The History Of The Ford Motor Company

The Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903 but can trace its history back to 1896 with Henry Ford’s first automobile. In those 123 years, the company has revolutionized automobile manufacturing, supported the American efforts in two world wars, created iconic vehicles like the Model T, Thunderbird, Mustang and Bronco and even helped NASA get to the moon.

In addition to making cars, the company has been involved in almost every form of motorsport from Formula 1 to Off-Road Baja racing. Here are the paramount points of history from the company’s long and illustrious lifespan from 1896 to its 100th anniversary in 2003.

1896 – The Quadricycle

ford quadricycle first car
Photo by Apic/Getty Images
Photo by Apic/Getty Images

Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, built his first automobile in June of 1896. He called it the “Quadricycle” as it used four bicycle wheels. Powered by a two-cylinder engine producing four-horsepower and driving the rear wheels, the Quadricycle was good for a heady 20 mph, thanks to it’s two-speed gear box.

The very first Quadricycle was sold for $200. Ford sold an additional two more before Ford Motor Company was founded. Henry Ford bought back the original Quadricycle for $60, and it presently lives in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.