Ford finds 100 good reasons to celebrate ‘made in Britain’
FROM Ford’s archives celebrating 100 years in Britain: The electric 1967 Ford Comuta concept was capable of 40mph and 40 miles on a full charge.
Ford’s assistant managing director at the time, Leonard Crossland, recognised electric motors would not replace combustion engines for long journeys, saying: “…their uses will be primarily as city centre delivery vans and suburban shopping cars”. Ford will finally deliver an electric Focus next year.
The Blue Oval brand has plenty of celebrations this year. Tuesday was its centenary birthday in Britain and later this year it marks 100 years of car making in Britain, mostly in England. It has led the car sales table for the last 34 years and the commercial sector for 45 years.
The Ford plants, at Bridgend, in South Wales, and Dagenham, in East London, have the combined capacity to assemble two million engines annually, and one in three Ford cars globally is powered by a UK engine.
Ford directly employs more than 15,000 people, many in skilled roles developing and building high-technology, fuel-efficient, low-CO2 engines. A further 100,000
Henry Ford founded the US company in 1903. In October 1911, Trafford Park, Manchester, produced the Model T, the first Ford made outside America. Dagenham made its first vehicle, a Model AA truck, in October, 1931.
On the track, the brand has been a true legend, with stacks of world and club rally wins. Its Slough-built GT40 took the first three places at Le Mans in 1966.
Ford events are being held around the country, including at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire, the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire, and September’s Goodwood Revival.
The eminent critic, Eric Dymock, has written The Ford in Britain Centenary File. (www.dovepublishing. co.uk)
SEEING THE FUTURE:
STILL GOING STRONG: Ford continues to make the iconic Transit in Britain.