July 11, 2021

FORD


Detroit Automobile Co. (1899-1901)

Henry Ford Co. (1901-1902) 
Ford Motor Co. (1903-present)
Detroit, Michigan


This is a Ford Model A radiator emblem (1927-1929)   ms
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high   MM: D L Auld

Henry Ford built his first car, a quadricycle, in a shed in his garden in 1896. It had a leather belt and chain drive and its four-stroke engine developed about 4 hp, which was good for 20 mph. Ford's second car was completed in about 1897. By mid-1899 some wealthy Detroit financiers set up the Detroit Automobile Company in order to produce cars designed by Ford, but instead Ford built a race car, which he drove to beat Winton at Grosse Pointe race track in October 1901.

A new organization called Henry Ford Company was set up in November 1901 but Ford left the company in March 1902 after his financial backers hired Henry Leland as an adviser. Ford set up his own workshop and built two more race cars: the Arrow and the famous 999, which Barney Oldfield drove in June 1903 and became a race car star. In January 1904, Ford drove a revised version of the 999 to a world land speed record of 91.37 mph.

Meanwhile, Ford had at last decided to become an automobile manufacturer and in June 1903 the Ford Motor Company was established and one month later, in July 1903, the first Ford Model A runabout had been built. By 1906, Ford production had topped the 8000 mark and made Ford number one in the industry. In October 1908 the Model T arrived. This was the car that Henry Ford had been dreaming about for many years. He was helped in setting up the factory ready for the production of the Model T by Walter Flanders. The Model T was a remarkable automobile blessed with simplicity and reliability. The mass production of automobiles using a moving assembly line began at Ford in 1913.

After building several million units, the Model T line was finally closed in May 1927. The next car off the production line was the new 40 hp Ford Model A. By this time Chevrolet had become Ford's main competitor and the two makes shared the top industry spot for a few years. The Ford Model A was highly successful and about five million had been produced by 1932 when it was replaced by the 65 hp Ford V-8.

Ford cars were popular and sold well but Ford struggled in the late 1930's with labor problems and Henry Ford's reluctance to introduce a six-cylinder car. Henry's son Edsel Ford eventually convinced Henry and the Ford Six was introduced in 1941. Edsel Ford died in 1943 and Henry stepped down as president of Ford Motor Company in 1947.  Ford continued to develop and grow after World War II and is still today, one of the world's largest and best known automobile manufacturers.

Ford introduced a number of different auto marques and models over the years. In 1922 Henry Ford bought the Lincoln Motor Company in order to have a more expensive higher quality range of automobiles to run alongside his low priced Ford cars. He put his son, Edsel, in charge and the Lincoln became a highly successful marque (see Lincoln). The successful Mercury line was introduced by Edsel Ford in 1939 as an entry level luxury car. In 1958 Ford introduced the Edsel but this was unsuccessful (see Edsel). Other successful Ford models include the Fairlane, Thunderbird, Mustang, Maverick and Pinto. 

Ford produced commercial vehicles from 1905 (see Ford Truck), starting with delivery vans and taxicabs and with the introduction of the Model T Ford produced a wide range of vehicles for a variety of uses. Subsequently, Ford produced all kinds of commercial vehicles, including delivery vans, trucks, buses, fire engines and vehicles for specialist uses.

Ford has manufacturing facilities and joint ventures in many countries around the world producing many different models and vehicle types. By 2010, Ford was the second largest auto manufacturer in America and the fifth largest in the world. Ford remains a very successful worldwide auto manufacturer (as of 2021).

Emblems

I recall seeing an early Ford emblem for sale at the AACA Fall Swap Meet at Hershey about 30 years ago. It was a small round, metal emblem inscribed with "Henry Ford Co.". I have no idea if it was original, but, if so, it may have been a hub emblem and would be ultra rare. If you have any details about this emblem or a photo, please let me know, in order to update this post. 

