The Ford (1908- ) is what people called the only kind of car the Ford Motor Company used to make. You could get it with engines of different sizes, with four doors or just two, with different styling and so on, but it was all the same car.
The Ford has fallen out of fashion, but it is still with us. It is currently known asthe Crown Victoria. In fact, even now it is still the most common car in New York: taxi drivers and the police like it because it is built strong and has a lot of room.
Henry Ford was not interested in making the best cars. He wanted tomake cars that were strong and simple and easy to make, cars he could sell to the common man. Everything about the Ford was designed towards that end.
The Model T came out in 1908. Ever since then the Ford has been a car with the body, engine and transmission all bolted onto a frame, with the engine in front, a solid axle in the back and the transmission in between. Since 1932 that engine has been a V8.
The Ford has grown in size and power over the years. By the 1960s it was three times heavier and ten times more powerful than the Model T. But in the 1970s this proved to be its undoing.
In the early 1970s oil went from $3 to $12 almost overnight. Now the size and power of the Ford worked against it: it was so large and heavy and had such a high-powered – and therefore wasteful – engine that suddenly it became a costly car to have.
So in the years that followed the Ford fell out of favour even as it became smaller and lighter – and got a weaker engine. Only now is it as powerful as it once was in its glory days of the 1960s.
For this line of cars, the last convertible came out in 1972 and the last estate car (station wagon) in 1991.
The Ford through the years:
The prices are given in crowns (a coin with 30 grams of silver – about $13 in current money), engine size in litres (1 L = 61 cubic inches) and engine power in kilowatts (1 kW = 1.341 horsepower).