I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to pester Ford’s archive department for interesting bits of weirdness that may be lurking in their voluminous stacks of records. One of the things I asked the dedicated archivists to look out for would be any rear-engined Ford experiments, and they came up with something really interesting and strange for me to share with all of you, fellow lovers of strange things. Even better, this one has some pretty unexpected Volkswagen Beetle overtones, too, but with a much, much weirder layout.
Of the big three American automakers, Ford may have shown the least interest in rear-engine designs. GM had their Corvairs, Chrysler had all those Simcas they made overseas, but Ford didn’t really mess with back porch engines, even in their European divisions.
But that doesn’t mean they didn’t do some interesting experiments! In the 1930s, streamlined, rear-engine designs were something like electric cars are today—the general consensus was that rear-engined streamliners represented the future, somehow, and lots of people and companies were developing them, or at least experimenting, Ford included.
Henry patented a carburetor way back in 1898 under US Patent 610040
Full patent detail here
All the patent detail can be found here
Henry published patent US 1850006 A in March 1932
The patent detailed a new improved braking system
It appears he was still sticking doggedly to the mechanical operation of brakes at this time.
You can see the full details here
On the 12th September 1899 Henry filed a patent for a Motor-carriage which was finally published in November 1901 as US 686046 A
The full details of the patent can be found here
Henry applied for and was granted US Patent 2269451 A
This is an excerpt, including the spelling!
Provide an automobile body construction of improved’ construction. 1 v
More specifically, the object of my invention is to provide a body construction in which plastic body panels-are employed, .not only for the doors and side panels, but also for the roof, hood and all other ‘exposed panels on the body.
Plastic parts have many advantages in that they produce a quiet body, may be molded to exact sizes, may be formed economically from soy bean oil, may be readily replaced in case of accident, and result in a lighter construction.
However, there are also many disadvantages to g all such constructions in the past because the panels are not able structurally to resist the stresses to which such panels are exposed in the conventional body. In the present all-steel body the “panels are depended upon almost entirely to resist the many stresses set up in the body.
An object of this invention is, therefore, to
provide a body frame structure which will resist all normally encountered stresses independently of the body panels.
The full patent detail can be found here
It’s believed the war overtook things and the idea was never pursued.
There is also an interesting article on Henry’s plastic car by Ben Judge that can be found here at Money Week
The latest random Henry Ford patent is from 1926 and is a means for soundproofing gear mechanisms
The detail can be found here
Then latest random Henry Ford patent is from 1918 and is for a front axle design.
You can find the detail here
I thought I’d take a random look through the various patents registered by Henry Ford.
The first one is method of making spark plugs filed October 5th 1927.
“The object of’my’ invention’is toprovide a spark plug of simple, durable, and inexpensive construction.”
Click below for the full patent description
Patent number US1723026