The first Model A Ford cars in 1903 had a small colored decal on both sides of the body displaying the "Ford" name, see original photo from 1903 and surviving Model A example shown below:

This is a Ford Model A showing side decal (1903)     dpl

This is a Ford Model A showing side decal (1903)   conceptcarz

                                                                                    
This is a Ford Model A side decal (1903)     gcm

The first Ford model A cars also displayed the "Ford" name on a small brass maker's nameplate attached to the underside of the driver's seat or elsewhere on the body, see example shown below. This Ford maker's nameplate is rare.

This is a Ford maker's nameplate (1903)   gcm

The "Ford" script shown in this nameplate was changed slightly over the years but became the well known Ford script logo. Henry Ford later confirmed that the logo was designed by his friend Childe Harold Wills using his grandfather's stencil set.

The Ford Model B introduced in 1904 and continued into 1905 carried the first Ford radiator emblem and one of the earliest radiator emblems in America, see examples shown below:

This is a Ford Model B showing radiator emblem (1904) aacam

The Ford Model B radiator emblem is a small rectangular, brass emblem displaying "Ford Motor Company Detroit", see example shown below. This Ford radiator emblem may have been originally painted black. This Ford radiator emblem is very rare.  

                                                                                   
This is a Ford radiator emblem (1904)   ms
Size: Unknown

The "Ford" name was also displayed on the hubcaps, see example shown below:

This is a Ford hub emblem (1904)     ms

The following Ford sill plate with an unusual script is seen on a surviving 1904 Ford Model AC:

This is a Ford Model AC sill plate (1904)     bonhams

This is the Ford sill plate shown below. This Ford sill plate is very rare.

This is a Ford sill plate (c1904-1906)    ms
Size: Unknown

The following Ford maker's nameplate has a separate, very small serial plate fitted below. I believe that this extremely rare example dates from about 1904 or 1905.

This is a Ford makers/serial plate (c1904/1905)   sam

The serial number became integrated into the Ford makers/serial plate by 1906, see rare example shown below:
                                                                            
This is a Ford makers/serial plate (1906)   rmsothebys

The following circular brass emblem displays an "FMCo" monogram for the Ford Motor Company. This emblem appears early and too large to be a hub emblem. If you know when and where this Ford emblem was used, please let me know, in order to update this post.

This is a Ford Motor Co. emblem (date unknown)    mjs
Size: 64mm diameter

Early production models of the Ford Model K introduced in late 1905, displayed a small diagonal "Ford" script stamped into the top of the radiator shell. This small stamped diagonal radiator script emblem was also used on early 1906 Ford Model N radiators, see example shown below:

Ford Model K & N radiator emblem (1905-1906) mtfca

The following photo shows a "Ford Runabout" radiator script believed used on a prototype or demonstrator Ford Model N in early 1906:

Prototype Ford Model N runabout with radiator script (1906) mtfca

The first Ford Model K production models from late 1905 to early 1906 also displayed an unusual "Ford" script mounted on the radiator core. This Ford radiator script is very rare.

Ford Model K radiator script (1905-1906) conceptcarz

Later in 1906, the Ford radiator emblem stamped into the radiator shell was changed to a larger horizontal "Ford" script with "wing like" extended serifs on the "F" and "d" letters, see example shown below. This form of Ford radiator emblem continued in use until 1911.

This is a Ford radiator emblem (1906-1911)     revsinstitute

A smaller version of this Ford radiator emblem has been seen on a surviving 1908 Ford Model K, see below:

Ford Model K with small version of the script radiator emblem (1908)  northeasrwheelsevents 

There was also a change in hub emblem design in 1906, see example shown below:

This is a Ford hub emblem (1906)    ms

There was a further change in design of the Ford hub cap in 1907, see example shown below:

This is a Ford hubcap (c1907)       ms

From about 1908, brass "Ford" radiator scripts were factory fitted, see examples shown below:

Ford Model T with radiator script (1909)    revsinstitute

This is a Ford radiator script (date uncertain)    mjs
Size: 183mm wide

The Ford maker's/serial plate was changed around 1910 and included patent information, see Canadian Ford Model T example shown below:

This is a Ford Canada plate with patent dates (1910)  conceptcarz

There are also some intermediate examples around this time, where the patent details are on a separate plate, see example shown below:

Ford serial plate with separate patent data plate (1911) rmsothebys

The Ford radiator emblem was changed in 1911 to the now more familiar "Ford" script style impressed into the brass radiator tank top, see example shown below. This style and size of impressed Ford radiator emblem remained in use into the 1920s.

