by C. C. Wheeler
In an effort to promote the showing and driving of the antique vehicle the 2000 AACA Board of Directors established the Driver Participation category. This category is for non-modified vehicles 25 years or older that have not obtained a National First Prize. This is a non-competitive category and will not be judged, but vehicles will be eligible to be certified as a driver. A “Driver” tab will be issued at the awards ceremony to each vehicle upon certification; a Participation Award will be given out upon certification and each subsequent Meet for attendance. When five Participation Awards are received they should be completed and mailed to the Vice-President of Senior Car Awards. Upon confirmation of the five Participation Awards, a mounting board will be mailed from National Headquarters.
Even though the DPC Class is not point judged, the procedure for showing the vehicle is the same for the judged class. You must have an approved fire extinguisher, trunk open, hood up and convertible tops in the up position.
In your registration packet you will receive a windshield card and a worksheet. The windshield card must be placed on the windshield; the worksheet must be filled out by the owner and placed on the front seat. A team of judges will inspect the vehicle. The vehicle will be certified or rejected depending on the degree of modification. Hope to see your vehicle in the Drivers Class at the next Meet.
Ask the question, "who invented the automobile?" and most people will say, "Henry Ford." This popular misconception is a tribute to the man who made the automobile possible for the millions.
Although it is generally conceded that the automobile was conceived and born in Europe, a number of American experimenters also worked on the idea at approximately the same time during the late 1800s. Full credit can be given to Henry Ford, however, for building the automobile millions could afford. His guiding philosophy was: "I will build a motor car for the great multitude…it will be so low in price that no man…will be unable to own one."
THE 20TH CENTURY
Ford Motor Company was launched in a small converted wagon factory in Detroit on June 16, 1903. Its meager assets consisted of some tools, a few machines, plans, and $28,000 in cash supplied by 12 investors. Along with Henry Ford, the first stockholders of the infant corporation were a coal dealer, the coal dealer's bookkeeper, a banker who trusted the coal dealer, two brothers who owned the machine shop that made the engines, a carpenter, two lawyers, a clerk, the owner of a notions store and a man who made windmills and air rifles.
The first car offered for sale was described as "the most perfect machine on the market" and "so simple that a boy of 15 can run it." The first sale was made to Dr. E. Pfennig, of Chicago, who bought the car a month after the company's incorporation, much to the delight of the worried stockholders who were nervously eyeing a bank balance that had dwindled to $223!
For the next five years, young Henry Ford was chief engineer and later the president. During the first 15 months, some 1,700 cars—the first Model A's—came sputtering out of the old wagon factory.
Between 1903 and 1908, Henry Ford feverishly went through 19 letters of the alphabet—from Model A to Model S. Some of these cars were experimental models that never reached the public. Some had two cylinders, some had four, and one had six; some had a chain drive and some a shaft drive; and in two the engine was placed beneath the driver's seat. Perhaps the most successful of the production cars was the Model N—a small, light, four-cylinder machine that went on the market at $500. A $2,500 six-cylinder limousine, the Model K, sold poorly.
Finally, the Model T chugged into history on Oct. 1, 1908, Henry Ford’s "universal car." It became the symbol of low-cost, reliable transportation that could pass other cars stuck in the muddy roads. The Model T won the approval of millions of Americans, who affectionately dubbed it "Tin Lizzie." The first year's production reached 10,660, breaking all records for the industry.
THE ASSEMBLY LINE
By the end of 1913, Ford Motor Company was producing almost half of all the automobiles in the United States. To keep ahead of the demand, Ford initiated mass production. Mr. Ford reasoned that with each worker remaining in one assigned place, and one specific task to do, the automobile would take shape more quickly. Move the car, not the man!
To test this theory, a chassis was dragged by rope and windlass along the floor of the Highland Park, Mich. plant in the summer of 1913. Modern mass production was born! Eventually, Model T's were rolling off the assembly lines at the rate of one every 10 seconds of each working day. Many stories are told about Ford’s use of black paint. The real reason was that black dried faster.
Henry Ford startled the world on Jan. 5, 1914, by announcing that Ford Motor Company's minimum wage would be $5 a day—more than double the existing minimum rate. Mr. Ford felt 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. Ford considered the payment of $5 for an eight-hour day the finest cost-cutting move he ever made. "I can find methods of manufacturing that will make high wages," he said. "If you cut wages, you just cut the number of your customers."
FORD CHANGES AMERICA
The Model T started a rural revolution and the $5 day a social revolution. The moving assembly line started an industrial revolution. In the 19 years the Model T was in production, 15,007,033 cars were manufactured in the United States alone. To quickly get the cars in the hands of his dealers, Ford built factories in major cities, such as Charlotte. Soon the Ford Motor Company was firmly established as a giant industrial complex spanning the globe.
But by 1927, the clock had run out on the Model T. Improved but basically unchanged for so many years, it was losing ground to the more stylish and powerful machines being offered by Ford's competitors. On May 31, Ford plants across the country closed for six months to retool for the new Model A.
THE SECOND WAVE, THE MODEL A
The Model A was a vastly improved car in every respect. Close to 4,500,000 of them in several body styles and a wide variety of colors, rolled onto the nation's highways between late 1927 and 1931.
But the Model A was finally pushed aside by a consumer demand for even more luxury and power. Ford Motor Company was ready with plenty of both in its next entry—its first V-8 which was introduced to the public on March 31, 1932. Ford was the first company in history to cast the V-8 block in one piece and produce it in volume. Experts told Mr. Ford it couldn't be done. It was many years before Ford's competitors learned how to mass-produce a reliable V-8. In the meantime, the Ford car and its powerful engine became a favorite of performance-minded Americans.
