007 Ford added a victory in the GT4 European Championship. 2008 was the first year of the Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup, a series which pits a full field of identical factory built Ford Mustang race cars against each other. Also in 2008, Ford won the manufacturers championship in the Koni Challenge Series and HyperSport drivers Joe Foster and Steve Maxwell won the drivers title in a Mustang GT.

Touring cars

Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon V8 Supercar at Eastern Creek in Australia in 2008.

Ford has campaigned touring cars such as the Focus, Falcon, and Contour/Mondeo and the Sierra Cosworth in many different series throughout the years. Notably, Mondeo drivers finished 1,2,3 in the 2000 British Touring Car Championship and Falcon drivers placed 1,2,3 in the 2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Other

In the Indianapolis 500, Ford powered IndyCars won 17 times between 1965 and 1996. Ford has also branched out into drifting with the introduction of the new model Mustang. Most noticeable is the Turquoise and Blue Falken Tires Mustang driven by Vaughn Gittin Jr, A.K.A. “JR” with 750 RWHP (Rear Wheel Horsepower). In drag racing, John Force Racing drivers John Force, Tony Pedregon, and Robert Hight have piloted Ford Mustang Funny Cars to several NHRA titles in recent seasons. Teammates Tim Wilkerson and Bob Tasca III also drive Mustangs in Funny Car. Formula Ford, a formula for single-seater cars without wings and originally on road tires were conceived in 1966 in the UK as an entry-level formula for racing drivers. Many of today’s racing drivers started their car racing careers in this category.

Environmental initiatives

Compressed natural gas

The alternative fossil fuel vehicles, such as some versions of the Crown Victoria especially in fleet and taxi service, operate on compressed natural gas—or CNG. Some CNG vehicles have dual fuel tanks – one for gasoline, the other for CNG – the same engine can operate on either fuel via a selector switch.

Flexible fuel vehicles

The Ford Focus Flexifuel was the first E85 flexible fuel vehiclecommercially available in the European market.

Flexible fuel vehicles are designed to operate smoothly using a wide range of available ethanol fuel mixtures—from pure gasoline, to bioethanol-gasoline blends such as E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) or E100 (neathydrous ethanol) in Brazil. Part of the challenge of successful marketing alternative and flexible fuel vehicles in the U.S., is the general lack of establishment of sufficient fueling stations, which would be essential for these vehicles to be attractive to a wide range of consumers. Significant efforts to ramp up production and distribution of E85 fuels are underway and expanding. Current Ford E100 Flex sold in the Brazilian market are the Courier, Ford EcoSport, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and Ford Ka.

Electric drive vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles

Ford Escape plug-in hybrid test vehicle.

Mulally (second from left) with then-President George W. Bush at the Kansas City Assembly plant in Claycomo, Missouri on March 20, 2007,touting Ford’s new hybrid cars.

In 2004 Ford and Toyota agreed a patent sharing accord which granted Ford access to certain hybrid technology patented by Toyota; in exchange Ford licensed Toyota some of its own patents. In 2004 Ford introduced the Escape Hybrid. With this vehicle, Ford was third to the automotive market with a hybrid electric vehicle and the first hybrid electric SUV to market. This was also the first hybrid electric vehicle with a flexible fuel capability to run on E85. The Escape’s platform mate Mercury Mariner was also available with the hybrid-electric system in the 2006 model year—a full year ahead of schedule. The similar Mazda Tribute will also receive a hybrid-electric powertrain option, along with many other vehicles in the Ford vehicle line.

In 2005 Ford announced a goal to make 250,000 hybrids a year by 2010, but by mid-2006 announced that it would not meet that goal, due to excessively high costs and the lack of sufficient supplies of the hybrid-electric batteries and drivetrain system components.[92] Instead, Ford has committed to accelerating development of next-generation hybrid-electric power plants in Britain, in collaboration with Volvo. This engineering study is expected to yield more than 100 new hybrid-electric vehicle models and derivatives.

In September 2007 Ford announced a partnership with Southern California Edison (SCE) to examine how plug-in hybrids will work with the electrical grid. Under the multi-million-dollar, multi-year project, Ford will convert a demonstration fleet of Ford Escape Hybrids into plug-in hybrids, and SCE will evaluate how the vehicles might interact with the home and the utility’s electrical grid. Some of the vehicles will be evaluated “in typical customer settings”, according to Ford.

On June 12, 2008 USDOE expanded its own fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles with the addition of a Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid Flex-Fuel Vehicle. The vehicle is equipped with a 10-kilowatt (13 hp)lithium-ion battery supplied by Johnson Controls-Saft that stores enough electric energy to drive up to 30 miles (48 km) at speeds of up to 40 mph (64 km/h). In March 2009 Ford launched hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Mercury Milan Hybrid in the United States, both as 2010 models.