This shows the new embossed Ford radiator emblem (1911) hemmings

From April 1912 the Ford Model T brass radiator shell had "MADE IN U.S.A." stamped below the impressed radiator script emblem, see example shown below:

Ford Model T script radiator emblem (1915)    ms

In the period around 1915-1916, some, but not all, Canadian Model T brass radiator shells similarly had "MADE IN CANADA" stamped under the radiator script emblem.

A new Ford logo appeared in 1912 in the form of the "Ford" script within a winged triangle inscribed "The Universal Car"and presented in dark blue or orange. This logo was disliked by Henry Ford and was not used as a motor car emblem but continued to be used in Ford advertisements up to 1914, see example shown below:

Ford ad showing emblem design (1914)  ms

Although this Ford logo was apparently not used as a car emblem, examples of emblems made using this design have been found, see example shown below. This Ford emblem may have been made for publicity purposes, possibly later than 1912.

This is a 1912 Ford "Universal Car" emblem (date unknown) alt
Size: 74mm wide 23mm high   MM: Unknown

From September 1916, the Ford Model T was given a separate plated steel radiator shell with a smaller "Ford" script emblem embossed into the top of the radiator with "MADE IN USA" stamped directly below the script, see example shown below, with a separate plated "Ford" radiator script:

This shows the 1920s Ford Model T radiator emblem (1927) hemmings 

Ford Model T script radiator emblem (1926)  hemmings

The Ford hub cap had also changed, see example shown below:

This is a 1920s Ford hub cap (1926)   hemmings

The first oval shaped Ford logos were designed by Ford's UK agents for their use in the UK and, in 1911, a definitive oval logo was created by Ford Motor Company for advertising by Ford dealers in the UK. 

However, the first oval shaped, blue enamel Ford radiator emblem in America did not appear until December 1927 for the 1928 model year, with the introduction of the new Ford Model A, see example shown below:

This shows the Ford Model A radiator emblem (1928)  rmsothebys

This is the blue enamel Ford radiator emblem with a stepped border shown below. This Ford radiator emblem is scarce. There are many reproduction Ford radiator emblems with this and later designs.


This is a Ford radiator emblem (1927-1929)    ms
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high  MM: D L Auld

Close-up showing stepped border (1927-1929)  ms

The following black enamel version of this Ford radiator emblem with the stepped border was used on the Canadian assembled Ford Model A. This Canadian Ford radiator emblem is rare. 

This is a Canadian Ford radiator emblem (1927-1929)   mjs
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high   MM: D L Auld

The Ford radiator emblem lost the stepped border in 1929 and had a chamfered border, see example shown below:

This is a Ford radiator emblem (1929-1930)    mjs
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high   MM: Robbins (some D L Auld)

The following black painted chrome plated Ford radiator emblem was used on Ford Model A passenger cars from January 1931 to March 1932. Ford commercial vehicles are believed to have continued to use earlier emblems.

This is a Ford radiator emblem (1931-1932)   mjs
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high   MM: D L Auld

The Ford Model A was also assembled overseas, in Britain, France and Germany from 1928 to 1930. The French assembled Ford Model A carried a Ford emblem inscribed in French, see examples shown below. These French Ford Model A radiator emblems are rare.