YEARS OF CHANGE
Civilian car production came to a sudden halt in 1942 as America went to war. During WW II, Ford produced 8,685 four-engine B-24 "Liberator" bombers, 57,851 aircraft engines, 277,896 jeeps and 2,718 tanks and tank destroyers in less than four years.
Edsel Ford died in 1943, and a saddened, older Henry Ford resumed the presidency until the end of World War II when he resigned for the second time. His oldest grandson, Henry Ford II, became president on Sept. 24, 1945. HF II would serve as chairman of the board from July 13, 1960 until March 13, 1980, and remained chairman of the Finance Committee until his death in 1987.
Even as Henry Ford II drove the industry's first postwar car off the assembly line, he was making plans to reorganize and decentralize the company. Losing money at the rate of several million dollars a month, Ford Motor Company was in critically poor condition to resume its prewar position as a major force in the fiercely competitive auto industry. Facing many of the same problems his grandfather had in the beginning, young Henry Ford II tackled the job of building an automobile company all over again. Having finally relinquished the company's operation to his grandson, Mr. Ford lived quietly with his wife, Clara, at their estate, "Fair Lane," in Dearborn until his death on April 7, 1947, at the age of 83. Soon after his death, his two younger grandsons, Benson and William Clay, assumed greater responsibilities with the company.
POST WAR FORD
1948 brought dramatic changes to the automobile industry. Earlier, Ford teased the American public with their famous advertisement, “There’s a Ford in Your Future.” Now they were ready to deliver! On June 8, 1948, the 1949 Ford was introduced with much fanfare at the New York Waldorf Astoria. The sleek, smooth-sided '49 Ford featured independent front suspension, and new rear quarter windows that opened. The integration of body and fenders was an innovation that set the standard for the future of automotive design. The '49 Ford gave Ford Motor Company e momentum and Ford sold approximately 807,000 cars - the highest volume since 1929. Profits surged to $177 million – 80 million ahead of the year before.
Today’s Ford Motor Company produces not only Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, and Mazda, but a line of premier brands including Aston Martin, Jaguar, Volvo, and Land Rover. The company also retains an interest in financing (Ford Credit), parts and service (Ford Customer Service Division), and car rental (Hertz). Ford operates in more than 140 countries with over 7,000 worldwide locations.
Good work Mr. Ford!
Edited by Bob Blake with material supplied by the Ford Motor Company
BY Earl D. Beauchamp, Jr.
Perhaps you already know, but when the Founders Tour was established it was decided that a special certificate would be presented to the tourists for completion of certain “milestones”. For example, certificates have been given to tourists who have completed ten. At the recent Founders Tour at Valley Forge, PA several couples were recognized for having completed all of the Founders Tours to date.
While attending this last Founders Tour someone asked me if the same would be the case for the Sentimental Tour. Well, yes, or something similar anyway. The rules, as written, state that a “Certificate of Accomplishment” will be awarded to those members who have completed six consecutive Sentimental Tours, including the two trial Tours in 2001 and 2002. The first such award will not be given before 2010.
The difference is that, you can start at any time. If you attended 2001 and 2002, and you continue to attend, you would receive the certificate in 2010. If 2002 was your first one and you continue, then in 2012 you would receive your certificate. By the same token, if you begin attending this tour with the first National Sentimental Tour in 2004 and continue, then you would receive your certificate in 2014.
The idea was to build a base cadre of tourists to enjoy this new tour, together, over and over again. We hope to see all of the original tourists from 2001 and 2002 return to join our new friends in October 2004. Watch your AACA magazine for all of the dates and times so you won’t miss registering. All the rules for all the tours are spelled out in the P & P, which every Region President receives.
I once had a young secretary that would say to me when I questioned something she had typed, “I never make a mistake!” I never said anything or offered sage advice until the right opportunity presented itself, and that was an occasion I’ll never forget. She was to fax out some construction bids while I was away from the office, and when I saw them when I got back the next day I knew I had my moment!
Where the bid was supposed to state “Base Bid” she had incorrectly typed “Bare Bird”. I now had my ammunition that I needed to use is a sensitive way to make my point — that being that anyone who does anything is going to make some mistakes! I can’t say she still believed that she would never make “another” mistake, but at least she knew she was capable of making a mistake!
So when I take the latest edition of the Rummage Box or our Hornets Nest Region, AACA Members’ Parade to the printers I know there will some errors somewhere in the publication, and with the Members’ Parade errors usually hit me square between the eyes the second I open a page with an error. So I take the realistic approach that there will be mistakes, but I try hard to keep them to a minimum. However, some mistakes are not seen on the material that goes to the printer’s office if you do what I do — give him the entire newsletter content on a CD including pictures. Then the unknown can be between his computer not “seeing” what your computer sees. While not a common cause of mistakes, it happened recently to me when I had to upgrade to MS Publisher so data wasn’t “confused” between the two computers systems and Publisher versions.
So what should you be doing? Rely on software spell check and grammar check, and have someone else proof read your finished product. Spell check will not catch a word used incorrectly if it is spelled correctly, i.e. “form” and “from”. Someone else reading your work will probably catch this type error, but when you re-read your material, if you’re like me you tend to read what you meant to say, not what the printed word says!
I have a few members of our Region that will complain loudly when some of their work in our newsletter isn’t correct, or maybe the quality of a particular picture wasn’t up to their expectation. And I do receive a few e-mails from you reader about errors or omissions , but I just take it in stride.
This job as editor is supposed to be fun, and besides, I did get the “Inside this issue” part right this issue! I did, didn’t I?