ELVA Automobiles

1966 Elva Courier - A British Sports Car Blog

1962 Elva Logo

Elva (car manufacturer) Bexhill, Hastings and Rye, East Sussex, England, UK

elva header

Elva Engineering Co Ltd
British Sports and racing car manufacturer
Industry Automobiles
Founded 1955
Founder Frank G. Nichols
Headquarters Bexhill, Sussex, England, UK
Products Elva racing cars
Elva Courier

Elva was a sports and racing car manufacturing company based in Bexhill, then Hastings and Rye, East Sussex, United Kingdom. The company was founded in 1955 by Frank G. Nichols. The name comes from the French phrase elle va (“she goes”).

Racing cars

1957 Elva MkII sn 100-49 Bahamas

 Late Elva Mk IIa (#100/49, 1957), a transition model which shares much of the Mk III’s design

Frank Nichols’s intention was to build a low-cost sports/racing car, and a series of models were produced between 1954 and 1959. The original model, based on the CSM car built nearby in Hastings by Mike Chapman, used Standard Ten front suspension rather than Ford swing axles, and a Ford Anglia rear axle with an overhead-valve-conversion of a Ford 10 engine. About 25 were made. While awaiting delivery of the CSM, Nichols finished second in a handicap race at Goodwood on March 27, 1954, driving a Lotus. “From racing a Ford-engined CSM sports car in 1954, just for fun but nevertheless with great success, Frank Nichols has become a component manufacturer. The intermediate stage was concerned with the design of a special head, tried in the CSM and the introduction of the Elva car which was raced with success in 1955.” The cylinder head for the 1,172 c.c. Ford engine, devised by Malcolm Witts and Harry Weslake, featured overhead inlet valves.

On May 22, 1955 Robbie Mackenzie-Low climbed Prescott in the sports Elva to set the class record at 51.14 sec. Mackenzie-Low also won the Bodiam Hill Climb outright at the end of the season.

The 1956 Elva MK II works prototype, registered KDY 68, was fitted with a Falcon all-enveloping fibreglass bodyshell. Nichols developed the Elva Mk II from lessons learnt in racing the prototype: “That car was driven in 1956 races by Archie Scott Brown, Stuart Lewis-Evans and others.” The Elva Mk II appeared in 1957: “Main differences from the Mark I are in the use of a De Dion rear axle as on the prototype, but with new location, inboard rear brakes, lengthened wheelbase, and lighter chassis frame.” The car was offered as standard with 1,100 c.c. Coventry-Climax engine. This went through various changes up to the Mark IV of 1958.

Elva BMW Mallory Park

 Elva BMW Mk VIII.

Carl Haas, from Chicago, was Elva agent in the midwest of the United States from the mid-fifties through the nineteen sixties. In 1958 he was invited to England to drive an Elva in the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood, where he finished twelfth overall. With the Mark IV: “The major change is an all-new independent rear suspension utilizing low-pivot swing axles. The body is entirely new with close attention to aerodynamics and a reduced frontal area.” At the Sebring 12 Hours sports car race in 1959 the #48 Elva Mark IV driven by Frank Baptista, Art Tweedale and Charley Wallace finished first in Class G, and 19th overall.

On June 21, 1959, Arthur Tweedale and Bob Davis won the Marlboro Six Hour Endurance Race in Maryland driving the #37 Elva Mk IV. Arthur Tweedale repeated the win in the Marlboro Six Hours in 1960. Teamed with Ed Costley he covered 337.75 miles in an Elva Mk V sports car. This was the final iteration of the Elva front-engined sports racing car. The last Mk V chassis won a number of important races in the midwest driven by Dick Buedingen, including the 1961 Elkhart Lake 500 teamed with Carl Haas. At this time Elva Cars Limited was operating from premises at Sedlescombe Road North, Hastings, Sussex, England.

