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Hagerty Employee

116 years before the Mach-E, Henry Ford built this bare-bones, battery-powered Model T | Hagerty Media

Possibly encouraged by the automobile tycoon himself, who cultivated his "everyman" public persona, most knew Henry Ford as a tinkerer. He had once made a gasoline engine in his wife's kitchen and, another time, took an axe to the brick doorway in the shed behind his home on Detroit's Bagley Avenue because his newly completed "Quadricycle" would not fit through the opening.

So it would have made more sense now to name Ford's Mach-E the T-EV instead! And that would have been just fine with those of us in the Pony Corral!

Per the article: "...since Ford did build its headquarters a few years later, at the corner of Woodward and East Grand Blvd." is NOT True. It was only at the Highland Park MI location at Woodward and Manchester. The Admin building and one row of the factory are left now, with no plans to restore either. The GM building was 2 blocks west of the Woodward-Grand Blvd. intersection, built ca. 1927...
Advanced Driver

Street view 7310 Woodward (at the corner of E. Grand Blvd), which stands to this day. You'll find an 8-story building with a 1960s-era facade tacked on. My mother worked in this building from the 1970s until the early 2000s when it was used as State of Michigan offices. It was originally a Ford property, although my mother said it was a warehouse. However at some point a dropped ceiling on the 1st floor was removed, which revealed elaborate plaster ceilings and chandelier-type fixtures. I'm not enough of a Ford history expert to say this was a HQ, but I've been inside it myself and can say it would be the fanciest damn warehouse I've ever seen. This is no doubt the building referred to in the article.

According to the Library of Congress, the building housed Ford Motor Company's Detroit offices as it transitioned from the Piquette Avenue factory where the Model T was developed to the much larger Highland Park plant. In 1919, Ford moved their administrative offices to the Highland Park facility.

Good stuff! Ford was a pioneer in the way many are opposed to - risk taking. He was about selling cars people wanted and making money!

Battery tech is still the Achilles heel of electric vehicles. Motor tech, even transmission tech for heavy loads, is well sorted, it is all battery right now.

The complete absurdity of this surrounds the fact that GM perfected hybrid tech 60 plus years ago with diesel electric locomotives. A smaller battery, a very high efficiency engine with a transmission, and an electric motor/generator in place of a torque converter, is the most efficient for all modes of travel. Plug in capability and local all-electric capability, the engine can run at peak efficiency to charge the battery and power the motor, or for constant speed highway driving engine only power.

It is pretty basic, the most flexible for different fuels, adaptable to different platforms, and practical for high-mileage goals.

BUT, it isn’t flashy, it isn’t “zero tailpipe emissions”, and most importantly it isn’t woke enough.

Mark my words: to combat the low take rate of all electric vehicles, GM and Ford (the proponents of increased CAFE standards and CO2 limits) will lobby for tax credits to install updated electric service and charging stations in homes, and impose severe mileage taxes for ICE powered vehicles, forcing the public adoption of their all electric dream tech. Follow the money.
Pit Crew

GM and VW are the two high-volume companies going all in on EVs. Ford has taken a much more cautious approach and continues to offer Hybrid-Electric and Plug-in Hybrid versions of the Fusion, Escape, Explorer and F-150. The F-150 Hybrid got a lot of positive press recently when Texas owners were using it to power their homes during the recent winter storm outages there. It provides enough power (up to 7.2kW) through its auxiliary outlets in the bed to power arc welders and other job-site equipment.


In addition, I wouldn't call the 60-year old diesel electric locomotive the "perfection of hybrid technology."  There is a massive engine powering a massive generator with no on-board storage batteries and thus no regenerative energy recapture.  It is simply about generating as much torque as possible for pulling power.


A lot of endorsements and fast-deal articles went on, but Thomas Edison actually bought and drove a Studebaker Electric. He also owned a Columbia, a Baker, a Woods, a Bailey and a Waverley.

Was Edison's Woods a pure EV or was it one of their Dual Power hybrid models?

Edsel was not Henry Ford's only son. He and his mistress/secretary Evangeline Cote had a son named John Dahlinger, born in 1923. He wrote a book about the affair appropriately titled 'The Secret Life of Henry Ford.'
Intermediate Driver

An interesting feature on the left side of the "Fifteenth Million Ford" appears to be hinges for a driver's door. My experience with Model T's has been that there was just the impression of a door there because the brake and shift levers would block entry from that side. I also would question why additional expense would have been made to install "fake" hinges if there was no real door there? A "thrifty" person like Henry Ford, it seems to me, wouldn't be adding extra cost to his inexpensive machine. Model T's are wonderful machines, except I still can't get used to the frame flex in driving one. Been a few years now. Prefer the Model A.
New Driver

In 1926/27 the Model T had a driver side door but prior to that it was a fake door on the American cars built from 1912 to 1925. Canadian Model T's had real opening doors on both sides from 1912 on and some were built with right hand drive. By the time the 15 millionth Ford was built, it was standard to have a working door on the front left.

Nice piece of history. I appreciate the article. I'd like to see a series on the camping trips Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and John Burroughs took. As a side bar, the modified Ford's used on the trips would be a worthy topic.
Intermediate Driver

One wonders how advanced Electric vehicles might be Now IF Ford hadn't thrown a temper tantrum & continued development--

Very interesting history with Ford and Edison. Would have been interesting to see where this could have gone if it had continued with research and development. T-EV is a better name than Mustang Mach-E on that crossover thing they have now.