Ford Motor Company: A History in Pictures
Ford has an incredible history spanning over a century. Visionaries from Ford Motor Company, starting with Henry Ford himself, changed the way we move. Check out the timeline to learn about Ford’s inspiring history.
1896: Henry Ford builds the first vehicle on four wheels: the Quadricycle. Without a steering wheel, the vehicle used a tiller instead of a steering wheel and had two forward gears.
1903: Ford Motor Company is incorporated and turns a profit of $37,000. Ford Motor Company of Canada is founded the next year.
1908: The Model T put the automotive world in motion, selling 15 million models until it production ceased in May, 1927.
1913-1914: Ford introduces the first moving assembly line to building automobiles, and then introduced the $5 day pay rate for factory workers, which was double the current pay. Thousands of hopeful workers lined up to work; employee retention and morale were increased greatly due to the shorter hours (allowing more leisure time) and the ability for employees to purchase the vehicles they were making, which helped build the American middle class.
1917: The Ford Model TT was the first Ford truck produced.
1927: After the 15 millionth Ford Model T drove off the assembly line, Ford ceased production of the Model T and closed its plants to perfect the design of a new car: the Model A, the first Ford to sport the iconic blue oval logo.
1932: The first commercially successful flathead V8 engine was introduced just as Americans were gaining interest with more powerful engines.
1941-1942: Ford signed its first contract guaranteeing employees better pay, working conditions, and benefits. Ford halted its production of civilian automobiles to produce military equipment for WWII.
1948: The Ford F-Series line of trucks is introduced with a purposeful truck platform instead of a car platform like its previous generations of trucks. The same year, the 1949 Ford was the first new car design after the war.
1954: Ford Thunderbird, arguably the first “classic car” was released with an emphasis on comfort, convenience, sportiness, and distinctive design. This year, Ford began crash testing vehicles to improve safety and gather important data about its vehicles.
1957: The – interesting – Edsel was released. Even though it was a flop, the car is still regarded as a valuable collector’s car with its unique styling.
1964: The incredibly successful Mustang was released. To this day it remains one of the fastest-selling cars in history. With the combination of customization options and affordability, it’s no wonder it’s an icon.
1966: Ferrari was not only knocked out of first place but didn’t even make the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Three Ford GT models swept the podium in ‘66 and then Ford continued its victories in ‘67, ‘68, and ‘69.
1976: Ford expanded with its first internationally successful front-wheel drive Fiesta.
1985: The Ford Taurus jump-starts the new generation of automotive design, leaving behind the boxy sedan of the past. This generation also increased quality standards.
1990: The Explorer helped launch the SUV market. The Ford Bronco was eventually replaced by the Explorer with better handling and comfort.
1996: The Ford Ranger Electric Vehicle paves the way for today’s electric vehicle technology and hybrid systems.
2003-2004: Ford Motor Company’s Centennial Anniversary! 100 years of Ford were celebrated with a limited production of five “centennial editions” of the vehicles in its lineup at the time. The next year, the Ford GT is introduced as Ford’s premium sports car, inspired by the legendary Le Mans winners from 1966-1969.
2007: Ford begins offering SYNC in vehicles as a hands-free, voice-activated entertainment system.
2014: The 13th generation of the F-150 was completely redesigned with an all-aluminum body, which cut as much as 750 lbs from the total truck weight and resulted in over 100 new patents for Ford. 2014 also marked the 50th anniversary of the iconic Ford Mustang. To celebrate, the 6th generation of the Mustang was released with independent rear suspension and a variety of engines for all needs for speed.
2016: 50-year Anniversary of the historic 24 Hours Le Mans victory of the Ford GT.
Even after 100 years of innovation, Ford Motor Company never fails to impress with new models, technology, and advances in sustainable automobiles. We can’t wait to see what Ford has in store for us next! What is your favourite vehicle or moment from Ford?