Friday, June 27, 2008


Toby Keith and 2009 F-150
Ford F-Series is the presenting sponsor of country music star Toby Keith's "Biggest and Baddest Tour," which kicks off tonight in Birmingham, Alabama.

Ford Truck's involvement with the tour goes beyond traditional sponsorship, conveys the depth of Ford Truck's partnership with Toby Keith.

Ford Truck is launching a new consumer promotion at One lucky fan will win a new 2009 F-150 and the chance to accompany Toby Keith on his next concert tour.

Ford Trucks has been the presenting sponsor of the Toby Keith Concert Tours since 2002.

DEARBORN, Mich., June 20, 2008 - Singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith kicks off his "Biggest and Baddest Tour," presented by Ford F-Series, tonight in Birmingham, Alabama.

"Toby Keith is the Biggest and Baddest star, and the new Ford F-150 is the Biggest and Baddest truck," said Todd Eckert, Ford Truck and SUV Communications Alliance manager, Ford Division. "It's a perfect fit."

Ford Truck's involvement with the "Biggest and Baddest Tour" goes beyond traditional sponsorship. The show opens with a theatrical video produced by Ford that features Keith and the F-Series trucks.

"Toby Keith enjoys doing the videos, and the fans receive them extremely well to the point that they have become an anticipated part of the concert experience," said Eckert, adding that this season's video is tied to Keith's upcoming movie, Beer for My Horses.

The integration continues throughout the concert, with Ford Trucks -- and/or parts of them -- appearing on stage with Keith. Last year, a Super Duty grille formed the front of a drum riser throughout the entire show. The plan for this year's presence on stage is top secret, suffice it to say that it will be impossible to miss the new 2009 Ford F-150.

In addition to the opening video and a strong presence on stage, Ford Trucks is launching a new consumer promotion at that will award one lucky winner a new 2009 F-150 and the chance to accompany Toby Keith on his next concert tour with his or her own personal tour bus.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that only Ford Trucks and Toby Keith can provide," said Eckert.

More than 160,000 people registered for last year's promotion - a chance to win a private concert with Toby. And according to Eckert, almost 40 percent of those people went on to become handraisers for F-Series.

"We drove significant sales from that experience," he said.

Anyone who registers for this year's contest will have access to special content and free downloads, including Built Ford Tough and Toby Keith ringtones, wallpaper and exclusive photos taken as the "Biggest and Baddest Tour" travels to 60 cities across the country.

The partnership between Ford Trucks and Toby Keith is a virtual match made in heaven, according to Eckert. More than 60 percent of F-Series buyers enjoy country music, and Keith is one of the hottest acts around.

"Toby Keith is a third generation Ford truck man, and he's number one in the country music realm," said Eckert. "Couple that with the fact that F-Series has been the best-selling truck for the last 31 years running, and you've got a very strong partnership."

Ford Trucks has been the presenting sponsor of the Toby Keith Concert Tour since 2002, including the "Big Throwdown" tours in 2004 and 2005, the "Hookin' Up and Hangin' Out" tour in 2006 and last year's "Big Dog Daddy" tour.

Toby Keith remains one of the most successful musical entertainers of his time. With nearly 35 million albums sold, he has been deluged with critical praise and peer approval in the form of awards and he's consistently been one of the top-drawing live performers in the nation. His current hit single, "She's A Hottie," is featured as the only newly produced track on his latest two-disc release, Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits, which puts together his smash hits that span his entire career. His second major feature film Beer For My Horses is due in theaters on August 8.

The F-Series, America's best-selling truck line for 31 years running, turns 60 years old this year. Since its debut in 1948, Ford has built more than 33 million F-Series pickups. Today, Ford has more F-Series pickups on the road with 250,000 miles on them than anyone else in the truck business.

The Ford Legacy

Edsel and Eleanor Ford and Their Four Children

Few family dynasties in Corporate America can compare with the stormy mix of creative genius, business acumen, noblesse oblige, infighting, scandal, and boardroom feuding of the Fords. Nearly 100 years after the first Model T rolled off the assembly line, the family still controls 40% of the company. On Jan. 1, 1999, the fourth generation will take the wheel, as Bill Ford Jr. becomes chairman


Ford Motor founder, he ran the company from its inception in 1903 to 1945. An inveterate tinkerer who once worked for Thomas Edison, he was an early champion of the gas-powered engine. But he was best known for creating the first moving assembly line. Although he was a pioneer in mass-produced, affordable cars, his stubborn refusal to diversify beyond the Model T and his bloody battles with unions pushed his company to the brink of disaster. Famously insisted that customers could have any color car ''so long as it is black.'' He favored social engineering, building schools, roads, and hospitals--but also insisted on employee cleanliness, thrift, and sobriety.


Henry Ford's only child, Edsel was president from 1919 to 1943. A frail, creative manager, he was bullied and undermined by his father. His son Henry II inadvertently made his name synonymous with failure by naming the Edsel after him.


Left Yale after his father's death to join Ford in 1943. CEO from 1945; chairman 1960-80. An autocratic leader who fired three presidents, he revived the company after World War II. Settled fights with: ''My name is on the building.''

(1941- )
Agitated in 1989 for a greater Ford family presence on the board. Publishes Charlotte Ford's Book of Modern Manners.
(1943- )

(1948- )
Joined company in 1974; board in 1988. As eldest male cousin, was once top contender to run the company. Became president of Ford Motor Credit in 1991 but left in April, 1998, to pursue private interests.


Joined company in 1940, became a director in 1941. Held jobs in Lincoln- Mercury and dealer operations until his death in 1978 but gradually receded from the business to spend his days yachting, as his brother Henry II shut him out.

(1949- )
Living in Southern California and racing cars, he hired attorney Roy Cohn to sue the family trust after his father's death in 1978, demanding more money and a board seat. He raised a ruckus from the floor at Ford's 1979 shareholder meeting. Since reconciled with the family, he returned to take a Ford marketing job between 1986 and 1995. He now sponsors a motorcycle team and races formula cars.

(1951- )

(1923- )

Known as the family prankster, she married interior designer Walter Buhl Ford II (no relation) in 1943. A museum benefactor, her own collection includes paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir, and Picasso.

(1943- )
Tried to start a movie business. Worked for Ford marketing from 1978 to 1993.
(1946- )

(1949- )

(1950- )
Shunned the family business, became a Hare Krishna, and renamed himself Ambarish Das. Donated a part of his fortune to convert a Grosse Pointe mansion into an ashram. Active in Ford corporate charities.

(1925- )

A director since 1948, ran Continental car division until brother Henry II closed it down in 1956. Named vice-chairman in 1980 when Henry bypassed him to name a nonfamily chairman. Became head of key finance committee after Henry's death in 1987.

(1948- )
(1951- )
Currently active in Ford corporate charities.

(1957- )
Hired at Ford in 1979 straight out of Princeton. Joined board in 1988. Rotated through 15 jobs before leaving management in 1994 to run the finance committee.

(1961- )


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

History of the Ford Mustang

The First Mustang To Roll Off Of The Assembly Line

Mustang Original Badging

1964 1/2 Mustang
In 1961, Lee Iacocca, vice president and general manager of Ford Division, had a vision. His vision was a car that would seat four people, have bucket seats, a floor mounted shifter, be no more than 180 inches long, weigh less than 2500 pounds, and sell for less than $2500.00. Out of this vision, the Ford Mustang was born. After many months of meetings, discussions and market surveys, funding was finally approved for the Mustang in September of 1962. On March 9, 1964 the first Mustang rolled off of the assembly line. Only 18 months had elapsed since the Mustang had been approved for production. In order to keep production costs down, many of the Mustang's components were borrowed from the Falcon, including most of the drivetrain. With a multitude of different interior, exterior, and drivetrain options, the Mustang would be able to be ordered as plain, or as fancy, as economical, or as fast, as the buyer wanted. In general, the Mustang was designed for everyone and was advertised as "the car to be designed by you".

