Category: Ford Motor Company

Ford President & CEO Jim Farley brings some iconic cars to my pub! | Kidd in a Sweet Shop

Ford President & CEO Jim Farley brings some iconic cars to my pub! | Kidd in a Sweet Shop

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Really good interview with a lot of insight into the future of Ford Motor Company

In this very special episode of Kidd in a Sweet Shop, I’m at my pub meeting with Jim Farley, the President and CEO of Ford! Together we chat about Jim’s role as CEO, before taking a tour of a selection of past & present Ford models, as well as taking a drive in one of the company’s finest new EVs. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this one!

Ford’s Way…What are they now with photos, Ford assembly plants, then and now – Steve Plucker

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Steve is very well known in the Model A hobby and operates an excellent website full of detailed research information on the Model A

San Francisco, California (1914-June 1931)

This particular section covers the original Ford plants and how they look know, really interesting stuff!

You can find the document here

Take a look at the rest of the site, speaking as an A owner it’s a fascinating resource

The Deal That Could Have Changed History, GM tries to acquire Ford. Here’s why it didn’t happen – Larry Printz @TheDetroitBureau

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This week in automotive history, GM tries to acquire Ford. Here’s why it didn’t happen

Imagine General Motors owning Ford. It nearly happened, until it didn’t. TheDetroitBureau.com looks at what nearly happened, and why it didn’t.

William (Billy) Crapo Durant Founder of GM

William Crapo Durant — Billy to his friends — became President of the Buick Motor Co., after its founder, David Buick, left the company, along with $100,000. All was going well at Buick, and Durant soon left the office to have dinner with his daughter, Margery, when he was called to the phone. It was Benjamin Briscoe Jr., president of the Maxwell-Briscoe Co.

The conversation was recalled by Durant in notes for a never published autobiography and later recounted by Buick historian Lawrence Gustin in his book, “Billy Durant.”

“Hello, Billy, I have a most important matter to discuss with you and want you to take the first train to Chicago.”

Durant answered, “What’s the big idea, Ben?”

“Don’t ask me to explain; it’s the biggest thing in the country. There’s millions in it. Can you come?”

“Impossible, too busy, sorry,” Durant said. “But I can see you here. Why don’t you take the 10 o’clock Grand Trunk arriving at 7 o’clock tomorrow morning? I will meet you at the station and we will have breakfast together.”

Briscoe agreed, and boarded the train later that night.

A meeting begets a big idea

The next day, the two meet, with Briscoe telling Durant that a J.P. Morgan partner and Maxwell-Briscoe financier was toying with the idea of a large merger of automakers, nearly two dozen. Durant had his doubts.

The plan involved too many companies and would take too much to resolve any differences. Durant countered with another proposal, one involving fewer automakers that would sell medium-priced cars in large numbers, such as Ford, Reo, Buick and Maxwell-Briscoe.

Upon further discussion, they contacted Ransom E. Olds, who ran Reo, and Henry Ford, who agreed to meet with Briscoe and Durant at Durant’s suite in the Pontchartrain Hotel in Detroit. 

Briscoe opened the meeting, stating he wanted the group to formulate a consolidation plan the could be presented to J.P. Morgan. But Ford and Olds wanted cash for their companies, at least $3 million each.

This proved to be a big hurdle. With the chances of success fading, the final straw proved to be a short item in the New York Times, stating that the first large consolidation of automakers was coming, and would be named International Motor Co. and capitalized at $25 million. 

Morgan withdrew its support. The big idea was dead.

Durant carries on

Morgan may not have liked the idea, but Durant did. 

Before long, he contacted the Olds Motor Works in Lansing, Michigan about consolidating Buick and Olds, with both companies owned by a holding company to be named General Motors.

Henry Ford was mired in the Selden Patent case at the time when Durant proposed the purchase of his company

Olds had fallen on hard times after the departure of their founder, Ransom Olds, several years before, and were anxious to consolidate. On Sept. 16 1908, General Motors was incorporated, starting an acquisition spree that led Durant to acquire the Albert Champion Co., the Oakland Motor Car Co., and Cadillac Automobile Co. among dozens of others.But one prize still eluded him: Ford Motor Co

At the time of Durant’s offer Ford had just introduced the moving assembly line

Durant tries again

In 1909, Durant approached Ford’s business manager James Couzens about General Motors’ interest in acquiring Ford Motor Co. Couzens said he would talk it over with Mr. Ford. At the time, Ford was fighting George Selden, a patent lawyer who was granted a patent for the automobile.

Selden formed the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers and began collecting a 0.75% royalty on all cars sold. But automakers had to get a license from the ALAM. Having been refused one by the ALAM, Ford built cars anyway. Selden sued, and the case dragged on for years. Ford was still battling Selden when Durant’s offer arrived. With victory uncertain, and huge costs being incurred with the installation of the automobile industry’s first assembly line, Ford couldn’t help but be swayed by the offer.  

“I had reason to believe that if we were successful, General Motors would not require any more motor car companies,” Durant writes.

Ford agreed to sell his company to General Motors for $8 million. His terms: $2 million in cash, $2 million in stock, and the remaining $4 million paid during the next three years at 5% interest. But Durant’s acquisition fee left GM short on cash. Durant turned to the National City Bank of New York to ask for a $2 million loan, even as GM’s board of directors gives Durant the authority to buy Ford on Oct. 26, 1909. But the bank was unwilling to take a risk on the fledgling industry, let alone Durant’s new company. 