1960 Elva 100 Formula Junior

 Elva FJ 100
1960 Elva 200 Formule Junior

 Elva FJ 200

Elva produced a single-seater car for Formula Junior events, the FJ 100, initially supplied with a front-mounted B.M.C. ‘A’ series engine in a tubular steel chassis. “ELVA CARS, Ltd., new Formula Junior powered by an untuned BMC ‘A’ Series 948cc engine. Price of this 970 lb. car is $2,725 in England. Wheelbase: 84″, tread: 48″, brake lining area: 163″ sq. The 15″ wheels are cast magnesium. Independent suspension front and rear with transverse wishbones, coil springs, and telescopic shock absorbers. The car is 12 feet, four inches long.” Bill de Selincourt won a race at Cadours, France, in an Elva-B.M.C. FJ on September 6, 1959. Nichols switched to a two-stroke DKW engine supplied by Gerhard Mitter. In 1959 Peter Arundell won the John Davy Trophy at the Boxing Day Brands Hatch meeting driving an Elva-D.K.W. “Orders poured in for the Elva but when the 1960 season commenced Lotus and Cooper had things under control and disillusioned Elva owners watched the rear-engined car disappearing round corners, knowing they had backed the wrong horse.”  Sporadic success continued for Elva in the early part of that year, with Jim Hall winning at Sebring and Loyer at Montlhéry.

Elva produced a rear-engined FJ car, with B.M.C. engine, at the end of the 1960 season. Chuck Dietrich finished third at Silverstone in the BRDC British Empire Trophy race on October 1. In 1961 “an entirely new and rather experimental Elva-Ford” FJ-car debuted at Goodwood, making fastest lap, driven by Chris Meek.

After financial problems caused by the failure of the US distributor, Frank Nichols started a new company in Rye, Sussex in 1961 to continue building racing cars. The Elva Mk VI rear-engined sports car, with 1,100 c.c. Coventry Climax power, made its competition debut at Brands Hatch on Boxing Day, 1961, driven by Chris Ashmore, finishing second to the 3-litre Ferrari of Graham Hill. The car was designed by Keith Marsden.

On September 8, 1963, Bill Wuesthoff and Augie Pabst won the Road America 500, round 7 of the United States Road Racing Championship, at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin driving an Elva Mk.7-Porsche. “The Elva-Porsche is based on the Mark VII Elva, but redesigned aft of the front section to take the 1,700 c.c. Porsche air-cooled flat-four unit and its horizontal cooling fan.”

Edgar Barth won the opening round of the European Hill Climb Championship on June 7, 1964, at Rossfeld in southern Germany in an Elva-Porsche flat-8 sports car. The cars were placed throughout the seven-round series with Herbert Muller winning at the final round at Sierre Montana Crans in Switzerland on August 30, 1964.

Around 1964-1966 Elva made a very successful series of Mk 8 sports racers mostly with 1.8 litre BMW engines (modified from the 1.6 litre by Nerus) and some with 1.15 litre Holbay-Ford engines. The Mk8 had a longer wheelbase and wider track compared to the Mk7, which was known for difficult handling due to a 70-30 weight bias to the rear. Following the success of the McLaren in sportscar racing, Elva became involved in producing cars for sale to customers:

“Later a tie-up with Elva and the Trojan Group was arranged and they took over the manufacture of the McLaren sports/racer, under the name McLaren-Elva-Oldsmobile.”

At the 1966 Racing Car Show, held in London in January, Elva exhibited two sports racing cars – the McLaren-Elva Mk.II V8 and the Elva-BMW Mk. VIIIS. The McLaren-Elva was offered with the option of Oldsmobile, Chevrolet or Ford V8 engines. The Elva-BMW Mk. VIIIS was fitted with a rear-mounted BMW 2-litre four-cylinder O.H.C. engine.

Luki Botha campaigned an Elva-Porsche in southern Africa from 1966.

Elva Courier

Elva Courier
1967 Elva Courier
Overview
Manufacturer Elva
Production 1958-1969
500 approx made
Body and chassis
Class sports car
Body style 2-door convertible
2-door coupe
Dimensions
Wheelbase 90 in (2,286 mm)
Length 154 in (3,912 mm)
Width 60 in (1,524 mm)

The main road car, introduced in 1958, was called the Courier and went through a series of developments throughout the existence of the company. Initially all the cars were exported, home market sales not starting until 1960. Mark Donohue had his first racing successes in an Elva Courier winning the SCCA F Prod Championship in 1960 and the SCCA E Prod Championship in 1961.

The Mk 1 used a 1500 cc MGA or Riley 1.5 litre engine in a ladder chassis with Elva designed independent front suspension. The engine was set well back in the chassis to help weight distribution, which produced good handling but encroached on the cockpit making the car a little cramped. The chassis carried lightweight 2-seater open glassfibre bodywork. It was produced as a complete car for the US and European market and available in kit form for the UK market. After about 50 cars were made it was upgraded to the Mk II which was the same car but fitted with a proprietary curved glass windscreen, replacing the original flat-glass split type, and the larger 1600 cc MGA engine. Approximately 400 of the Mk I and II were made.