The Ford Mustang was heavily advertised during the latter part of it's development. On April 16, 1964, the day before it's release, Ford ran simultaneous commercials at 9:30pm on all three major television networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS. The following day, April 17, 1964, people "attacked" the Ford showrooms. Everyone was in a frenzy to be one of the first to own the Mustang. Ford sold over 22,000 Mustangs the first day. By the end of the year, Ford had sold 263,434. By the end of the Mustang's first anniversary, April 17, 1965, Ford had sold 418,812 Mustangs. The Mustang had made a name for itself, and it was here to stay!!!

To Roll Off The Assembly Line
The 1964½, as it was later called, was available in only two models: the coupe and convertible. Both models featured a lengthened hood and shortened rear deck, chrome wrap-around bumpers, chrome grille with a running horse, and full wheel covers. Both models were available with a 170 cid, 101 horsepower, 6 cylinder engine, a 260-2V, 164 horsepower V-8, a 289-4V, 210 horsepower V-8 and, starting in June, a fire breathing, 4 barrel, solid lifter, 271 horsepower, 289 cid V-8 engine. The buyer had a choice of a 3 speed, 4 speed or automatic transmission, and a variety of rear end gear ratios. The interior featured "wall-to-wall" carpeting, front bucket seats or an optional front bench seat, rear bench seat, a sports car style steering wheel, floor mounted shifter, and full headliner. There were a total of 121,538 Ford Mustangs produced during the 1964½ model run.

1965 brought few changes for the Mustang. The biggest change was the availability of a new fastback model, which was to become the basis for Carroll Shelby's GT350. The 120 horsepower, 200 cid 6 cylinder engine replaced the 170 cid 6 cylinder, the 289-2V, 200 horsepower V-8 replaced the 260-2V, the 289-4V was upgraded to 225 horsepower, and the 289-4V hi-po remained unchanged. Other changes for the 1965 Mustang included: an alternator instead of a generator, relocation of the oil filler, integral power steering pump and resevoir (most 1964½'s had a remote mounted resevoir), a wire retaining ring was added to the gas cap, the horns were smaller and relocated, and the interior carpet was continued up the sides of the rocker panel and under the sill plate. A new interior option was added, the interior decor group (known as the pony interior), which featured special seat covers with running horses across the seat back, special interior door panes with integral arm rests and pistol grip door handles, five gauge instrument panel, woodgrain steering wheel, and woodgrain appliques on the instrument cluster, glovebox, and optionally on the center console. Another Mustang option introduced in April of 1965 was the GT equipment group. Available only with one of the two four barrel engines, the GT group included five-dial instrumentation, disc brakes, larger sway bars, quicker steering ratio, dual exhaust which exited through the rear valance panel, grill mounted foglights, and special lower body side stripes. A total of 559,451 Mustangs were produced for the 1965 model year.

1966 brought even fewer changes for the Mustang than did its predecessor. Most of the changes for 1966 were in the form of cosmetic refinements. A new grille which featured chrome edged, horizontal inserts, replaced the honeycomb grille of '65. The chrome bars that extended horizontally and vertically from the running horse were deleted on the 1966 Mustang's grille. A new three fingered rear quarter panel ornament was used. The lower rocker panel moulding became standard equipment, as did backup lights, and a chrome hood lip moulding. The fuel filler cap no longer included the plastic Mustang emblem insert found on the earlier models. On the inside, the Mustang was treated to standard five gauge instrumentation, and "woven" vinyl seat inserts. The choices of available interior colors and styles increased to thirty four varieties, giving the buyer even more ways to personalize "their" Mustang. Production increased to 607,568 units for 1966.

1967 brought the first major restyling to the Ford Mustang. The Mustang was starting to grow up. The length and heigth were increased, 2.7" and .5" respectively. The wider body allowed for the installation of a tire smoking, 320 horsepower, 390 cid engine, the first big block engine in the Mustang. Among new options for the 1967 Mustang were the tilt-away steering wheel, an overhead console, power disc brakes, and an all new transmission, the FMX, which allowed fully automatic or manual shifting. The Mustang fastback's roof line was extended to the rear of the trunk. Interior trim options were decreased from 34 in 1966 to just 20 in 1967. Production for 1967 slipped to just over 472,000 units.

The 1968 Mustang was little changed from it 1967 counterpart. Most of the changes were in subtle refinements to the interior and exterior. New options for the 1968 Mustang included an AM/FM stereo radio, rear window defogger (coupe and fastback only), re-designed front power disc brakes, and the all new 302 cid engine. The 302-4V, 230 horsepower engine replaced the 289 Challenger Special of previous years. By December of 1967, the 289 engine was replaced entirely by the 302 version. Other changes included the deletion of the horizontal grille bars, the deletion of the F-O-R-D letters at the front of the hood, simplification of the quarter panel ornament, and many safety features were added. Due to increasing governmental regulations, the 1968 Mustang now included front and rear side marker lights, folding, flush mounted interior door pulls, and an energy absorbing steering column. There were several "region specific" models offered from various dealers. Two of the most noteable were the Mustang California Special, and the Mustang High Country Special. Total production for 1968 was 317,404 units.

1969 brought another major restyling to the Mustang. The Fastback 2+2 was gone - replaced by the new SportsRoof model. The new Mustangs were almost 4 inches longer than their 67/68 predecessors, yet they retained the 108" wheelbase of the original 1964½. The base Mustang engine continued to be the 200 cubic inch six cylinder. New for the economy minded Mustang owner was an optional 250 cubic inch six. The base V-8 continued to be the 302-2V. The 351-2V and 4V entered the lineup for 1969. The 302-4V and the 390-2V were dropped, but the 390-4V remained. There were two special engines offered for 69, the Boss 302 and the Boss 429. Both engines were only available in two limited production units, so called, the Mustang Boss 302 and the Mustang Boss 429. New features for 1969 included quad headlights, front parking lights were now located behind the front valance panel, new quarter panel ornaments, side scoops and integral rear spoiler on the SportsRoof models, front seat back locks, and for the first time, the VIN number, in addition to being located on the driver's door, was also attached to the instrument panel, and visible through the windshield.

There were several new Mustang models offered during 1969. A little know model was the Mustang 'E'. It was basically a standard economy minded Mustang SportsRoof model with a six cylinder engine, a higher (lower numerically) ratio rear end with a large torque converter, and an automatic transmission. Air conditioning was not available on the 'E' model. A "Mustang E" insignia replaced the standard quarter panel ornament. Another new model was the Mustang Grande, which included the Interior Decor Group, an electric clock, special houndstooth check upholstery, and extra sound deadner.

Another new model was the Mustang Mach 1 which was only available with one of the five larger V-8 engines. It featured special interior trim, special carpet, and high back bucket seats. On the exterior, the Mach 1 featured a low-gloss black hood, non-functional hood scoop (except models equipped with the 428 Cobra Jet engine which had a "new for 69" shaker scoop), hood pins, dual racing mirrors,special side stripe, pop-open gas cap, and dual exhaust ending in chrome, quad outlets. The Mustang Mach 1 also included the "Handling Suspension" and an additional 55 pounds of sound deadner and insulation materials.

Another new model for '69 was the Mustang Boss 302. Built mainly to qualify the Mustang for the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Trans-Am series. The Boss 302 included a special 290 horsepower, 302 engine, 4 speed transmission, 16:1 ratio steering box, and a 3.50:1, staggered shock rear end. The exterior featured a low-gloss, black hood and deck lid, Boss 302 "C" stripes, front spoiler, flared fenders and Magnum 500 wheels with F60x15 tires. All of the optional Mustang interiors were available on the Boss 302, however, most of them were equipped with the black, standard Mustang interior.

