Why didn’t Henry Ford follow through on his 1935 patent for an overhead-camshaft engine? – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

Up until the last few decades, overhead-camshaft engines were generally reserved for luxury or high-performance vehicles; pushrods or sidevalves would have to do for the hoi polloi. Yet it appears that at one point in the Thirties, Henry Ford decided it would not only be possible to mass-produce an overhead-camshaft engine, but also make it simple to service and affordable to the general public.

Granted, it’s easy to read too much into Henry Ford’s patent filings from yesteryear, as many of you have pointed out. Ford had the resources to patent just about every idea that came his way, and a lot of ideas came his way via aspiring inventors all over the world hoping Henry would give them their big break. Nor did he see patents merely as patents; rather, he used them as smokescreens for his competition and diversions for his critics, all of whom watched his every step.

But the overhead-camshaft internal combustion engine patent that Ford filed in November 1932 (1993992A) appears a little more straightforward. By this time, of course, overhead-camshaft engines were widely known. Gas Engine Magazine tracked down the earliest OHC patent to 1892, and plenty of automakers – from Marr to Peugeot to Isotta Fraschini to Duesenberg to Stutz – had produced or were about to produce OHC engines by the time Ford filed his patent

Read on

Categories: Engine, Hemmings, Henry Ford, Patent

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