The rights to the Elva Courier were acquired by Trojan in 1962, and production moved to the main Trojan factory in Purley Way, Croydon, Surrey. Competition Press announced: “Elva Courier manufacturing rights have been sold to Lambretta-Trojan in England. F-Jr Elva and Mark IV sports cars will continue to be built by Frank Nichols as in the past.”

With the Trojan takeover the Mk III was introduced in 1962 and was sold as a complete car. On the home market a complete car cost £965 or the kit version £716. The chassis was now a box frame moulded into the body. Triumph rack and pinion steering and front suspension was standardised. A closed coupé body was also available with either a reverse slope Ford Anglia-type rear window or a fastback. In autumn 1962: “Elva Courier Mk IV was shown at London Show. New coupe has all-independent suspension, fiberglass body, MG engine. Mk III Couriers were also shown. Though previously equipped with MG-A engines, new versions will be equipped with 1800cc MG-B engine.” Later the Ford Cortina GT unit was available. The final version, the fixed head coupé Mk IV T type used Lotus twin-cam engines with the body modified to give more interior room. It could be had with all independent suspension and four wheel disc brakes. 210 were made.

Ken Sheppard Customised Sports Cars of Shenley, Hertfordshire acquired the Elva Courier from Trojan in 1965 but production ended in 1968.

GT160

GT160
2009 Elva 160 beim Oldtimer-Grand-Prix am Nürburgring
Overview
Manufacturer Elva
Production 1964
Body and chassis
Class sports car
Dimensions
Wheelbase 93 in (2,362 mm)
Length 150 in (3,810 mm)
Width 60 in (1,524 mm)

There was also a GT160 which never got beyond production of three prototypes. It used a BMW dry sump engine of 2 litre capacity with bodywork styled by Englishman Trevor Frost (also known as Trevor Fiore, and who also designed the Trident) and made by Fissore of Turin. It weighed 11 long hundredweight (559 kg) and had 185 bhp (138 kW; 188 PS) so would have had very impressive performance but was deemed too costly to put into series production. The car was shown at the London Motor Show in 1964. One of the cars was purchased by Richard Wrottesley and entered in the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans. Co-driven by Tony Lanfranchi, the car retired early in the race.

IMGP6080

An Elva GT160 at the 2014 Le Mans Classic

 Other ELVA’s from my collection after searching the WWW.