The biggest and baddest of the Boss's, the Mustang Boss 429, was also introduced in 1969. Primarily built to satisfy NASCAR requirements, the Boss 429 Mustang featured a Semi-Hemi 429 powerplant. To compensate for the massive engine, the front shock towers were moved out one inch, and the front A-Arms were lowered one inch. The Boss 429 featured a huge hood scoop (the largest ever offered on the Mustang), front spoiler, flared fenders, dual racing mirrors, and F60x15 tires, mounted on chrome, Magnum 500 wheels. The interior featured the Mustang interior decor group, comfortweave bucket seats, and console. The Boss 429 also featured a competition suspension, rear stabalizer bar, power front disc brakes, power steering, engine oil cooler, trunk mounted battery, and a 3.91:1, traction lock rear end.

There were a total of 299,824 Mustang's built in 1969.

1970 saw no major changes to the Mustang lineup. Most of the changes were in the way of subtle refinements. The headlights became dual units again instead of the quad units used in 1969, front side marker lamps were moved up onto the fenders, the quarter panel "scoops" were deleted, and the rear taillights were now recessed into their housings. On the inside, high back buckets became standard equipment with the seat back release moved to the lower part of the seat, a new "oval" steering wheel (supposedly to ease entry and exit), and the ignition switch was moved to the steering column which locked the steering wheel when turned to the off position. The engine lineup changed slightly for the 1970 Mustangs. The 390 was dropped and the 351-2V Cleveland and 351-4V Cleveland replaced the 351 Windsor models of previous years. The Mach 1, Boss 302, and Boss 429 were all available in 1970. Total Production for 1970 was 190,727 units.

1971 saw another major restyling change for the Ford Mustang. It was also to be the last restyling for the first generation Mustang. Introduced late in August of 1970, the new Mustang was more than two inches longer and almost two and a half inches wider than it's 1970 predecessor. For the first time since the Mustang's inception, the wheelbase was extended one inch to 109". The 200 cid 6 cylinder was dropped along with the 428, the Boss 302, and the Boss 429. New engines for '71 were the Boss 351, the 429, and the Ram Air 429. The Mustang Boss 351 produced 330 horsepower, while both 429 engines produced 370 horsepower.

On the exterior, the famous Mustang corral returned. A new wide chrome strip on the edge of the front fenders and hood was borrowed from the 1969 Shelby's. The long hood now turned up at the windshield to cover the hidden wipers. Large, bold, triple lens tail lights appeared on the rear of the new Mustang. Flush mounted door handles replaced the earlier surface mounted units.

The interior featured standard high-back buckets, a mini console, and an all new instrumentation layout. Power windows were offered for the first time. The Mustang Mach 1 continued to be offered for '71. It was available with any of the V8 engines. A special honeycomb grille and color keyed front bumper were unique to the Mach 1 model. The chrome hood and fender mouldings were replaced with color keyed trim. "Mach 1" decals were placed on the fenders and deck lid and a special black or argent lower body side paint was used.

New for 1971 was the Mustang Boss 351 which replaced the Boss 302 and Boss 429. The Boss 351 featured a special 330 horsepower 351-4V Cleveland engine. The Boss 351 featured a blacked out NASA scooped hood with twist type locks and special body side stripes. The Boss 351 included a competition suspension with staggered rear shocks, a four speed transmission with a Hurst shifter, power front disc brakes, dual exhaust, and 3.91:1 traction lock rear end.

There were a total of 149,678 Mustangs built in 1971.

Since the Mustang had undergone a major restyling in 1971, the 1972 Mustang models saw no big styling changes, only minor cosmetic ones. Probably due to increasing governmental fuel economy regulations, all of the Boss cars were dropped from the 1972 lineup. The Boss 351 and both versions of the 429 engine were dropped. During the early part of '72, a special 351HO model was offered. It featured a low compression version of the Boss 351 engine, with a special high-lift cam, mechanical lifters, forged aluminum pistons and a special 4-barrel manifold. The only "performance" model that remained for the entire '72 model year was the Mustang Mach 1. The Mach 1, like all other '72 models, were virtually unchanged.

Production for 1972 topped out at 125,093.

1973 brought the last year of the "big" Mustang. It was to be replaced by a smaller, lighter breed, therefore, most of the changes for '73 were merely cosmetic. A large, square, chrome headlamp bezel appeared, as did chrome trim around the tail lights. A color keyed Urethane front bumper replaced the chrome units of the previous years. The front parking lights were now placed vertically in the front grille. A new, grained, black applique with bright trim was placed on the rear body panel between the tail lights. This was replaced with a honeycomb style on the Mustang Mach 1 and Mustang Grande models. The 1973 Mustang convertible was to become the last Mustang convertible for many years. There were a total of 134,867 Mustangs produced in 1973.

Henry Ford and His Camping Companions: “Vagabonds” Who Were Anything But

The Four Vagabonds
Henry Ford's love of the outdoors was most evident in the annual two-week camping trips he took from 1913 to 1924. His companions on most of these trips were Thomas Edison, the magnate Harvey Firestone, and poet and naturalist John Burroughs. The four men came to be known, in their own words, as "the Vagabonds."

The Vagabonds and the Great Outdoors
The Vagabonds took trips that brought them to a variety of ruggedly beautiful places, including the Great Smoky Mountains and the Adirondacks.

Over time, these trips took on mythic proportions, requiring an entourage of attendants and supplies, attracting luminaries as guests (several U.S. presidents joined them for a day here and there) and generating numerous (and sometimes unbelievable) stories. Photographers were often on hand to take pictures of the four friends and their guests enjoying the beauty and relative solitude of their chosen natural settings.

For Henry Ford, the trips provided an opportunity to reconnect with nature and his rural roots. Ever active, he reportedly never sat still during these outings, but was always out collecting wood, exploring the landscape, and perhaps continuing to speculate on the relationship between industry and the natural world.

Edsel Ford Brought Design and Elegance to Ford Motor Company Vehicles

Being an only child must have allowed Edsel a unique relationship with his charismatic father. They certainly had their disagreements and different styles, but they also had tremendous respect, admiration, and love for each other. There's no doubt that his relationship with Edsel is one of the more significant in Henry Ford's life.

Edsel Ford can be called a child of the automotive age. Born November 6, 1893, the first days of his life were filled with the newest sound in the country—the “chuck-chuck” of the gasoline engine. He was six weeks old when his father tested the first Ford engine in their kitchen while Edsel slept in his crib a few feet away. He was not yet three when, on June 4, 1896, he shared his father's triumph by riding in Henry's first successful car.

As a young boy, Edsel was interested in the styling and making of automobiles. It is no accident that his first car sketches were made in 1903, for that year marked the founding of Ford Motor Company and the beginning of his father's rise to fame and fortune.

During his years at the Detroit University School, Edsel wrote essays on automobiles and automobile manufacturing. After hours, he visited the busy Ford factory where he helped in the office, licked stamps, carried mail and learned how cars were made.

At the age of 12, Edsel had his own Model N Runabout. His imagination and styling ability were not satisfied with the "ugly-duckling" lines of the early cars. In these pioneer days of the "horseless carriage," he started out to civilize the automobile. He had an ideal of comfort, grace and beauty, which he expressed in a series of personally designed cars. One of these became the famous Model T Torpedo Runabout.

Edsel's interest in automobiles was more than a youthful wish to be different. In 1912, when he completed his work at the Detroit University School, he decided against college and joined the company where he could learn more about automobile manufacturing as an apprentice.

Early Career
By 1915, Edsel had become a businessman and automobile manufacturer. From the beginning, he assumed responsibility for the business side of the company: sales, purchasing, advertising and the numerous details of the daily routine. His father was free to concentrate on engineering and manufacture.

