5 Times Ford Changed The World
Yep, you read that right.
We all know Ford has led the automotive industry in a variety of areas. But did you know that Ford has literally changed the world at least 5 times?
You’ve likely never heard of a few of these instances and they are definitely not in areas you might expect.
Either way, Ford has made the world a different place.
We’ll start with the ones you may have heard first, and then get into some of the most secretive, amazing occurrences.
A Car We Could All Afford
Did Henry Ford invent the first car?
What he did, however, was get more people behind the wheel.
Up to the mass production of the model T, cars were very much like toys; playthings for the rich. The average person wasn’t driving. The wealthy, in a sense, weren’t really driving either. They had chauffeurs toting them around in mechanically complex cars that very few people understood.
Henry Ford saw opportunity here. What if the average person had access to vehicles?
Through his creativity and determination, the Model T was born.
It retailed at $825.00 and over 10,000 model Ts were sold in the first year.
In a move we all wish we could see today, Ford lowered the price four years later to $525.00
The result… Sales soared and the average person could afford and drive a vehicle.
Changing The Industrial Process
In addition to getting more folks driving, Ford absolutely revolutionized the production of goods.
This also occurred during the years of the model T and, as many of us learned over our childhood education, the assembly line was born.
The production of the model T reversed the car building process of the time.
Where groups of workers huddled around the parts, assembling them together over time, Ford switched the entire process.
Now, the parts traveled to each worker. That worker then assembled a specific part of the model T over and over.
The time to fully assemble a model T was literally cut in half. What traditionally took 12 hours to build was now done in 6.
Ford Spanks Ferrari
Didn’t think that ever happened?
In 1963 Ford attempted to buy Ferrari. Ferrari wasn’t having it. Enzo said no and Ford wasn’t happy.
So they decided to do something about at it LeMans; the race formerly dominated by Ferrari.
To do so they created the GT40.
In 1964, the GT40’s first attempt at history was… A failure. It didn’t even finish the race.
In 1965, the same; No such luck.
Luck had no part to play in 1966. This time it was different. Not only did ford finish first, but we ended up sweeping first, second and third places. History was made and the racing world forever changed.
Instead of resting on our laurels, Ford went on to win in 67’, 68’, and 69’.
A Sports Car That Wasn’t A Sports Car
A certain iconic Ford model was born upon a trip to Paris in 1951.
Two senior Ford officials were attending the Paris auto show and the two-seat vehicles were really standing out. One remarked to the other that they wish Ford had a vehicle like that. Sarcastically, he remarked, ‘we do’.
A Call to Michigan happened shortly after and the groundwork for the 55 Ford Thunderbird was laid.
Interestingly, though, this two-door, stylish coupe was not to be called a sports car. No no no.
The T-bird was a ‘personal car’.
The sports car market was very small at the time and by calling the T-bird a ‘personal car’, Ford thought it would have greater appeal.
Regardless of the name, the thunderbird was glamorous. It was a beautiful car that bridged the gap between sports car and ‘personal car’. It had a huge impact on the American two-door market.
Creating The Origins Of NASCAR Technology
The 1965 Ford Galaxie was a full-size beast.
It sported a unique design that lasted until 2011, ending with the Crown Victoria. More importantly, there were a couple technology advancements that relate directly to NASCAR.
It’s all about the suspension.
The 1965 Galaxie saw a change from leaf springs to coil springs in the rear suspension. The new three-piece system improved ride quality tremendously.
An upgrade to the front suspension as well ultimately set the stage for the base of NASCAR stock cars.
While the Galaxie may not have been the fastest car raging on the roads, it did serve as the building blocks for NASCAR vehicles.
The 65’ Galaxie literally changed the racing world.