1955 elva-logo1955-05 elva jubilee race1956 Elva Climax MK II Prototype b1956 Elva Climax MK II Prototype, Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival 20131956 Elva Climax MK II Prototype1956 Elva MkII Race Car1956 elvalogo1957 Elva Mark-II Bobtail Sports Racing Car race reto wallpaper background1957 Elva MkII sn 100-49 Bahamas1957 elva-logo-11958 Charles Kurtz in his Elva MK II (#77) at Sebring, 1958, on cover of SCCA magazine1958 Elva Front Engineers1958 Elva Mark III Sports1958 Elva MK III HMSMW1958 Elva mk3 sports car1958 Elva Mk31958 Rip Ripley's Elva MK IIb at Sebring Bob Engberg Ripley Elva 2B21959 134 Elva Mk.IV1959 Elva 100 Formula Junior 410 bl1959 Elva 100 Formula Junior c1959 Elva 100 Formula Junior1959 Elva 100 g1959 Elva 100a1959 Elva 200 FJ1959 Elva Courier – Driver Stevan Dana1959 Elva courier1959 Elva Formula Junior black1959 Elva Mk V Climax sports-racer1959 Elva MK V Sports Racing Car1960 Elva 100 Formula Junior1960 Elva 200 Formule Junior1960 Elva Courier of Ian McDonald1960 Elva Courier1960 Logo ELVA British Sports and racing car manufacturer1961 Elva Courier Roadster1961 elva1962 Elva coupe1962 Elva Courier Mk III Fixed Head Coupe ( Elva Cars)1962 Elva HR ad1962 Elva Logo1962 Elva Mk.6 Maserati1962 Elva Mk1 CSE0146 infineon-hist-5-081962 Elva oct ad1962 elvacourier-01-02 ad1962 logo silver1963 Elva Courier Racer1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer, Bonhams, Monaco1963 Elva MkVII Race Car, Number 391963 Elva t-type1964 Elva Bmw 160 GT1964 elva bmw 1601964 Elva bmw a1964 Elva Cars Courier Mk 4-T1964 Elva Courier Coupe Cabrio a1964 Elva Courier Coupe Cabrio b1964 Elva GT 160 and a 1962 Morgan +4IMGP60801964 Elva gt1964 Elva GT160 LM1964 Elva gt160 london1964 Elva mk41964 Elva mk-IV ad1964 Elva Porsche (Chassis P70-032) Elva-76-Augusta11964 Elva Porsche MkVIIA1964 Elva-GT160-21964 Elva-GT160-31964 elva-mk-vii-car-hd1964 Porsche Elva Mark VIIS SL-06 RH-011965 Elva BMW 751965 Elva Courier c1965 Elva courier mark IV ad1965 Elva Mk8 - Serial # 80-05 -BMW M10  220BHP  8,000rpm  1,100lbs1965 Elva MK8 Sports Racer1965 Elva Mk8 storyboard1965 Elva Porsche in 1979 - Mk VII model1965 Elva Porsche race car1965 Jonathan Loader chases Sean Kukula, both in Elva Courier Mk4Ts. Anyone got a decent1965 logo1965 McLaren - Elva M1A Loud Chevy V8 Sound1965 McLaren Elva M1A Sports Racing Car1966 Elva Courier - A British Sports Car Blog1966 Elva Courier front-side view1966 Elva courier mk IV s typ t1966 elva courier-02-171966 Elva Courier-BB1966 Elva MK8 901966 Elva Mk8 SR CSRG David Love Memorial Vintage Car Road Races 20151966 McLaren - ELVA M1A - Group 7 car. Elvis Presley drove this car in 19661967 Elva Courier1967 Elva t-type1968 McLaren Elva Mark III Can-Am Las Vegas 19681969 McLaren Elva Mark III Can-Am Michigan2009 Elva 160 beim Oldtimer-Grand-Prix am Nürburgring2014 58 TomDavis ElvaCourier CP Indy2014AMT McLaren-Elva #4022-1elva 1 (1)elva 1Elva AustinElva BMW Mallory ParkElva BMW Mk-7elva bookElva Courier-Coupe-WiesenElva GT160 - chassis #70 GT3elva headerElva Mk IV Wilmot Hills race trackElva Mk VII S op Zandvoort aElva Mk VII S op ZandvoortElva Mk.6 1300cc AlfaElva MK5 Sports 27Elva MkIII YURElva Porsche Mk 7 P Nurburg12Elva Team Morris Commercial 1Elva tek1elva

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Elva1 Early Fordson dropside pickup used by Elva carselva2elva3 s1-13Elva-Climax Mk III Sports Racer of doc Wyllie classic car portrait printGraham Hill driving an Oldsmobile powered McLaren Elva Mk.1Ike Eichelberger’s Elva-Porschelogo tyresMcLaren-Elva kit

That’s it

ELVA Race Cars on Facebook

Other companies

There was another Elva car company that lasted for one year, 1907, and was based in Paris, France.

See also

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

SMIT Buses Joure Friesland The Netherlands 1921-1999

Smit Joure

 1964 ZWH-bus 75, Scania-Vabis-Smit JoureZWH-bus 75, Scania-Vabis/Smit Joure, uit 1964

1968 LAB-bus 17, DAF-Smit Joure

 LAB-bus 17, DAF/Smit Joure, uit 1968
Smit Orion Scania bus
Smit Orion touringcar in Oekraïne
Smit DAF Mercurius 3
 Smit Daf Mercurius

Smit Joure te Joure was een Nederlands bedrijf dat van 1921 tot 1999 carrosserieën voor autobussen en andere bedrijfswagens heeft vervaardigd. Er heeft nooit een relatie bestaan met de vroegere busbouwer Smit Appingedam.

Geschiedenis

Eerste jaren

Smit’s Rijtuig- en Wagenmakerij in Joure werd gesticht in 1917 door Jan Alexander Smit, die het failliete bedrijf van een familielid overnam. Aanvankelijk hield Smit zich vooral bezig met het vervaardigen en verkopen van houten boerenkarren en bakfietsen. In 1921 werd ook de bouw van carrosserieën voor automobielen ter hand genomen en dankzij de uitbreiding met een smederij werd het vanaf 1926 mogelijk ook opleggersen aanhangwagens te gaan bouwen. Door de handel in wagenwielen, een omvangrijke nevenactiviteit, kwam eigenaar Smit in de streek bekend te staan als “Jan Wiel”.