Ford Motor Company expanded enormously in a few short years, and yet demand far outreached supply. Henry Ford wished to continue expanding the company's facilities, but other stockholders insisted on immediate profits at the expense of expansion. When the courts decided against Henry Ford, he resigned as president of the company, vowing he would form another company with his son and produce a car that would outshine the Model T. In this atmosphere it was Edsel, newly elected president of the company on January 1, 1919, who found a solution. He began negotiations for the purchase of outstanding minority stocks and by July, Ford Motor Company had become the sole property of the Ford family. Plans for expansion went forward rapidly.

Edsel brought a fine organizational talent to his new position of responsibility.. The commercial side of the company was Edsel's domain. The overseas operations were of special interest to him, and he worked to expand Ford facilities in foreign locations. He encouraged and supervised Ford participation in public events such as the World Fairs of the '30s. He constantly emphasized quality and service as the prime factors in Ford sales. In business and administration, it was Edsel who held the company together behind the scenes.

A Vision of Beauty
Successful though he was as an executive, Edsel's real contribution was not in the daily routine of making and selling. He brought something new to the automobile industry—a belief that an automobile could be beautiful as well as useful. His principal interest was in the styling of cars to carry out this ideal.

When the Fords purchased Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, Edsel finally had the opportunity to make design an active force within the company.

Lincoln and Design
With the purchase of Lincoln, Edsel's first concern was for an improvement in the Lincoln style. Edsel commissioned noted body designers from all over the country, including Brunn, LeBaron, Dietrich, Judkins and Derham. Each car was a masterpiece of beauty, yet planned for quantity production. The result was an era of the most distinctive and beautiful automobiles in automotive history.

Edsel’s greatest contribution to styling might have been the Lincoln-Continental he designed that was sold prior to and immediately after World War II. Although only a few more than 5,000 were built, those still on the road today are in great demand because of their classic styling.

Edsel's influence did not end with the Lincoln. In the mid-Twenties, he pushed for an improvement to the Model T’s styling. Changes in 1923 and 1925 gave Model T curved surfaces and smoother lines. These changes resulted in increased orders, and Henry Ford was forced to recognize the effect of the styling changes. As a result, he finally allowed colors on the Model T, giving up his famous orders that "You can have any color, as long as it's black."

Beyond Vehicle Styling
Although his interest in engineering was limited, Edsel Ford has been credited with the installation of hydraulic brakes on Ford cars and with interesting his father in building a six-cylinder engine to sell with the V-8. He also brought about the development of safety glass, after a friend suffered severe cuts in an accident in 1926.

Edsel’s Important Marketing Insights
It was Edsel who recognized that there was a large field of prospects among the middle class, for whom “pride, vanity, a desire for something more impressive enter very strongly into the sale." His ability to recognize the public's inherent desire to purchase "something more impressive" motivated his push for a medium-priced car. As a result of his efforts, the Lincoln-Zephyr was added to the Lincoln line in 1935.

He further recognized that the lower area of the medium-price market, the area which would benefit most by the shift to higher-priced cars, was untapped by Ford Motor Company. The competitive potential of the company could not be maintained without active entry into this price class and, accordingly, the Mercury was launched in October 1938.

Aviation and World War II
Edsel Ford purchased the Stout Metal Aircraft Company to produce the famous Ford Tri-Motor plane. He later mobilized engineers and technicians to develop a conveyor system for mass production of interchangeable-part bombers in World War II.

Sadly, the pressures of World War II took much of Edsel Ford's strength. With his death on May 26, 1943, Ford Motor Company lost a true leader, the man whose vision and energy had held the company firm.

Edsel Ford’s greatest contribution to the automotive industry was his ability to combine the artistry of custom design with the functional requirements of mass production. This concept sparked the styling revolution of the 1950s. He knew that an important goal of automobile making was the pleasure of the owner, and to this end he insisted on comfort, service, quality and beauty.

Clara Bryant Ford: Henry’s "Great Believer"

Henry & Clara B. Ford

Clara Bryant Ford

Clara Bryant Ford
In a 1938 issue of The New York Times Magazine, Henry Ford was quoted as saying, "The greatest day of my life was the day I married Mrs. Ford." Clara believed in her husband's ideas and visions and confidently supported his ventures, even when others thought he was taking risks perhaps not befitting a family man.

The Young Couple
In 1885, when she was 18, Clara Bryant met Henry Ford at a New Year's Eve dance, a short distance from the Ford family homestead. It’s said she liked Henry's serious-mindedness and his unique talents, and he liked her equally serious and appreciative demeanor.

During their courtship, the couple took in steamboat excursions, husked corn by moonlight and did plenty of dancing, an activity that Henry especially enjoyed.

Henry and Clara were married on April 11, 1888, in the parlor of the Bryant home. Henry's father, William Ford, gave the young couple a 40-acre farm he had purchased some years earlier. Henry cleared the land using a circular saw attached to a 12-horsepower engine. He enjoyed the work so much that he cleared the neighbors' land of stumps and trees and earned a tidy supplement to his income from servicing steam engines for a farm equipment company. Ever resourceful, Henry used some of the lumber from the cleared trees to build their first home, which the pair called the "Honeymoon Cottage."

Henry’s Greatest Supporter
As Henry tinkered and experimented with ideas for engines that might ease the burdens of farming and transportation, Clara was always interested in and supportive of his ideas. Throughout their married life, he would always call her his "great believer."

When Henry was offered a job at the Detroit power plant of the Edison Illuminating Company, he decided to take it. The job paid more money than he had been making and it offered him a chance to learn about electricity, which he considered critical for the development of the gasoline engine he hoped to produce. Again, Clara was supportive. In fact, Henry said that she was even more confident about his plans than he was.

Building a Life Together
Throughout their married life, Clara Bryant Ford remained loyal and supportive. In the first few years, as Henry worked feverishly on his automobiles, the couple lived in a total of 10 rental homes. Finally, Henry bought 2,000 acres along the Rouge River in Dearborn. Construction began on that site in 1914. It became Fair Lane, the home where Clara and Henry would live the rest of their lives.

As Henry's company and his fame grew over the years, Clara traveled with him to manufacturing facilities around the world. In Dearborn, Clara and Henry would entertain friends and family at Fair Lane. The Fords also continued to enjoy dancing; Henry saw to it that Fair Lane had a large dance floor and that it was regularly used.

Clara Ford outlived her husband by about three years. She died on September 29, 1950, at the age of 84.

The Dearborn Inn

The Dearborn Inn

The Main Dinning Room



The Dearborn Inn (Night View)
Soon after the Wright Brothers' historic flight launched the aviation industry, Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, both became fascinated with this new mode of transportation and saw the business potential the new industry offered.

A New Industry Brings New Opportunities
In 1922, when Edsel Ford was 28, he invested in a new company, the Stout Metal Airplane Company, which named him a director. Edsel and Henry offered the company land for an airfield and the airplane company agreed. When the airport was completed in January 1925, it was hailed by experts of the emerging field of aviation as one of the finest in the country.

With the opening of the new airport, Henry Ford, seeing a new business opportunity, purchased the land across from the airport and arranged for the construction of a hotel. The Dearborn Inn opened on July 1, 1931, to provide lodging for pilots and visitors to nearby Ford laboratories and the new Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

A Gracious Inn
One of the first airport hotels, the three-story, red-brick Dearborn Inn was built in a gracious and stately Georgian style reminiscent of a time dear to the heart of Henry Ford. The balcony railings, elegant main entrance and arch-topped windows suggested 19th-century nostalgia. However, the guest rooms were outfitted with the most modern conveniences of the day, including bathtubs with showers.

A group of rooms near the check-in desk was reserved for pilots. "Pilot's Row" was separated from the main guest area, so that the pilots' comings and goings would not disturb other patrons.

In 1937, five Colonial-style guest buildings were built. The "Colonial Village" homes are reproductions of the residences of American historical figures Patrick Henry, Barbara Fritchie and Governor Oliver Wolcott, as well as those of literary giants Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe.

