How Well Do You Know the Ford History Timeline?


By: Nikki Weed

7 Min Quiz

Image: Pixabay by Smarko

About This Quiz

Ford Motor Company has been a revolutionary powerhouse in the automotive and aeronautical world for well over a century. From the companies' humble beginnings in the back yard of Henry Ford Sr.'s home back in the 1890s to the new all-electric Mustang, innovation has always been first and foremost as a company practice. These pioneering ideas had magnificent results, such as experimenting with installing airbags in every passenger car to creating cutting edge police cars. Not all of these innovations were positive, though, with several instances of death and tragedy. The Ford history timeline spans over 116 years, with a lot of blood sweat and tears pouring out in the name of innovation throughout the years. 

If you were to take a time machine and travel to the year of the very first F-series pick up truck, what year would you travel to? If you wanted to look up when in the Ford history timeline they acquired Lincoln, what year would you be looking at? Ford's history is interesting, to say the least, but how well do you know it? Take our test to see what sort of Ford savant you actually are, and learn a few things along the way.

Upon the discontinuation of the Model T in 1927, what model did Ford offer instead?

The Model A was introduced in late 1927 and came in a variety of body styles, but only four colors. By the end of production in 1932, 4,858,644 Model A Fords were made and were found globally. The average top speed of a Model A off the showroom floor was 65 mph.


In 1955, Ford released a rival to the Chevrolet Corvette. What was it called?

The iconic styling of the Thunderbird paired with Fords' focus on practicality and comfort set it way ahead of the Corvette sales-wise. In the 1955 model year, the Thunderbird outsold Corvette 24-to-1.


Dubbed as ugly, overpriced, over-hyped, poorly made and poorly timed, what debuted in 1957?

After doing painstaking market research and polling customers at great length, the Ford design department disregarded results and created the Edsel instead. Quality and reliability issues made this car flop before it had a chance to get off the ground.


After Henry Ford and Edsel ran the show, Henry Ford II took over in 1945. What relation was he to Henry?

Just two years after his father Edsel died, Henry Ford II took the helm of Ford Motor Company and remained as president for 15 years. He was president for the introduction of the F-Series truck and some of the first crash testing done on automobiles.


In what year did Ford offer the first V8?

The very first V8 offered was a Flathead and is still extremely popular with the hot rod community. Initially, the engine only had 65 horsepower, but after engineering and alterations of carburation methods, horsepower increased to 95 by 1939.


With unorthodox styling and unparalleled comfort, the Lincoln Zephyr was set apart from the competition of Cadillac and Packard in 1936. What made it drastically different?

The Lincoln Zephyr is a classic definition of timeless. Built for six years with minimal changes, the Zephyr was a brilliantly designed automobile with revolutionary technology and comfort. Production of the Zephyr was ceased due to World War II.


Henry Ford designed and built vehicles before founding the Ford Motor Company. What was the name of his original self-propelled vehicle constructed in 1896?

Henry Fords first horse free carriage, the Quadricycle, actually had no steering wheel and a total of four horsepower. Running on four bicycle tires, the top speed was 20 miles per hour and the vehicle had no reverse. The original Quadricycle can be seen at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.


The Fox Body Mustang is one of the most loved and hated designs in the car's history. When did the Fox Body first appear?

The Fox Body Mustang was a revolutionary deviation from the previous body styles. These Mustangs were built on the Ford Fox unibody chassis as a smaller alternative to the bulky vehicles produced during the '70s. The weight reduction was imperative to combat competition during the gas crisis.


In what year did the Ford Motor Company incorporate into an automotive powerhouse?

With a whopping $28,000, the Ford Motor Company was incorporated and started production on its revolutionary automobile, the Model A, in July of 1903. By October of the same year, Ford had already turned a profit of $37,000.


To bridge the cost gap between Lincoln and Ford brands, Mercury was created. In what year was it unveiled?

Lincoln rapidly became lauded as a top of the line vehicle, and Fords were affordable reliability to fill the gap in between the Edsel helped design the Mercury. The Mercury 8 was introduced in 1939 with stylish curves, a V8 engine and 100 horsepower and became a hit with the middle class.