Het bedrijf breidde zich gestaag uit en had in 1937, toen de naam werd gewijzigd in Smit’s Wagen- en Carrosseriefabriek, een grote klantenkring inFriesland en daarbuiten opgebouwd. Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog moest Smit noodgedwongen terugvallen op de handel in niet-gemotoriseerde voertuigen, zoals tot boerenwagen verbouwde vrachtwagens, maar ook werden gasgeneratoren vervaardigd.

Na de oorlog

Na de bevrijding werd begonnen met de fabricage van verhuiswagens, cabines voor vrachtwagens (op chassis van onder meer Kromhout) en ‘dental cars’ (rijdende tandartsspreekkamers). De eerste “echte” autobus bouwde Smit in 1948. Dit werd gaandeweg de belangrijkste activiteit. Daarnaast werden grote orders ontvangen van de Koninklijke Landmacht en de Koninklijke Luchtmacht, waardoor een nieuwe fabriek nodig was, die in 1951 werd geopend. Smit was nu in staat steeds grotere aantallen buscarrosserieën te bouwen, op allerlei chassismerken, maar vooralBedford en DAF.

Ook de vormgeving maakte in de jaren vijftig een snelle ontwikkeling door, waarbij karakteristieke Smit Joure-modellen ontstonden met namen alsRoyal Coach en Victoria Coach. Dankzij een grote order van een Zweedse reisorganisatie was Smit aan het eind van de jaren vijftig de grootste exporteur van touringcars in Nederland. Daarnaast zijn de Friese streekvervoerders LAB en ZWH altijd goede klanten geweest.

DAF SMIT nashultabolagen ESKILSTUNA d-800 SWEDEN DAF SMIT nashultabolagen ESKILSTUNA dom-450 SWEDEN1958 DAF SMIT nashultabolagen ESKILSTUNA dom-450 SWEDEN

De grootste doorbraak kwam in 1960 met het type Eldorado, dat tien jaar in productie is gebleven en waarvan de vormgeving, met grote gebogen panoramische zijruiten, opzien baarde. De Duitse fabrikant Gottlob Auwärter – producent van de met soortgelijke ruiten uitgeruste Neoplan bussen – beschuldigde Smit van plagiaat, maar verloor de rechtszaak. In samenwerking met diverse fabrikanten, maar vooral DAF die diverse chassistypen kon leveren, werden er meer dan 650 Eldorado’s gebouwd.

In de jaren zeventig voerde Smit een verregaande stroomlijning door in het productieproces, waarbij steeds meer bussen in serie werden gebouwd. De samenwerking met DAF werd geïntensiveerd, maar daarnaast werden ook Magirus-Deutz bussen opgebouwd. De opvolger van de Eldorado, de Comfortliner, werd op zijn beurt weer opgevolgd door de Euroliner en de met een verhoogde carrosserie uitgeruste Eurohiliner. Een geheel nieuw model had in 1983 de Smit Orion Liner, die in vele soorten en maten kon worden geleverd, met varianten als de Orion Highliner en de Mercurius.

Ook succes had Smit met de bouw van rijdende winkels, eerst op basis van Citroën HY-techniek, later o.a. de bekende SRV-wagens. Hiervoor werd een aparte fabriekshal gebouwd.

Einde

Smit had nog steeds een groot deel van de touringcarmarkt in handen, als fabrikant en ook als wereldwijd handelaar, maar om te kunnen overleven in een veranderende markt, waarbij ook steeds hogere eisen werden gesteld aan het productieproces, werd aansluiting gezocht bij DAF Bus. Dat kocht Smit Joure in 1996, waarna de leiding werd overgenomen door de VDL Groep, eigenaar van DAF Bus. Kort nadat in 1998 nog het nieuwe model Smit Stratos was geïntroduceerd, werd de productie overgebracht naar de Berkhof-vestigingen in Valkenswaard en Heerenveen. Deze laatste was de opvolger van carrosseriefabriek Hainje, die in Friesland altijd Smit’s grote concurrent was geweest. Daarmee kwam in 1999 een einde aan de activiteiten van Smit Joure.