Dearborn Inn Today
The airfield is now part of a Ford test track, the Dearborn Proving Grounds, but the Dearborn Inn, now a Marriott Hotel, remains an inn that still evokes the distinction and comfort Henry Ford envisioned more than 75 years ago.

Fair Lane: Where Henry and Clara Ford Called “Home”

By 1914, Henry Ford's fame had reached global proportions, and he and Clara were ready for a home that offered them more privacy and a chance to indulge in their interests in gardening and bird watching.

Henry and Clara chose to build their new home on a 1,300-acre tract of land in Dearborn, Michigan, approximately two miles from Mr. Ford’s birthplace. The new fifty-six room residence and estate were named “Fair Lane” after an area in County Cork, Ireland, the birthplace of Mr. Ford's foster grandfather, Patrick Ahern.

Fair Lane: a Fitting Home
In keeping with the Fords’ love of nature, Fair Lane was built with rough-hewn Ohio limestone to harmonize with the surrounding countryside. The grounds, designed by noted landscape architect Jens Jensen, were transformed from farmland into a natural, native landscape.

During the Fords' residency, Fair Lane bustled with activity. In addition to the residence and its powerhouse, the estate included a summer house, man-made lake, staff cottages, gatehouse, pony barn, skating house, greenhouse, root cellar, vegetable garden, 1,000-plant peony garden, 10,000-plant rose garden, a "Santa's Workshop" for Christmas celebrations, maple sugar shack, working farm for the Ford grandchildren built to their scale, agricultural research facilities and 500 birdhouses.

Green Power
Henry Ford had long been interested in alternative energy. When he built Fair Lane, he harnessed the power of the Rouge River to run the estate entirely on hydroelectric power.

Fair Lane’s hydroelectric power was generated in a stand-alone powerhouse on the property. The powerhouse was dedicated by Thomas Alva Edison, Henry Ford's good friend and the famous inventor, in October 1914. The eight-foot dam powered two 55-kilowatt generators that continue to function today.

This dam was particularly important to Henry Ford, not only because it provided efficient and inexpensive power, but also because it was non-polluting. Ford cared deeply about the natural world and made efforts large and small throughout his life not to affect it adversely and to conserve it whenever he could.

Reducing Fair Lane’s Environmental Impact
Around his home, Ford installed bat houses to control mosquitoes organically and avoid the need to introduce harmful chemicals into the environment. Stories abound of the incredible lengths Ford took to make sure that local wildlife was safely relocated before he’d begin work at a new site—including stories that he would hire boys to track down every last squirrel! And in 1913 he was instrumental in getting the McLean Migratory Bird Bill (to protect the birds from illegal hunting) through Congress, where it otherwise would likely have been ignored without Ford's strong campaigning.

Fair Lane Today
Henry Ford died at Fair Lane in 1947, and Mrs. Ford lived there until her death three years later. In 1952, the Ford Motor Company purchased the estate from the heirs. In 1957, the company donated the residence, powerhouse, 210 acres, and $6.5 million to the University of Michigan for the creation of the Dearborn campus.

Today, an Environmental Interpretive Center and the River Rouge Bird Observatory are also located on the university grounds, where the adjacent area along the Rouge River is home to many species of birds and other animals.

The Henry Ford Estate, including 72 of the original 1,300 acres, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Public tours of the historic home have been ongoing since the 1970s, and include a wide variety of educational programs.

Henry Ford's $5-a-Day Revolution

In 1913, to help meet the growing demand for the Model T, Henry Ford turned his attention to improving the manufacturing processes. The business model Ford developed—production on a grand scale, performed by well-paid workers—spread throughout the world and became the manufacturing standard for everything from vacuum sweepers to cars, and more.

Transforming the Assembly Line
The moving assembly line was perhaps Ford Motor Company's single greatest contribution to the automotive manufacturing process. First implemented at the Highland Park plant in Michigan, the new technique allowed individual workers to stay in one place and perform the same task repeatedly on multiple vehicles that passed by them.

The moving assembly line proved tremendously efficient, helping the company to far surpass the production levels of its competitors while making its vehicles more affordable.

The $5-a-day Workday
After the success of the moving assembly line, Henry Ford had another transformative idea: in January 1914, he startled the world by announcing that Ford Motor Company would pay $5 a day to its workers. The pay increase would also be accompanied by a shorter workday (from nine to eight hours). While this rate didn't automatically apply to every worker, it more than doubled the average autoworker's wage.

While Henry's primary objective was to reduce worker attrition—labor turnover from monotonous assembly line work was high—newspapers from all over the world reported the story as an extraordinary gesture of goodwill.

Thousands of Workers Flock to Detroit
After Ford’s announcement, thousands of prospective workers showed up at the Ford Motor Company employment office. People surged toward Detroit from the American South and the nations of Europe. As expected, employee turnover diminished. And, by creating an eight-hour day, Ford could run three shifts instead of two, increasing productivity.

Henry Ford had reasoned that since it was now possible to build inexpensive cars in volume, more of them could be sold if employees could afford to buy them. The $5 day helped better the lot of all American workers and contributed to the emergence of the American middle class. In the process, Henry Ford had changed manufacturing forever.

The First Model A Laid a Foundation for the Future

In July 1903, only a few weeks after the fledgling Ford Motor Company was incorporated, a Chicago dentist, Dr. Ernst Pfennig, became the first person to buy a Ford Model A for $850, although Pfennig’s Ford was the eighth one shipped to customers.

After Pfennig, a steady stream of purchase offers flowed in, and within a month, $20,000 worth of cars had been sold. At the end of 9 1/2 months, 658 Ford Model A’s had been purchased for a net profit of $98,851.

The Beginning of It All
Ford’s first Model A (as opposed to the one that emerged late in the Roaring Twenties) was the first vehicle mass-produced by Ford Motor Company. It was a two-cylinder, eight-horsepower car that reached maximum speeds of about 30 miles per hour. At the price of $850, it was the first of a long line of reliable, affordable automobiles.

The Ford Model A was also known as the "Fordmobile." Ads touted it under the heading, "Boss of the Road: The Latest and Best."

Although legal problems lay ahead for Henry Ford and his company—a long patent battle that he eventually won—the Model A was the beginning of a successful automotive company, and it was an important chapter in the legendary life of Henry Ford.

The ’49 Ford Put the Company Back on the Road to Prosperity

1949 Ford

1949 Ford
The ‘49 Ford marked the beginning of a new era of leadership and direction for Ford Motor Company. The ‘49 Ford became a postwar classic that helped revitalize the company, which sorely needed a boost.

Americans Learn to Have Fun Again
With life finally returning to normal after World War II, 1949 was a time for fun and celebration. Prosperity was back, and the latest craze was customizing vehicles. Enthusiasts would spend countless hours tinkering with engines and body styles to create the perfect car for cruising along "the strip." The '49 Ford was all the rage among those enthusiasts, who loved its sleek and radical design, which they could modify to fit their personal styles.

Designing a Car Like No Other
Knowing the next car they produced could make or break the company’s future, Henry Ford II wanted to design a car that looked like no other car on the road. The task required tremendous skill and imagination. After several internal design attempts, Henry Ford II boldly hired outside styling consultant George Walker.

Walker was up to the challenge, and after three months of nonstop work by Walker and his team, the car was sent to production.

Elegance Meets Performance
With its evocative aesthetics and improved performance, the ‘49 Ford was a new breed of car. It featured a modern, slab-side design, which meant that the front fenders, body sides and rear quarter panels all formed a clean, unbroken line from front grille to taillight. At the time, this design was revolutionary, since most cars featured bulging side lines, especially around the fenders and side panels. Its design was so remarkable that it won the prestigious Fashion Academy Award for Styling two years in a row.