As of November 2014, Ford has produced for retail sales the following hybrid electric vehicles: Ford Escape Hybrid (2004–2012), Mercury Mariner Hybrid (2005–2010), Mercury Milan Hybrid (2009–2010), Ford Fusion Hybrid(2009–present), Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (20010–present), Ford C-Max Hybrid (2012–present), and Ford Mondeo Hybrid (2014–present). By June 2012 Ford had sold 200,000 full hybrids in the US since 2004, and, as of September 2014, the carmaker has sold over 344 thousand hybrids in the United States. The top selling hybrids in the U.S. market are the Fusion Hybrid with 127,572 units, followed by Escape Hybrid with 117,997 units, and the C-Max Hybrid with 54,236. As of November 2014, Ford is the world’s second largest manufacturer of hybrids after Toyota Motor Corporation, with 400,000 hybrid electric vehicles produced since their introduction in 2004.

Plug-in electric vehicles

As of October 2014, Ford has produced the following plug-in electric vehicles: the all-electric Ford Ranger EV (1997–2002), Ford TH!NK (1999–2003), Transit Connect (2010–2012), and Ford Focus Electric (December 2011–present); and the plug-in hybrids C-MAX Energi (October 2012–present) and the Fusion Energi (February 2013–present). Since the launch of the Focus Electric in 2011, Ford has sold 35,391 plug-in electric passenger vehicles through September 2014.

The Azure Transit Connect Electricwas produced between 2010 and 2012 as a collaboration between Azure Dynamics and Ford Motor Company

Bill Ford was one of the first top industry executives to make regular use of a battery electric vehicle, a Ford Ranger EV, while the company contracted with the United States Postal Service to deliver electric postal vans based on the Ranger EV platform. Ford discontinued a line of electric Ranger pickup trucks and ordered them destroyed, though it reversed in January 2005, after environmentalist protest. The all-electric pickup truck leased 205 units to individuals and 1,500 units to fleets in the U.S. from 1998 to 2002.

From 2009 to 2011 Ford offered the Ford TH!NK car. Ford ended production and ordered all the cars repossessed and destroyed, even as many of the people leasing them begged to be able to buy the cars from Ford. After outcry from the lessees and activists in the US and Norway, Ford returned the cars to Norway for sale. A total of 440 units were leased in the U.S. from 1999 until 2003.

The Azure Transit Connect Electric was an all-electric van developed as a collaboration between Azure Dynamics and Ford Motor Company, but Azure was the official manufacturer of record. The Transit Connect Electric had an official US Environmental Protection Agency all-electric range of 56 mi (90 km). The EPA rated the combined city/highway fuel economy at 62 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (3.8 L/100 km equivalent). Deliveries for fleet customers in the U.S. and Canada began in December 2010. Production of the electric van was stopped in March 2012 as a result of Azure’s bankruptcy protection filing. Ford continues to provide servicing. Around 500 units were sold before Azure stopped production.

The Ford Fusion Energi is a plug-in hybrid and shares its powertrain with the Ford C-Max Energi.

The Ford Focus Electric is based on the next generation Focus internal combustion vehicle, converted to an all-electric propulsion system as a production electric car by Magna International, and retail sales began in the U.S. in December 2011. The Focus Electric has an EPA rated range of 76 mi (122 km) and a combined city/highway fuel economy of 105 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (2.2 L/100 km). Available also in Canada and several European countries, a total of 3,965 units have been sold in the U.S. through September 2014.

The Ford C-Max Energi is a plug-in hybrid released in the U.S. in October 2012. The C-Max Energi has an EPA rated all-electric range of 20 mi (32 km) and a combined city/highway fuel economy in all-electric mode at 88MPG-e (2.7 L/100 km). U.S. sales totaled 16,014 units through September 2014. Deliveries of the Ford Fusion Energi began in the United States in February 2013. The Fusion Energi has an all-electric range of 20 mi (32 km) and an equivalent fuel economy EPA rating of 88 MPG-e (2.7 L/100 km). A total of 15,412 units have been delivered in the U.S. through September 2014. Both Energi models share the same powertrain technology, and have the same EPA combined city/highway fuel economy in hybrid operation of 38 mpg-US (6.2 L/100 km; 46 mpg-imp).

Hydrogen

Ford also continues to study Fuel Cell-powered electric powertrains, and has demonstrated hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine technologies, as well as developing the next-generation hybrid-electric systems. Compared with conventional vehicles, hybrid vehicles and/or fuel cell vehicles decrease air pollution emissions as well as sound levels, with favorable impacts upon respiratory health and decrease of noise health effects.