With a price tag of $2.5 billion dollars, what automotive company did Ford purchase in 1989?

To become competitive in foreign markets where BMW and Mercedes reigned supreme, Ford took a look around at what companies were available to purchase and become rivals to the two luxury giants. Jaguar was struggling, and after some negotiations, became the property of Ford.


When people hear the name Ford, they think of the Mustang, which debuted in 1964. What color was the first to roll off the assembly line?

There aren't many cars that have withstood the test of time quite like the Ford Mustang. The very first Mustang was equipped with a V8 and had a top speed of 116 miles per hour. Most models were priced right around $2,300, which was a great bang for the buck at the time.


Lincoln has been a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company for a long time, but how long exactly?

Henry Leland created Lincoln in 1917 and had great success in the automotive and aviation industry. Marketed as a rival to the Cadillac in luxury, Lincoln became a household name in fine automobiles. After the first world war, the company fell into dire financial straights and was purchased by Ford for $8 million.


In 1914, Ford changed the game for factory workers worldwide by offering a wage of how much per day?

Although it doesn't seem like it by today's standards, $5 a day was a huge amount for a factory worker to earn in 1914, in fact double what they were making before. Along with more money, employees were also given workdays reduced from 9 hours to eight.


Sportier versions of your favorite Fords are sometimes badged with the letters "SVT." What do those letters stand for?

The Special Vehicle Team was an offshoot of Fords' Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) after they became overwhelmed with too many projects and not enough staff. SVT editions of cars, such as the Mustang, were developed and sent to dealerships race-ready. Lady Gaga drives a 1992 F150 Lightning SVT.


In 1941 Ford built a record-shattering assembly line measuring a mile long. What was this facility called?

Willow Run was built outside of Ypsilanti, Michigan and was home to the B-24 Liberator military aircraft. Since the military draft for World War II, a large share of the employees was female. Willow Run was an integral part of creating the Rosie the Riveter character.


Hands-free technology took off in 2008 with many automotive companies scrambling to be cutting edge with infotainment systems. What is Ford's Infotainment system called?

Safety has always been paramount at Ford, and the introduction of hands-free technology was heralded as cutting edge in 2008. Voice-activated calling, Bluetooth connectivity and navigation systems allowed drivers to be focused on what matters: the road ahead.


Electric vehicles are all the buzz lately, but in 1996 Ford released an all-electric vehicle. What was it?

This innovative little truck was equipped with lead-acid batteries and used regenerative breaking similar to hybrid cars today. Although the technology was impressive for the time, the payload was not. With a payload capacity of 900 pounds, this little truck wasn't able to do much trucking.


Airbags are everywhere nowadays, but when did Ford first start experimenting with them?

Although airbags are required today, Ford and GM both lobbied against airbags in the late '70s, stating that they weren't a viable option to place into mass-produced vehicles. Airbags didn't disappear from people's minds, and Ford eventually decided in '84 to offer them as an option in their Tempo.


The Ford GT40 shook things up at the 1966 24 hours of Le Mans road race by taking first place away from Ferrari. Who were the drivers?

McLaren and Amon won the 24 Hours of LeMans, but not in the way you might think. The GT40's were running so well that the team felt it would be a great idea for a photo finish, which by chance (some say) put McLaren and Amon ahead of the rightful winners at the finish line.


The Ford logo, a simple blue oval, has been unchanged drastically for quite some time. What year was the blue oval adopted as the logo?

The font has changed a little bit, and the shape of the oval was elongated a bit, but the overall concept of the logo has remained unchanged for 90 years. The oval design was introduced in 1912, but it wasn't filled in with blue until '27.


Police cars are synonymous with Ford branding. What year was the first purpose-build Ford police car introduced?

Police forces wouldn't be the same had it not been for the introduction of the Ford Interceptor package in 1950. Police cruisers are still being purpose-built by Ford, with law enforcement and Ford engineers working together to develop the best design and practicality.


