When Henry Ford set down to create his very first car, he built it all by hand with the parts he had at his disposal. His first few proto-automobiles weren’t necessarily built strictly for profit, but were the result of his vision and passion for working with his hands, both qualities that make for successful and unique auto mechanics to this day.
We’ve assembled some of the most iconic moments in Ford’s long history to keep you inspired during your mechanic training. Here’s our top 5!
1. Taking it All the Way Back to the Ford Quadricycle
What is the Quadricycle and why is it so important to Ford’s legacy? The Ford Quadricycle was the very first automobile ever created by Henry Ford himself in 1896. Also called a “horseless carriage,” the Quadricycle was a marvel in its time. It had a two-cylinder engine that offered only 4 horsepower and a top speed of 32 km/h, which isn’t much by today’s standards, but was a technological wonder back in the 19th century. The Quadricycle had only 2 gears and could only travel forward, but Ford was creating his legacy, and what an impressive legacy it would be!
Here’s a clip of a replica of the Quadricycle, so you can see how it works:
2. The Day the Ford Sweepstakes Racecar Beat the Bullet
The very next iconic moment in Ford’s lengthy history was in 1901, when Ford’s racecar, the Sweepstakes, with just 26 horsepower, managed to beat the 70 horsepower Bullet designed by Alexander Winton.
The Sweepstakes was built from materials like steel, wood, and brass. It had an engine that was horizontally opposed, and had two atmospheric intake and mechanical exhaust valves. The transmission hadn’t changed much from the Quadricycle, with just two gears, but the Sweepstakes had enough kick to win a 10 mile race with Henry Ford driving!
3. The Ford Dynasty Begins With the Acquisition of Lincoln in 1922!
What a great year for Henry Ford when his son, Edsel, managed to buy the Detroit auto manufacturing company, Lincoln, for a total of $8 million in 1922. After Edsel finally took over the reins from his father, Lincoln went on to design a plethora of gorgeous high-end luxury vehicles. Among these early cars was the Lincoln Continental in 1939, which some auto mechanic grads consider to be one of the most beautiful cars ever made by the company.
Edsel believed in giving vehicles a sense of style and beauty, while making sure the car performed and handled well. The company would go on to design other popular luxury vehicles, cementing an important legacy in the automotive world.
4. 1966 Was the Year Ford Beat Ferrari at Le Mans
Most students getting trained in a mechanic program have seen or know about the Ford GT40. What they might not know is that the Ford GT40 Mark II was the car that beat the Ferrari 330 P3 in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. For six years Ferrari held the title of Le Mans champion, making their 1966 loss a pretty big event. It was also the very first win for an American car company, too! Ford went on to win four more times with GT40 variants right up until 1969.
5. Grads of Mechanic Programs Are Familiar with Ford’s Turbocharged EcoBoost Engine
In 2009, Ford began to introduce new turbocharged and fuel efficient engines. The EcoBoost engines were naturally aspirated, and resulted in 15 per cent less pollution, as well as 30 per cent greater fuel efficiency.
Production started with the 1.0L Fox, a turbocharged in-line three-cylinder engine that could be applied to cars like the Ford Focus and Ecosport. Later V-type six-cylinder versions, like the current second generation 3.5L , were made for vehicles like the Ford F-150, as well as the 2017 Ford GT. Today, mechanics can’t wait to get the chance to work on an EcoBoost engine and learn all about its juicy secrets!
Do these iconic moments in Ford’s history make you want to become a mechanic?
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