The Ford Motor Company – The Beginning Of A New Era
The Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 by Henry Ford, with the help of twelve investors who Included brothers, Horace and John Dodge. Their contributions of $28000 started off what would later be regarded as the beginning of the motor industry, and would turn the Ford Motor Company into one of the largest family owned companies in the world. In fact, it was Ford who adopted the principle of the assembly line, which is now used throughout the motorcar industry.
The model T car, which is widely thought of as the first car, wasn’t seen until 1908. A little known fact is that it was preceded by the models A, AC, B, K, F, K, N, R, and S before it finally went into production on a grand scale. This model was so successful by 1918 that half of the cars in America were model T’s!
Due to its popularity, factories were built all over the world to cater to the increasing demand. The Model T cars were built from 1908 up until 1927 and were assembled in various parts of the globe including Manchester, England; Berlin, Germany and Cork, Ireland.
The Gentleman Escort
In the 1960’s Ford started building the Escort model. This model was one of the most successful cars in production at the time. It was so successful that Ford redesigned it no less than 6 times during the course of its 32 years, until was superseded by the Focus model that is still in production.
The Escort also became one of the most successful rally cars of all time; winning numerous events all over the world with models such as the Escort twin-cam (which used a Lotus developed engine) and the Ford Works Team car, which won the coveted London to Mexico World Cup rally in 1970 . This car was driven by 28 year old Hannu Mikkola from Joensuu in Finland who went on to win a further 17 rallies in his career. Ford immediately released the Escort Mexico in tribute to the famous win and it is still, a collector’s model, even today.
With such a sporting heritage, Ford have always had a sport model in their lineup of cars which included the RS models of the 70s and 80s, and the XR models of the 80s and 90s. Ford also used Cosworth, a high performance engineering company founded by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth in 1959, to power some of their production road cars in these periods. Ford then introduced the Sierra Cosworth in 1986 and the Escort Cosworth in 1992. The Sierra Cosworth proved to be virtually unbeatable on the track and claimed victories in five of eleven races, including seven podium finishes in the World Touring Car Championship of 1987 even though the fabulous BMW M3 still pipped them to the post with 6 wins.
Although not yet official, a recent Ford news article suggested that an all-new Focus RS is planned for 2015.
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