Ford has launched the production of hydrogen-powered shuttle buses, using hydrogen instead of gasoline in a standard internal combustion engine, for use at airports and convention centers. At the 2006 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford showcased a hydrogen fuel cell version of its Explorer SUV. The Fuel cell Explorer has a combined output of 174 hp (130 kW). It has a large hydrogen storage tank which is situated in the center of the car taking the original place of the conventional model’s automatic transmission. The centered position of the tank assists the vehicle reach a notable range of 350 miles (563 km), the farthest for a fuel cell vehicle so far. The fuel cell Explorer the first in a series of prototypes partly funded by the United States Department of Energyto expand efforts to determine the feasibility of hydrogen- powered vehicles. The fuel cell Explorer is one of several vehicles with green technology being featured at the L.A. show, including the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, PZEV emissions compliant Fusion and Focus models and a 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty outfitted with Ford’s clean diesel technology.

Increased fuel efficiency

Ford Motor Company announced it will accelerate its plans to produce more fuel-efficient cars, changing both its North American manufacturing plans and its lineup of vehicles available in the United States. In terms of North American manufacturing, the company will convert three existing truck and sport utility vehicle (SUV) plants for small car production, with the first conversion at its Michigan Truck Plant. In addition, Ford’s assembly plants near Mexico City, Mexico, and in Louisville, Kentucky, will convert from pickups and SUVs to small cars, including the Ford Fiesta, by 2011. Ford will also introduce to North America six of its European small vehicles, including two versions of the Ford Fiesta, by the end of 2012. And last but not least, Ford is stepping up its production of fuel-efficient “EcoBoost” V-6 and four-cylinder engines, while increasing its production of hybrid vehicles.

Ford of Europe developed the ECOnetic programme to address the market and legislative need for higher fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. As opposed to the hybrid engine technology used in competitor products such as the Toyota Prius, ECOnetic improves existing technology. Using lower consuming Duratorq TDCi diesel engines, and based on a combination of improved aerodynamics, lower resistance and improved efficiency, the Ford Fiesta is currently the lowest emitting mass-produced car in Europe, while the 2012 Ford Focus ECOnetic will have better fuel consumption than the Prius or the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion. ECOnetic is not presently planned to be sold in North American due to current perceived lower consumer demand.

Ford has challenged University teams to create a vehicle that is simple, durable, lightweight and come equipped with a base target price of only $7,000. The students from Aachen University created the “2015 Ford Model T“.

In 2000, under the leadership of the current Ford chairman, William Clay Ford, the Company announced a planned 25 percent improvement in the average mileage of its light truck fleet – including its popular SUVs – to be completed by the 2005 calendar year. In 2003, Ford announced that competitive market conditions and technological and cost challenges would prevent the company from achieving this goal.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have, however, listed Ford as the seventh-worst corporate producer of air pollution, primarily because of the manganese compounds, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, and glycol ethers released from its casting, truck, and assembly plants. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has linked Ford to 54 Superfund toxic waste sites, twelve of which have been cleaned up and deleted from the list.

For the 2007 model year, Ford had thirteen U.S. models that achieve 30 miles per gallon or better (based on the highway fuel economy estimates of the EPA) and several of Ford’s vehicles were recognized in the EPA and Department of Energy Fuel Economy Guide for best-in-class fuel economy. Ford claimed to have eliminated nearly three million pounds of smog-forming emissions from their U.S. cars and light trucks over the 2004 to 2006 model years.

PC power management

On March 2010, Ford announced its PC power management system which it developed with NightWatchman software from 1E. The company is expected to save $1.2m on power cost and reduce carbon footprint by an estimated 16,000 to 25,000 metric tons annually when the system is fully implemented.

PC power management is being rolled out to all Ford computer users in US this month and it will be used in Ford operations around the world later in the year. Computers with this power profile enabled will monitor its usage patterns and decides when it can be turned off. PC user will be alerted of the approaching power down time and given the opportunity to delay it.

According to company reduction in carbon footprint and power cost will be achieved by developing ‘Power Profiles’ for every PC in the company.

Sponsorships

Ford sponsors numerous events and sports facilities around the US, most notably the Ford Center in downtown Evansville, Indiana, and Ford Field in downtown Detroit.

Ford has also been a major sponsor of the UEFA Champions League for over two decades and is also a longtime sponsor of the Sky media channel’s coverage of Premier League football. Senior Ford marketer Mark Jones explained in May 2013 the process behind the two sponsorship deals:

We start with a blank piece of paper and work out if the sponsorship still works for us and ask does it meet our objectives? We want to find a moment in time when people come together and have a collective experience and we achieve this through the sponsorships.

Sales numbers

Calendar Year US sales
1999 4,163,369
2000 4,202,820
2001 3,971,364
2002 3,623,709
2003 3,483,719
2004 3,331,676
2005 3,153,875
2006 2,901,090
2007 2,507,366
2008 1,988,376
2009 1,620,888
2010 1,935,462
2011 2,143,101
2012 2,250,165
2013 2,493,918
2014 2,480,942

See also