Ford is one of the best-known automobile badges on the road, and they have been a favourite among motorists around the world for over a century. But how much do you really know about this iconic motoring brand? Check your knowledge with our latest article.
1. A family-owned concern
You may know that the Ford Motor Company was once a family-owned business – but did you know it still is to this day. In fact, direct descendants of Henry Ford himself still retain a 40% controlling share in the company, which with annual revenue in excess of $127 billion currently makes it the fifth largest family-owned company in the world (its highest ever ranking was second).
2. Driven by doctors
The very first Ford sold – a “Model A” with a 2-cylinder engine that could reach a max speed of 30 mph – was sold to Dr Pfennig in 1903, for a grand total of $850. It is now owned by Ford’s current CEO, William Clay Ford, Jr.
3. The first global car
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.
4. A pioneer of Recycled materials
Henry Ford used wood scraps from the production of Model Ts to make charcoal briquettes. Originally named Ford Charcoal, scrap wood was distilled at the Iron Mountain plant for its wood chemicals, including methanol (wood alcohol), with the end by-product being lump charcoal. This lump charcoal was modified, pressed into briquettes and mass-marketed by Ford.
5. Cars in high places
In 1965, a Ford Mustang was transported in four separate pieces to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, using resident elevators, where it was reassembled and photographed by helicopter. The car was later reassembled inside the building until it was eventually taken apart and removed from the building five months later.
6. A late logo
Ford’s signature blue, the oval logo was not introduced until four years after the company had already been in production.
7. Edison’s friend
Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were lifelong friends. As requested by Ford, Thomas Edison’s son captured Edison’s last exhale in a test tube and sealed it with a cork. Ford kept the tube as a memorial to Edison’s “life and breath.”
8. More than just a living
In 1914 Ford offered its employees double the current market average, creating Henry Ford’s “$5-a-day.” The new salary, accompanied by a shorter working day and company profit sharing, minimized employee turnover, and was significant in growing the middle class and fair wages movement. Henry Ford was quoted saying he wanted to help his workers to a “life” not just a “living.”
9. Morrison’s motor
The only car that Jim Morrison, legendary Doors singer, ever owned was a 1967 Shelby GT 500.
10. The iconic escort
The Ford Escort was introduced in the UK in 1967 and quickly rose to popularity. It was repeatedly the best selling car in Britain during the 1980s and 1990s. A total of more than 4.1 million Escorts of all generations were sold in the UK over a period of 33 years. In June 1974, six years into the car’s UK introduction, Ford announced the completion of the two millionth Ford Escort. 60% of these had been built in Britain.
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