FCB

Uit de as van Smit richtte een aantal oud-medewerkers in mei 2001 het carrosserie- en wagenbouwbedrijf FCB (Friesland Coach Builders) op. Dit voert reparatie-en onderhoudswerkzaamheden uit, aanvankelijk vooral aan Smit-bussen, maar inmiddels aan bussen van allerlei producenten. Men wilde ook nieuwe bussen bouwen, maar vanwege het beperkte budget is dat niet van de grond gekomen.

Museumbussen

1964 DAF B1100, Dutch licence registration XB-79-76 P Kapitein Schagen

DAF B1100 Smit Eldorado uit 1964 van Kapitein te Schagen

Omdat Smit Joure tot laat in de jaren negentig nog bussen gebouwd heeft, zijn nog regelmatig producten van deze fabriek op de weg aan te treffen. Drie echte oldtimers zijn bewaard gebleven, alle drie van het model Smit Eldorado:

  • In de collectie van het Nationaal Bus Museum in Hoogezand bevindt zich de vroegere LAB-bus 17, een DAF B1300 uit 1968.
  • Touringcarbedrijf Kapitein, nu automuseum, te Schagen beschikt over een DAF B1100 uit 1964.
  • Touringcarbedrijf Bergerhof te Mierlo bewaart een DAF MB200 uit 1966.

1946 White LAB Smit Joure B-31746 1946 White LAB Smit Joure B-31746a

1946White Smit Joure

1947 B-6887 Jan Smit, Joure, gemeente Haskerland. Afgegeven 16-8-1923

1947 Daf Smit

1950 Ford V8 Frankrijk carr. Smit Joure B-3927 1954 Austin CXD, carrosserie Smit, Joure. Bouwjaar 1954 B-7164 Nederland 1954 B-7164 Austin CXD with rather flamboyant body by Smit of Joure 1956 Bus-10-Smit-Apingedam-uit-1956-1 1956 Bus-14-Smit-Joure-1 1956 DAF B1300 - Smit Appingedam-Moorman 5 1956 Daf carr.Smit Appingedam Moorman 5 1956 Daf, B1300 P468 Smit Appingedam 1958 DAF SMIT nashultabolagen ESKILSTUNA d-800 SWEDEN 1958 DAF SMIT nashultabolagen ESKILSTUNA dom-450 SWEDEN 1959 Cadillac.Fleetwood.AD5957.SmitJoure.DeVriesAssen.ext.bw 1959 DAF B1500 DL580 Smit Starreveld Zaandam TB-35-42 1959 Volvo B615-Smit Joure tourwagen met 49 zitp Schutte 1960 Ford-transit met een tweede karrosserie van Smit-Joure 1961 Volvo B615-Smit Joure met 47 zitplaatsen Schutte31 1962 Büssing White Cars Heerlensmit-70 1964 DAF B1100, Dutch licence registration XB-79-76 P Kapitein Schagen 1964 OM Tigrotto-Smit Joure nr.2, in 1972 vernummerd in 25 1964 ZWH-bus 75, Scania-Vabis-Smit Joure 1965 23 DAF Smit Joure 1965 DAF TB 160 DD 530, 6 cylinder, 83kW Smit 1965 DAF-bus DAM 154 met carrosserie van Smit Appingedam. 1966 DAF TB160DD530 met een carrosserie van Smit Appingedam gado155exdamtegroningenqy8 1966 Mignon 25 DAF Smit Joure ex Labeto 51 1967 DAF Smit Joure Ex Mignon. 27 1967 VOLVO SMIT ARKE 7 1968 LAB-bus 17, DAF-Smit Joure 1971 lindbergh 25 Fiat Smit garage waterland 1973 DAF Arke DAF+Smit 1977 DAF 1602DH605+Smit, te Doetinchem 1978 1988 SMIT Orion (RAI) (2) 1988 SMIT Orion (RAI) 1989 SMIT 'Riet ter GB-33-89' 1990 SMIT Orion Economy (6-11-120) 1996 SMIT ORION (1) RAI 1996 SMIT ORION (2) RAI 1996 SMIT ORION (3) RAI Arke-Smit-DAF (PR Smit) AUSTIN SMIT JOURE TRAVO 4 TS-72-09 Bus-14-Smit-Joure-2 DAF B1300 - Smit Appingedam-Moorman 5 DAF B1300 - Smit Appingedam-Moorman 5a DAF smit 6 AB-59-69 DAF SMIT 126-3-ret-tours DAF SMIT ARKE 2 ZN-75-44 DAF SMIT ARKE 15 UB-92-21 DAF Smit Joure esa 147 DAF Smit Joure esa 150 DAF SMIT JOURE GEBR. ZOET ELBURG BB-BD-75 DAF SMIT JOURE KOOPMANS-JUBBEGA 2 PB-70-08 DAF SMIT JOURE OORTWIJN 22 OUDE PEKELA ZB-89-71 DAF SMIT JOURE OORTWIJN 26 ALMELO DS-90-02 DAF SMIT JOURE RTM 89 AB-01-56 DAF SMIT JOURE SMIT 17 82-ZB-38 DAF SMIT JOURE TER-RIET 11 BUSSUMS BLOEI VN-39-96 DAF SMIT LABO 7 ZB-75-92 DAF SMIT NAM 6 BD-LV-55 a DAF SMIT NAM 6 BD-LV-55 DAF SMIT ONOG 76 VB-74-DK DAF SMIT VAN HEMPEN 24 BG-ZR-31 ESA 95 DAF B1527 Smit Appingedam (Ex Veenstra ) ESA 100-1. Mercedes Benz. OP 3500 Smit Appingedam gado154exdam154tegroninvv9 Lindbergh bus 25 Smit Joure Muijs 120 ex ESA 158133-2 DAF SB3000-DKSB585L Smit Joure novio 800 smit-joure-daf-sb225 VT-20-HT Scania Vabis Carros. SMIT Joure Ned