Unlike other cars, the ‘49 Ford had a silhouette that was long, low and sweeping. The car brimmed with elegant styling cues like horizontal taillights and distinctive bullet-nose front end, which featured heavy chrome molding that curved down from the top of the grille. Inside, the car had more room, new comforts and a sleek new airplane-inspired dashboard design to match the airplane-propeller motif of the bullet-nose grille.

A Body Style for Everyone
The ’49 Ford came in a range of body styles, including station wagons, convertibles, coupes and sedans.

With something for everyone, from young families raising the baby-boom generation to the teenagers and car buffs looking for a customized ride, the ‘49 Ford was a big hit. Because the public loved it, it also moved the company along the road to postwar prosperity.


Ford introduces two new features coming in 2009 to aid drivers’ visibility: Blind Spot Mirror and the Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System.
The Blind Spot Mirror arrives as standard equipment replacing traditional side view mirrors and features an integrated convex spotter mirror aimed directly at the vehicle’s blind spot.
The Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System utilizes radar to alert of cross-path traffic while in reverse and, in forward gears, warn when a vehicle enters the blind spot.
DEARBORN, Mich., April, 9 2008 -- Ford is actively addressing drivers’ demands for increased visibility with the introduction of two new features, the Blind Spot Mirror and the Cross Traffic Alert with Blind-Spot Monitoring System, arriving in 2009.

“Ford is delivering innovative features aiding in a better drive experience for the customer,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development. “The Blind Spot Mirror and Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System are enhancing the customer ownership experience and bringing more value to their purchase.”

Ford will be first to market with the Blind Spot Mirror, answering customers’ demands for better visibility as they change lanes or parallel park. This affordable mirror technology will first launch early next year and find its way onto many future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles as standard equipment.

The Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System is a radar-based blind spot detection system with the additional capability to help customers confidently back out of a parking space even when there is traffic approaching from the sides. The optional system will join the Ford portfolio of innovative technologies in 2009 and quickly migrate through the model lineup.

Both of these features demonstrate how Ford is listening closely to customers and responding to customer demand for increased visibility.

Blind Spot Mirror
Ford’s push to develop the Blind Spot Mirror and migrate it across its lineup is a direct response to customer research, reports Kelly Kohlstrand with Ford’s Advanced Product Marketing and Technology Planning team. “We seek to plan new features that address unmet customer needs,” says Kohlstrand. “Customers told us that visibility is important to them and that they specifically desired a more effective outside rearview mirror.”

Early drive clinics conducted by Ford show that the Blind Spot Mirror connects with customers -- nearly 76 percent of the participants said the mirror improves their confidence while driving. In addition, the learning curve or adjustment to the function of the spotter mirror was minimal.

The Blind Spot Mirror is a consumer-friendly, affordable blind spot solution that consists of an outside rearview mirror designed with a secondary convex spotter in the top outer corner, which is aimed exclusively at the driver's blind spot. When traffic enters the driver’s blind spot on either side of the vehicle, it is visible in the secondary convex mirror, thus alerting the driver of potential danger.

Ford’s Blind Spot Mirror provides a seamless, more appealing solution than present aftermarket offerings, as it uses one continuous glass surface and is robust to the elements. Because the factory spotter mirror is uniquely and specifically designed for the vehicle – car or truck – it provides an optimized field of view.

Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System
Backing out of a crowded spot in a bustling parking lot, or into street traffic, can be difficult. Drivers sometimes inch their way out with limited visibility on either side, counting on cross traffic to see their vehicle.

Ford’s new Cross Traffic Alert feature will assist drivers in backing up by warning drivers of impending traffic while backing out. The feature works in conjunction with Ford’s radar-based Blind Spot Monitoring System, utilizing this system’s two multiple beam radar modules, which are packaged in the rear quarter panels – one per side. The radar identifies when a vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone and illuminates an indicator light on the corresponding sideview mirror providing a warning that a vehicle is approaching.

Cross Traffic Alert uses the radar when in reverse to pick up moving objects within a 65-foot range from either the left or right side of the vehicle. The radar also works when backing out of angled parking spaces because its view is wider than just strictly sensing traffic coming at a 90-degree angle. Conventional systems have limited sideways effectiveness. When cross traffic is approaching, two warnings are given: an indicator lights up in the corresponding outside mirror and an audible alert is sounded.

The Blind Spot Mirror and Cross Traffic Alert with Blind Spot Monitoring System will join a portfolio of vehicle parking and back-up aids presently offered by Ford, including the Reverse Sensing System and the Rear View Camera.


The panoramic glass used on the 2009 Ford Glass Roof Mustang filters almost all of the sun's harmful rays while offering a convertible-like driving enjoyment.

The Mustang's glass roof is a first in the sports car segment and reduced cool-down time and wind noise compared to conventional automotive glass.

New 2009 Ford Flex and 2009 Lincoln MKS also offer large panoramic glass roofs as customers seek more sunshine.

DEARBORN, Mich., June 18, 2008 - The 2009 Ford Glass Roof Mustang, which is shipping to dealerships now, offers convertible-like sunbathed driving enjoyment without the need for sunscreen. That's because the best-selling sports car's panoramic glass roof - a factory-installed first in the segment - filters 90 percent of the sun's heat-generating infrared (IR) rays and 96 percent of burn-causing ultraviolet (UV) rays.

The UV-filtering capability of the new Mustang's fixed glass roof is comparable to sunscreen lotion with a sun protection factor (SPF) of approximately 50, which exceeds the dermatologist-recommended sunscreen strength of at least SPF-15.

In addition, the glass roof's ability to filter IR rays reduces heat load in the cabin so that occupants remain comfortable while enjoying the sun. The reflective glass also reduces energy used by the vehicle's air conditioner system while protecting the interior fabric from fading and deteriorating.

"The Mustang's glass roof gives customers more of what they want, sunshine, while protecting them against the sun's harmful rays," said Chester Walawender, Ford's glass technical expert. "But if an occupant wants less sun or additional privacy, the Glass Roof Mustang comes standard with a retractable mesh sun shade."

To ensure a comfortable driving experience, the panoramic roof is made of tinted privacy glass which reduces both vehicle cool-down time and infrared energy. Measuring more than one square meter in total size, the glass roof consists of two layers of glass with a layer of transparent vinyl in between.

The outer ply of glass is clear while the inner side is treated with a silver pyrolytic coating to reflect some of the sunlight. A thick polyvinyl butyral layer filters harmful rays and has acoustic properties that muffle wind and traffic noise by as much as five decibels. The inner glass layer further limits light transmission by 20 percent, and the manually retractable mesh sun shade decreases it even further.

Sun-soaked cruising is the Glass Roof Mustang's top appeal factor. Scientific studies show that increased exposure to sunshine or bright light is therapeutic because it regulates the body's synthesis of melatonin, a mood-regulating hormone that modulates the circadian cycle of sleep and wakefulness. Sunshine also triggers the body's conversion to active vitamin D, considered to be an effective natural remedy for "the blues."

"I recommend light therapy - be it natural or artificial - to all of my patients, because it helps elevate mood and energy," said Dr. Douglas J. Arends, a psychiatrist practicing in Royal Oak, Mich. "Driving or riding in a convertible certainly is one way to enjoy the health benefits of sunshine."

The 2008 Mustang convertible became the first sports car and the first convertible ever to earn the highest possible safety ratings in new car crash tests performed by the U.S. government, including five stars for both frontal and side for driver and passenger, as well as for roll-over performance. Nearly one out of two sports cars sold in America is a Mustang and it remains the best-selling convertible. Mustang also earned first place ratings in the 2007 J.D. Power and Associates' studies on Initial Quality, Vehicle Dependability and Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL).

"The Glass Roof Mustang maintains the brand's safety and quality reputation," said Paul Randle, chief nameplate engineer for Mustang. "Mustang owners have high expectations and we always want to meet them - with strong features like this glass roof option, plus quality and performance."

