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10 Strange and Unusual Facts You Should Know About Ford

These Facts About Ford Could Make Fun Trivia

Perhaps more than any other car manufacturer, the history of the Ford Motor Company is full of twists and turns. We’ve selected 10 anecdotes we think you’ll enjoy.

“Any customer can have a Model T painted any color that he wants so long as it is black” is not true.

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Ironically in the first years of production from 1908 to 1913, the Ford Model T was not even available in black. The colors available in those years were grey, green, blue, and red. Green was available for the touring cars, town cars, coupes, and Landaulets. Grey was only available for the town cars, and red only for the touring cars. By 1912, all cars were being painted midnight blue with black fenders. It was only in 1914 that the “any color so long as it is black” policy was finally implemented.

Click Next to view the  remaining Strange and Unusual Facts you should know about Ford.

 

 For a brief period, Ford was a leading aircraft manufacturer

 

After Henry and son Edsel invested in the Stout Metal Airplane Company, they decided to purchase the entire operation. They manufactured several versions of the same basic design: a three-engine aircraft manufactured from corrugated aluminum. Between 1925 and 1933, 199 Ford Trimotors were built, until Ford’s personal pilot was killed during a test flight and the automaker lost interest in aviation.

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Henry Ford Co-Founded Kingsford Charcoal

 

The Kingsford Company was formed by Henry Ford and E.G. Kingsford during the early 1920s. Ford thought charcoal was a good use for the waste wood coming out his car factories. The Kingsford Company came about when Ford relative Kingsford secured the site selection for Ford’s new charcoal manufacturing plant. The company, originally called Ford Charcoal, was later renamed in E.G.’s honor. BTW Chevy owners, Kingsford is now owned by Clorox.

Henry Ford once wrote that he abhorred any waste, especially from wood. At Ford’s Iron Mountain plant – where much of the wood used to build many of the company’s earliest vehicles was processed – precise systems were put in place so that every part of the tree was put to use in some way. Even branches were used as a source of fuel.

 

Ford built more than a quarter-million Jeeps During WWII

 

A total of 277,896 of the GPW designated Jeeps emerged from Ford plants during the Second World War. Willys built more than 300,000 MB versions.

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Ford’s German Factories Continued to Operate Under The Nazis in WWII

 

Ford’s division in Germany remained part of Ford Motor Company of the US throughout WW2. . With the outbreak of war, car production continued until 1942 but increasingly military production took over. Ford-Werke built trucks and armored personnel carriers for the German armed forces.

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There were Ford Flathead V-8s with Hemi heads built by Chrysler in Brazil until 1969

 

French automaker Simca purchased Ford’s French factory and with it the Vedette sedan, powered by the 2.3L flathead Ford V-8. Then in 1963 Chrysler purchased Simca. and it shipped all the tooling for the cars and engines to its Brazilian subsidiary. In order to remain competitive, the original Ford engine of 1932 was fitted with new heads with hemispherical combustion chambers (Emi-Sul) based on the 1950s Ardun cylinder heads and remained in production until 1969 (37 years).

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How a $2.2 million Ford show car hand built in Italy became the Batmobile

 

The Lincoln Futura was a concept car designed by Ford’s lead stylists Bill Schmidt and John Najjar Ferzely in 1955 and built by Ghia entirely by hand in Turin, Italy, at a cost of $2.2 million in today’s money. In 1966 the design was cloned and updated by George Barris into the Batmobile for the TV series Batman.

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There were 7 different cars that Ford named Capri

 

From 1952 through 1959 Ford produced three generations of Lincoln Capris. The first was positioned as a mid-level line, then generations two and three were relegated to the entry-level duty. The Lincoln Capri never sold well, which is why you may not have heard of it. The second round set of Capris came to the US from Europe between 1970 and 1977. A mid-term update separates the models into Capri and Capri II. In 1978 the Capri became a clone of the Fox-based Mustang through the 1988 model year. The last use (to date) of the Capri name was the 1991 – 1994 Miata-fighter, two-door convertible sports car ironically based on a Mazda 323 chassis and built in Australia.

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Not only did Ford try to buy Ferrari, it later tried to buy Alfa Romeo as well

 

It’s a well-known story that Henry Ford II tried to buy Ferrari but then Enzo backed out at the last minute. Angered, Ford authorized the GT40 which would dominate the 24 Hours of Le Mans, squashing Ferrari there in the process. But Ford also took a hard look at another Italian  manufacturer in 1986:  Alfa Romeo. The first Henry Ford very much admired Alfa, so there may have been an emotional side to this business merger, but unfortunately the Italian government got involved and Alfa went to Fiat.

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A 2015 Mustang V-6 costs 10 times more than did a 1964.5

 

Sticker on a base 1964.5 Mustang was $2320.96. Today, the MSRP of a base V-6 Hatchback is $23,800. Yes, there’s inflation of course. Adjusting for inflation the base 1964.5 Mustang would cost $17,867 in 2015 money. But I think we can all agree the 2015 Mustang is a much better, safer, and more environmentally-friendly car.

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Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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