Enjoy the ride!
Below, enjoy some great trivia about the founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford.
If you know of other interesting stories or fun facts related to the Ford Motor Company and/or Henry Ford, please contact us so we can add them to the list. We appreciate your help!
The World's 5th-Largest Car Company
Ford Motor Company is an international automobile manufacturer that was founded in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan, USA, and has grown to become the 5th-largest car company in the world, producing nearly 6 million vehicles in 2011.
Imagine This - Reversing Uphill!
The very first Ford Model Ts employed a gravity-fed fuel system. This means that there was no fuel pump, so when a driver would attempt to climb a steep hill, the fuel in the rear-mounted fuel tank couldn’t flow to the engine, and the vehicle would either stall or run out of fuel before making it up the hill. “Tin Lizzie” owners soon solved the fuel-delivery problem by backing up hills! Read more about this story here.
Why the Name "Tin Lizzie"?
In the early days of the American automobile, the public was suspicious of the need for a motorized
vehicle that often scared horses and damaged roads by creating deep ruts in wet weather.
As more and more Ford Model T automobiles began occupying the roads, the dissatisfied public began giving Henry Ford’s new automobile the nickname “Tin Lizzie” because “Liz” or “Lizzie” was a common name for a horse in earth 20th century America.
Eventually, the name was seen as a term of endearment and some owners began referring to their own Fords as a “Tin Lizzie,” a nickname still in use today.
Fordlândia - Henry Ford's City in the Jungle
Did you know that in 1928, Henry Ford, concerned about securing a reliable source of rubber, decided to build his own town deep in the Brazilian jungle - named Fordlândia.
Please scroll down to see more pictures and a brief historic introduction to this amazing project.
A Bit of History...
Henry Ford was born in 1863 during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the Unites States (1861-1865). Lincoln steered the United States through its civil war and is also credited with helping to abolish slavery in the United States!
Of Course, What Else!
On visiting a friend, Henry Ford said "My Ford is being serviced, so I came in the next best thing." The car Henry Ford turned up in was a Rolls-Royce.
One of the World's Largest Family Owned Businesses
Ford Motor Company is one of the largest family owned businesses in the world.
Click the picture to see the 17 family members over 5 generations who made a significant impact on the development of the Ford Motor Company.
To read more about the impressive Ford family, please click on this link and scroll over each of their names.
Tin Lizzie - the first of many Ford victories!
In the early 1900s, car dealers attempted to create publicity for their new automobiles by hosting car races. In 1922, a championship race was held in Pikes Peak, Colorado. One of the contestants was Noel Bullock and his Model T, named "Old Liz."
“Old Liz” lived up to the Ford Model T nickname “Tin Lizzie”. “Old Liz” was unpainted and lacked a hood – and to everyone’s surprise it won the race.
World famous Ford GT40 - designed to beat Ferrari - and it did!
Ford’s most famous racing car, the GT40, won the Le Mans 24-hour race four times during the 1960s. The GT40 was the result of Henry Ford II’s failed attempts to purchase Ferrari. After Enzo Ferrari cut the deal at the last minute, Henry Ford II directed his racing division to build a “Ferrari-beater.” The resulting GT40 – named so because it stands only 40 inches tall - did just that by coming in 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Le Mans in 1966. It is now one of the world’s most recognizable long distance race cars ever produced.
Invented Automobile Assembly Line
Ford revolutionized large-scale automobile production by inventing the assembly line – a process in which various parts of a car are added in a sequential manner, allowing for vehicles to be finished much more quickly than through the norm for the time – hand-crafted cars. It is said that Henry Ford got the assembly line idea from the way that pigs are slaughtered and butchered. Regardless of how the idea came about, it revolutionized car construction remains the most popular automobile production method worldwide.
Click on each picture to view it in a larger size.
Below, we take a closer look at Fordlandia.
Henry Ford’s Jungle City – Fordlandia
Deep in the Brazilian rainforest is a relic of the Ford empire from the 1920s, left over from when Henry Ford tried to create his own rubber plant to feed his Michigan factories.
As the popularity of the car increased, so too did demand for rubber, which at the time was mainly supplied by British companies working in Southeast Asia. Seeing a way to make his own production line more self-sufficient, Henry Ford decided to replicate his Michigan plants in Brazil.
The development of synthetic rubber resulted in reduced world demand for natural rubber. Ford's investment opportunity dried up, putting an end to his Fordlandia adventure. To this day - the town still stands empty in the middle of the Amazon.
The Ford Empire - Henry Ford is 4th from left.
Fordlandia, built in the 1920s - the city in the jungle!
Free housing for all Ford workers in Fordlandia
Factory building and water tower as it still stands today deep in the Amazon Forest.
The abandoned plant is still in use by some Brazilians.
Early Fords were no match for the unforgiving environment of the Amazon.
Fast forward to today, and Ford is now a leader in off-road vehicles, such as the all-new
best-in-class Ford Ranger!