The idea of offering a glass roof was researched with Mustang customers beginning in 2005 to determine interest and pricing. Of those polled, 51 percent said the styling appealed to them and 42 percent said it would help make their car more unique. Ford dealer and marketing research indicate that about 20 percent of Mustang shoppers are likely to order the glass roof version, said Allison Revier, product marketing manager for Mustang. According to J.D. Power feature content research, 62 percent of buyers in the sports car segment wanted a sunroof/moon roof on their next vehicle.

The Glass Roof Mustang, which is available as a $1,995 option on both the V-6 model and the GT, is just one Ford model that features ample sunlight and generous views. The 2009 Ford Flex, 2009 Lincoln MKS, 2008 Ford Edge and 2008 Lincoln MKX also offer sun-splashed driving enjoyment thanks to optional panoramic roof glass that is privacy tinted for the occupants' comfort and protection.

According to CSM Worldwide, more and more consumers are opting for vehicles with some type of glass roof, with multi-panel panoramic sunroofs expected to double in installation volume to more than 260,000 by 2011.

"They deliver what appears to be a more spacious and less confined interior and are being used primarily on luxury vehicles, providing easy brand differentiation for OEMs," said Manuela Dennis, market analyst, North American Supply Chain and Technology Forecasts, CSM Worldwide.

Dennis added that as design and technology becomes less complex and expensive, panoramic sunroofs will become a market trend as volumes increase due to lower pricing.

The Japanese Escape Limited & XLT

エスケープ XLT


エスケープ LIMITED上質感あふれる装備とパワーが魅力のプレミアムコンパクトSUV。
主な装備:電動格納式リモコンドアミラー(ウィンカー内蔵) 間欠時間調整式フロントワイパー 間欠リアワイパー&熱線プリント式リアデフォッガー ダークティンデットガラス(リア/リアクォーター/バック) 電動ガラスサンルーフ(チルトアップ機構付) エキゾーストパイプフィニッシャー ルーフアンテナ(ビースティングアンテナ) ストップランプ(LED) 本革ステアリング オーディオリモートコントロール フルオートエアコン(マイクロンエアフィルター付き) インダッシュ6連奏CDチェンジャー付FM/AMチューナー+6スピーカー 本革シート 60:40分割可倒式リアシート 着脱式リアクッション オーバーヘッドコンソール(サングラスホルダー付) センターパネル/ドアトリムアクセント(ウッド調) 2ウェイリフトリアゲート ピクニックテーブル 運転席/助手席SRSエアバッグ 運転席/助手席SRSサイドエアバッグシステム(頭部保護機能付) EBD付4W-ABS(4輪アンチロックブレーキシステム) EBA(エマージェンシー・ブレーキ・アシスト) PATS(パッシブアンチセフトシステム:イモビライザー) チャイルドシート適応シートベルト 全席3点式シートベルト サイドアンダーミラー AWDロックスイッチ バッテリーセイバー 235/70R16タイヤ+ 7本スポークアルミホイール

The Middle East Ford Ranger

Tougher Than Ever.

A new era of capability and style just drove into town: Ford Ranger. You can choose new, more powerful engines that will let you haul up to 1000 kg (2205 lbs.). And now Ranger can tow up to an impressive 3000 kg (6614 lbs.), to take big loads where you need them. These greater capacities are announced by great new looks. Front to back, inside and out, Ranger has changed for the better, with an aggressive grille and jewel-like headlamps, plus an all-new hood, bodyside panels, cargo box and taillamps. Inside, new room, comfort and design are the big stories. So climb aboard and experience the newest expression of Built Ford Tough: Ranger.

The European Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger
The sensational Ford Ranger is built to take on any challenge. Powerful, agile and tough the Ranger is available as a choice of either 4x4 or 4x2 drivelines and three distinctive cab styles: Double Cab; Super Cab and Regular Cab. Whatever the, job Ford Ranger is built to take it on.

The Ford Ranger’s muscular and purposeful lines demonstrate a vehicle that is contemporary yet functional. From stylish alloy wheels to eye-catching chrome accessories and tinted glass, the Ford Ranger exudes strength and style wherever you take it.

The contemporary insightful design of the spacious cabin, the sumptuous seating and the luxurious level of interior comfort ensure you arrive at your destination feeling totally relaxed.

The Ford Ranger offers a range of four models to choose from – Ranger, XLT, Thunder and Wildtrak.

Never failing to turn heads, the powerful new 3.0 TDCi Ranger Wildtrak will be sure to take on your every adventure. Style and substance come together in the Ranger Thunder. From the deeply dished 16" alloy wheels and perfectly proportioned body to the beautifully crafted leather upholstery. Benefiting from superb driving dynamics, the Ranger XLT is equally at home both on and off the road. And when your job regularly involves coming to terms with treacherous terrain, the tough and dependable Ranger is the perfect partner.
Key Features:
New higher-powered 3.0-litre TDCi engine
Anti-lock brakes with EBD
Driver and front passenger airbags
Driver and front passenger side airbags
Immobiliser and perimeter alarm
Remote central locking
Sports front grille and aluminium overrider
Lower sports cladding, sports side steps and side sports vents
Aerodynamic sports bar and roof rails
Door mirror-mounted LED turn signals
Colour keyed scuff plates and floor mats with Wildtrak logo
Air conditioning
Heated front seats
Rear lamp protectors
Chrome rear protector bar with park distance control sensors
Pick up box sports rail extension
Leather/perforated Alcantara® seats with orange tricot stitching
Integrated front fog lights
16” 6-spoke machine finished alloy wheels with all-terrain tyres
Power operated exterior mirrors with chrome housings
Power operated windows
Heated rear window
Double-lidded centre console
AM/FM 6-disc integrated audio
Leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift knobs
Off road information centre (inclinometer, temperature gauge, compass)

Monday, June 23, 2008

2009 F-150 First Person Impressions

Hey guys,

I just spent the past 3 days in Dearborn up close and personal with the 2009 F-150, along comparable models from Toyota and Chevy. Thought I'd share some of info and thoughts:

Overall Impression:
Coming into this training, I assumed like everyone else that this model change was a minor face lift. Just looking at the truck, it easy to get this first impression. My whole view changed dramatically after spending 8 hours at the test track Tuesday driving, towing, off-roading, hauling, and generally beating the shit out of this truck along with the "competition". When you tear it down, it's almost entirely new (2200 changes), and you can see the improvements in every facet of the truck. Bottom line, we now have the most capable, highest quality truck on the market by a wide margin. With rising fuel prices, most personal use buyers are out of the game and the people buying pickups today need that capability.

New Frame:
The back half of the frame is completely new. Made out of high strength steel on the back half , the frame is much lighter and stronger than the 08 model. Apparently it's strong enough to go under 250/350 Super Duty. This, along with other weight saving efforts (like a new magnesium transfer case) have lead to about a 100 -150lb weight savings across all cab styles. The new frame is lighter to help improve fuel efficiency, yet also 10% stiffer in torsional rigidity for greater capability. Bottom line, the new frame means best in class towing/hauling, better MPGs, a smother ride, and less vibration in the cabin.

When comparing the frame to Toyota and Chevy, it's clear we're dramatically better. Visibly, the Tundra frame looks tiny in comparison, and uses rivets and C-channel vs. boxing and welding. The frame weakness is apparent when driving. When I drove across the Silvercreek 2 bump track (a milder version from the truth about trucks video), the Ford was under control and remarkable smooth and quiet. I had trouble keeping the Chevy on the track, and Tundra wasn't much better with its dashboard vibrating like a jackhammer. We've all seen the video of the Tundra's bed dancing on the Silvercreek 1 track. Well, apparently they no longer run that test. The Tundra was rented from a local dealer, and were billed about $4800 in body and paint damage from the bed smacking the cab.