One of the greatest automotive "oops" moments of all time was the Ford Pinto. How many of these were recalled due to possible fuel tank explosion in 1978?

The '78 recall included all Pinto, Bobcat and Runabout models. It required all cars to have a new fuel-tank filler neck installed to decrease the likelihood of explosion after rear-end collisions. An estimated 27 people died from these explosions.


In order to create revenue during The Great Depression, which country did Ford build planes for?

Henry Ford, although a self-proclaimed pacifist, began building aircraft for the British government to generate revenue for his business and to avoid laying off employees. By the time World War II was over, Ford had built 86,865 complete aircraft for various countries.


The Ford Motor Company hit the stock market with full steam and sold 10.2 million shares in the first day in what year?

Up until 1956, 100% of the stock in Ford was owned by members of the Ford Family, the Edison Institute and the Ford Foundation. On January 18, 1956, Ford stock was offered at $64.50 per share.


With iconic models such as the Marauder and Cougar, Mercury eventually fell out of the spotlight and ceased production in what year?

On June 2, 2010, an announcement was made that Ford would no longer be producing any Mercury models. Since many of the models produced were designed on Ford platforms, the middle-of-the-road brand was no longer needed like it was in 1939.


The very first NASCAR-sanctioned race was won by a 1939 Ford in 1948. Who was driving?

Red Byron wasn't just a racing legend; he was a war hero. After sustaining a combat wound in World War II, a special apparatus was required for him to use the clutch in his race car. That #22 Ford will be in the NASCAR history books forever.


The Ford Explorer has been a favorite SUV for decades, but when was it first introduced?

The wildly popular Ford Explorer was first introduced as a compact sport utility vehicle and offered as an alternative to a bulky station wagon. With a comfortable ride height and ample space, it rapidly became of the best selling vehicles Ford ever produced.


The Model T was introduced in 1908 as a affordable yet durable automobile. How many were made over the course of production?

The Model T was produced over 19 years and garnered a huge fan base in a market of mostly luxury automobiles. There were barely 18,000 miles of paved roads in the United States in 1908, so a rugged and reliable vehicle was paramount, which the Model T provided.


When most people think about trucks, they think about the Ford F-150. When was the first F-150 introduced?

Although Ford had made trucks since the days of the first Model T, F-150 wasn't introduced until 1975 and has remained on the top seller list for trucks ever since. Many of these hardworking, fuel-sucking '70s model F-series trucks are still on the road today.


Ford and Mazda have been interwoven for many decades. When did they first decide to team up in the name of development?

Ford and Mazda joined forced in '69 to try and perfect the automatic transmission. After almost 40 years of a joint venture and sometimes joint ownership, they parted ways in 2009 to better focus on their prospective fuel economy projects.


In 1908 the very first Ford dealership outside of North America was built. Where was it?

Although Model T's were being imported into Europe, the first brick and mortar store didn't open until 1908 in Paris. Interest in Ford exploded in Europe soon after, and in 1911 Ford Motor Company refurbished an old Tram station in Manchester, Great Britain to build Model T's for Europe.


Phillip Caldwell shook things up at Ford as the first non-Ford-family CEO in what year?

Phillip Caldwell helped Ford through the tough times associated with the gas crisis and helped Ford become a viable competitor to the fuel-efficient Japanese cars. The Ford Taurus was one of his projects, which became one of the top-selling cars of the late '80s.


In what year did Henry Ford decide to hand over his automotive empire to his only son, Edsel?

Edsel Ford was a pioneer in automotive design, and traces of his artistic eye can still be seen in the original Lincoln Continental. He was a creative visionary and believed automobiles could be stylish and practical simultaneously. His goal as president of Ford was to produce "the best car in the world."


Space-aged technology of flying cars isn't that far fetched. In 1926, Ford produced a prototype of a flying car. What was it called?

The Ford Flivver was slated as being the Model T of the air, a mass-produced personal aircraft for the masses. Although the idea was grand, the concept never really took off. After Harry Brooks, the official test pilot, died while test flying the Flivver, all research and development was grounded.


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