Scania Vabis CarrosSeriefabriek Smit NV Joure

smit 6 Smit DAF Mercurius 3 Smit Euroliner+DAF (1) Smit Eurolioner+DAF (2) SMIT JOURE 101 ESA149 arch JHarmsen 1DAF SB1600 DS 470 ESA SMIT Joure 102 ESA150 voor gemeentehuis Marum arch JHarmsen 2150 DAF SB1600-DS 605 ESA. SMIT JOURE SCHUTTE 4 ZWOLLE PB-10-13

Ford Smit Joure

Smit Jupiter+DAF (Coll_BT) SMIT KLEIS 15 COEVORDEN VB-73-60 SMIT Orion (4) Immage Smit Orion Scania bus SMIT SCHUTTE 15 UB-11-34 smit-60 smit-joure scania-vabis FH-30-02 smit-joure-daf VOLVO SMIT ARKE 3 UB-15-97 VOLVO SMIT CLUB CONTINENTAL

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Buses bodybuilders KUSTERS + LEMMENS The Netherlands

KUSTERS & LEMMENS

Kusters logo

VENLO & EINDHOVEN

Lemmens a

KUSTERS BERKHOF

1938 Kusters Venlo

VDL KUSTERS

VDL Bus Venlo

 VDL Bus Venlo (voorheen VDL Kusters) produceert mini- & midibussen voor tour- en openbaar vervoer, politievoertuigen, taxibussen, luchthavenvervoer en speciaal vervoer zoals bussen voor gehandicaptenvervoer en VIP-bussen in alle mogelijke uitvoeringen. Het bedrijf is tevens gespecialiseerd in de reparatie van autoschade aan personen- en bedrijfswagens.

Kusters werd opgericht in juli 1921 als koetsenfabriek aan de Zuidsingel te Venlo. Later werden dit houten carrosserieën voor bussen ten behoeve van het vervoer van mijnwerkers. Na het sluiten van de mijnen moest dit bedrijf zich aanpassen aan de markt. Het bedrijf heeft zich in de loop der jaren gespecialiseerd in het ombouwen en inrichten van mini- en midibussen van 8 tot 30 personen en voert bovendien schadeherstel uit.In 1992 werd Kusters overgenomen door de Berkhof Groep, dat in 1998 werd overgenomen door de VDL Groep. Sinds 2005 is het onderdeel van de busdivisie VDL Bus & Coach. De merknaam Kusters is in 2010 verdwenen en vervangen door het merk VDL.

Producten

VDL Mercedes Benz BusVDL Kusters Midcity

VDL Mercedes Benz Kusters Parade

1934 Ford V8 - Kusters & Lemmens  BBA 63 Autobus SVA 63 erfg  1934 Ford V8 – Kusters & Lemmens BBA 63 Autobus SVA 63 erf