New 4.6 3-Valve and 6 speed
The 6 speed is incredibly smooth, and transforms the way the truck drives. The base 4.6L gets the 4-speed, while the 4.6L 3-valve and the 5.4L get the 6 speed. The new 4.6L 3-valve really impressed me. It seems like it pulls almost as hard as the current 5.4, and it's definitely much more refined and powerful than comparable V8s from Chevy and Toyota (4 and 5 speed equipped respectively). It should be in the high 200's in horsepower, low 300's in torque, and should have a mileage advantage over the comparable vehicles.

New Cab configurations
The Crew Cab is now 6 inches longer, and now has ridiculous amounts of legroom in the back. They did a great job of engineering the load floor, moving one of the frame supports so you now have a completely flat load floor. The rear seat now easily folds out of the way, and you can easily slide in fit your 50" Plasma box in the back of the cab. This is not even attemptable in the Chevy. The Tundra's Crew cab is huge, and looks like you could slide in the TV, but the rear seat folds down to the floor, instead of up against the back of the cab, making the cab to short for the box. By the way, with how cramped the Chevy's back seat is, I can't see them competing in the Crew Cab segment without changing the truck. It was simply unbearable for me to sit back there relative to the other two.

Super Cab gets a flatter floor, easier folding rear sheet, and the front seatbelts are now integrated into the rear doors instead of the seats.

Regular Cab loses the rear access doors and gets the longer door from the Crew Cab. This seems like a loss at first, but I think makes the truck look better, and Ford says they did it to improve visibility when you check your blind spot.

Simply unbelievable. The material quality is out of this world, and the seats are incredibly comfortable. You now sit in the seats, not on top of the hard cushions of the current truck. The controls are all laid out very well, and everything looks great. These trucks are incredibly quiet, where as you get a lot more wind noise in the Chevy and Tundra.

The new Platinum takes this to a whole new level. It's got a double laminated windshield and extra sound insulation. This thing is Lexus quiet. Overall, this package was really impressive, with brushed aluminum trim that cover a lot of the interior. The monochrome looks awesome on the outside, and this thing has everything, even a power tilt wheel.

The interior of the Chevy looks good, but the material simply feels cheap. I gotta say, this was my first time driving a Tundra. Personally, I like the interior styling, but the ergonomics are atrocious. I couldn't reach the radio buttons without reaching across the center console, and there is no headroom in that truck. At 6'4" I'm not short, but I shouldn't be smashing my head on the roof every time I hit a bump.

New Nav
This thing does everything. The screen is a thing of beauty, and you can watch DVDs on it in park. There's a one slot CD player, and no changer. Instead, you can load your entire CD collection onto the hard drive. The Sirius travel link gives you all the traffic data, movie times, and gas prices of 120,000 stations nationwide. A few years ago, who would of thought Ford would be a technology leader?

Bed changes
The truck team did a great job of making the bed more useable. The pop out box steps make moving stuff around the bed easy and can hold up to 500 pounds of weight, and we now have the tailgate step from the Super Duty. They did a great comparison of our new load management system vs. Chevy and Tundra. Basically, ours is a lot easier to use, handles a lot more weight, and makes the others look like Wal-Mart clearance items. One interesting note on the Toyota tailgate. We've all heard about the tailgates falling off these things. Well, they showed us the owner's manual where it tells you to not drive with the tailgate down because of this. At the same time, their accessories catalog includes a bed extender. How does that make any sense?

Along with the trailer brake control coming down from Super Duty, all 2009 F-150s have a new system called Trailer Sway control standard. This system runs off Advance Trac, and basically uses brakes and throttle adjustments to prevents/correct trailer sway situation that can cause an accident. The system is seamless, and works with any trailer, automatically detecting the load of a trailer through the Yaw Sensor of Advance Trac.

We got to drive the Ford, Chevy, and Toyota while towing identical 6000 lb trailers through an uphill and downhill course. All three of these vehicles did the job just fine, but it was remarkable how easy it was in the F-150. The combination of the 6-Speed (with a tow mode that automatically engine brakes) along with the new Trailer Sway Control, almost give the illusion that the trailer is not even there. There's no trailer push downhill, and you hardly need to make any steering adjustments. Driving the competition, however, you definitely have to do more corrections on the turns, and fell the trailer push the Truck in the down hill sections. Basically you would be fine towing in the Tundra and Silverado, but you'd be much more physically and mentally exhausted over the course of a long drive constantly accounting for the trailer.

In one of the best towing examples we did, a professional driver drove us in an F-150 and purposely put the truck into a trailer sway situation. It was incredible watching the system correct the situation automatically.

Bottom Line
Guys, this is just the tip of the iceberg of everything we covered. There's a great safety story with all the standard safety features, and I could keep writing for while on many different topics, but this email is getting WAY to long. Basically, we have the best truck in the industry, and it's not even an competition.

Recommended Action: Direct Comparison at the Dealership

The superiority of our truck is readily apparent when you compare them directly to the competition. I would suggest that you keep a used Silverado and Tundra of the current body style at your store at all times once the 2009 F-150 arrives. Sell/Wholesale them as they get to 45-60 days old, and go get another one at the auction. Allowing sales consultants to directly show how our truck stacks up will be a great closing tool.

YouTube links:
A lot of the demonstrations from the training session is already on YouTube from people's camera phones. These really aren’t supposed to be out there, but they are so you might as well use them. Check it out!

CloseSign Up QuickList (0) Help Sign In Site:

2009 F-150 follows Silverado over Silver Creek 2

2009 Ford F-150: How to Design the Ultimate Truck

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ford invites students to design a 21st Century Model T

Mustang 45th Anniversary

45th Anniversary Mustang

45th Anniversary Mustang Badging
The 2009 45th Anniversary Mustang GT should start arriving in dealerships in a month or two. The 45th anniversary badge is added to this classic. The GT pictured above sports a glass roof.

Event Coverage: 23rd Annual Fabulous Fords Forever Knott's Berry Farm

Ford Streamliner With Folding Roof

Ford Ranchero

Ford Ranchero

1972 Ford Ranchero

1970 Ford Ranchero

Ford Ranchero

Ford Econoline Van's

Ford Econoline Van

Ford Van Front View

Ford Van Rear View

Ford Van Side View

Ford Bronco

Ford Bronco Grill View

Ford F-100 Rear View

Ford F-100 Front View

Ford F-100 Front View

Ford F-100 Front View

Ford Pickup Front View

Ford Badge F-1

B Pickup Front View

By Thomas Voehringer
Photography by the author

Once a year, Fords old and new gather in the huge parking lot adjacent to Knott's Berry Farm Amusement Park in Buena Park, California, for the Fabulous Fords Forever event. happily sponsors the event that brings Blue Oval types from all over the West. Spectators can partake in everything FoMoCo, from the imported Cortina or Aussie GT to the new Ford Flex. This year, the 23rd annual FFF celebrated 100 years of Model T, 40 years of Torino, and 60 years of the F-Series. Let's hear it for the trucks, since the F-Series is the only honoree still in production.

FFF is primarily a car show, and Mustangs command the spotlight. Trucks occupy the outer fringes of the parking lot adjacent to German Capris and new Ford/Lincoln/Mercury vehicles. There was a significant turnout of first-gen Broncos this year. All look well used and well Cared for--and a couple were painted in Stroppe Baja livery.

There were surprisingly few F-100s this year, but a neat chartreuse/white custom unibody was an eyecatcher. The mid-1950s deliveries attracted a lot of attention, while the new Econolines drew hardcore vanners.

With the Pontiac G8 "El Camino" ST on its way, Ranchero owners speculated wildly on a competitive entry from the Ford camp. Would it (could it) be Mustang-based?

The weather was beautiful, there was plenty of pretty sheetmetal to admire, and there were loads of friendly people to talk to. Admission was free and parking was cheap.

It's a great show every year. And, as a bonus, once the show is over, you can walk across the street to Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant for delicious fried chicken and killer boysenberry pie. Which makes it a family outing that's hard to beat.