The answer was no.

The fallout

Ultimately, Ford would prove victorious over Selden upon appeal, and the assembly line proved a wise innovation. By the 1920s, Ford would control half the U.S. automobile market with a single vehicle, the Model T. Ultimately, through a combination of factors, GM would surpass Ford, become the top seller of automobiles in the U.S. for decades. 

However, one wonders what might have been had things turned out differently in 1909.

While those same bankers later admitted they made a mistake, Durant harbored no regrets. “I never would have built up that business the way Ford did,” he recalled. “The Ford business would never have been what it is without Henry Ford, who has done more for America than any other man — more for the world.” 

The history of Ford in Cologne – Ford during the 1930s & WWII – The post war era – 1950s, 60s, 70s – FILMSCHÄTZE AUS KÖLN – VOM RHEIN – WELTFILMERBE

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The thrilling history of Ford on the Rhine, beginning with Henry Fords visit in Octotober 1931 and the human stories of the first generation of his german workers during the founding years, the Nazi era, WWII until the 1970s. Featured eye witnesses: Agathe Herr, Ford´s first female lorry driver during the war and the mechanic Fritz Theilen, half a century on Fords payroll, he had to work hand in hand with foreign slave labours and was a well known saboteur of Ford´s military production. A documentary by the Cologne based journalist Hermann Rheindorf. Soon also in spanish and arab here on YT. 100 min. long version available in german only. https://youtu.be/_DZAw8F26OU: requests: archiv@koelnprogramm.de

Ford reveals artifacts found during Michigan Central Station renovations – Click On Detroit | Local 4 | WDIV

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It was two years ago that Ford Motor Company began the painstaking process of converting Michigan Central Station into office workspace. It was two years ago that Ford Motor Company began the painstaking process of converting Michigan Central Station into office workspace. READ: Ford unveils plan for Michigan Central Station Thursday, Ford showed off some surprising artifacts that have been uncovered in the 107-year-old building

A look back at Brazilian Ford as the company closes the book on a century of carmaking there – David Conwill @Hemmings

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One of the more interesting products to come out of Ford Brazil were the Aero and Itamaraty, both of which started life as Willys products in the United States, back in 1952. Image via CarBrochureAddict on Twitter (@addict_car)

The Blue Oval brand has been present in Brazil since 1904, Ford Motor Company’s second year in business. The Brazilian market became increasingly important to Ford over the years and in 1919 Dearborn founded a separate branch for the Portuguese-speaking country in South America: Ford do Brasil. An Albert Khan-designed assembly plant in São Paulo started producing Model Ts from knock-down kits in 1921.

Now, according to the Detroit Free PressFord will cease manufacturing in Brazil this year and instead rely on importing Fords from neighboring markets.

Perhaps Ford’s most notorious venture in Brazil was the Fordlandia project, begun in 1926. Henry Ford created Fordlandia as a part of his ongoing attempt to vertically integrate his operations. In the mind of the company’s founder, he could best control his costs by owning all of his suppliers (a philosophy shared by GM founder Billy Durant) and perhaps their suppliers, too. At its height, Ford Motor Company owned not only the mighty Rouge plant, but to feed it, hardwood forests, iron mines, a fleet of Great Lakes freighters, and a rubber plantation in Brazil.

Read on

This 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria Coupe Still Features the Original Invoice – Mircea Panait @AutoEvolution

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Not to be confused with the Fairlane line of vehicles for the Australian market, the full-size car for North America replaced the Crestline series in 1955. The Victoria hardtop coupe in the gallery is one of the best-preserved examples from the first generation of the Fairlane, and believe it or not, this blast from the past still features the original invoice.

RK Motors Charlotte, the selling vendor, describes chassis number M6DV222852 as “fully documented” because the dealer invoice is complemented by the original service policy, owner’s manual, a stack of service records, detailed ownership history, and the Continental kit.

Following a comprehensive restoration of the exterior and interior, the 1956 model currently wears Peacock Blue and Colonial White paintwork over Peacock Blue and Colonial White vinyl for the dashboard, seats, door cards, and even the steering wheel rim. 15-inch wire wheels are joined by whitewall tires and the factory fender skirts, and the engine bay is cleaner than you’d expect – although the exhaust manifold exhibits some corrosion.

Read on

From Ford’s 1964 World’s Fair pavilion to vintage racing, the UK’s National Motor Museum has hours of video fun – Mike Austin @Hemmings

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Being based in the UK, the footage tends towards European interests, such as rally racing and Ford’s consumer offerings there. Like this footage from the East African Safari Rally of 1969.

But there’s a whole lot of American Ford available too, from the 1969 Indanapolis 500 to NASCARDrag Racing, and even the 1967 US Grand Prix. A highlight, however, is a promotional real for Ford’s 1964/65 World’s Fair pavilion and the Magic Skyway ride, that takes passengers on a trip “through time and space, to the threshold of tomorrow” via Ford convertibles running on a conveyor belt

The National Motor Musuem add a new video to the Ford Heritage Channel every month. As is stands there’s so much great stuff in there that we might have to revisit a few of these videos on an individual basis. Enjoy!