This is a French imported Ford radiator emblem (c1928)  mjs
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high   MM: Unknown

This is a French Ford radiator emblem (c1929-1930)  mjs
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high    MM: Unknown

This is a French Ford radiator emblem (c1929-1930)   mjs
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high   MM: Unknown

This is a French Ford radiator emblem (c1931-1932)  2040-parts
Size: 74mm wide 36mm high     MM: Unknown 

The following Ford emblem was carried by the Ford models assembled in Germany and was first used in 1933 and appears to have been used on German Ford models up to 1940. This German Ford radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a German Ford radiator emblem (1933-c1940)   mjs
Size: 56mm wide 26mm high     MM: None

Ford also made an agreement for the Ford Model A to be assembled in Russia, commencing in 1932 with the NAZ-A motor car, which became the GAZ-A in 1933, see GAZ-A radiator emblem shown below. This GAZ radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Russian GAZ-A radiator emblem (c1933)   mjs
Size: 75mm wide 37mm high   MM: None

The 1932 Ford four-cylinder Model B and V8 Model 18 carried a smaller, curved blue enamel radiator grille emblem, and the V8 Model 18 also displayed a "V8" emblem on the headlight bar, see examples shown below:

Ford Model B radiator grille emblem (1932)    ms

This is a Ford radiator grille emblem (1932)    mjs
Size: 56mm wide 26mm high    MM: Fox

Ford V8 headlight bar emblem (1932) lawrence violette

The following stainless steel Ford emblem was used as the spare wheel hubcap lock cover on the 1932 Model B and all 1933-1936 Ford passenger cars equipped with this lock. The hole is original and was used for the hinge pin mounting. 

This is a Ford spare wheel lock cover emblem (1932-1936)  mjs
Size: 89mm wide 40mm high    MM: None

The 1933 Ford carried an even smaller, curved blue enamel radiator grille emblem. An almost identical emblem with slightly different curvature was used in 1934 and the same emblem continued in 1935 and 1936 but with a different fixing arrangement, see examples shown below: 

Ford V8 radiator grille emblems (1934)   ms

This is a Ford radiator grille emblem (1933/1934/1935/1936)  mjs
Size: 45mm wide 23mm high   MM: Fox 

The Ford V8 models also carried different "V8" grille emblems in 1933 and 1934, see examples shown below:

This is a Ford V8 grille emblem (1933)    mjs
Size: 87mm high 60mm wide 

This is a Ford V8 grille emblem (1934)    mjs
Size: 85mm high 55mm wide    MM: None

For 1936, the V8 emblem was mounted on a chrome strip in the center of the hood, see example shown below:

Ford V8 radiator grille emblem (1936)     ms

The following simple "V8" emblem was used as a luggage rack emblem on 1935-1936 passenger car models:

This is a Ford luggage rack emblem (1935-1936)   mjs
Size: 67mm high 50mm wide     MM: None

There was a change in Ford emblem arrangements for 1937 with the emblems mounted on the right-hand side of the grille for both 60 hp and 85 hp models, see examples shown below. Export models had "USA" under the "Ford" name.

This is a Ford V8 60 hp grille emblem (1937)    mjs
Size: 154mm wide 55mm high  

This is a Ford V8 85 hp grille emblem (1937)    mjs
Size: 154mm wide 55mm high  

This is a Ford V8 85 hp export model grille emblem (1937)  mjs
Size: 154mm wide 55mm high  

There was another change in Ford grille emblems in 1938 and 1939. The Ford Standard models carried a small blue oval enamel Ford emblem very similar in size shape and style to the 1935-1936 grille emblems. The 60 hp models had a separate small blue enamel "60" emblem mounted just above the grille emblem. The 85 hp models had a similar blue enamel "85" emblem mounted above the grill emblem, see example shown below:

Ford Standard 85 hp grille emblem (1938-39) rmsothebys
Size: (Ford) 45mm wide 23mm high  (85) 14mm wide 13mm high   

The Ford Deluxe Models carried the same small blue Ford enamel grille emblem in a different chrome base mounting, see examples shown below, but did not carry the "85" emblem, since all Deluxe models had the same 85 hp engine:

Ford Deluxe Model 81A (1938)   bonhams

Ford V8 Deluxe grille emblem (1938-1939)   rmsothebys

The Ford Deluxe models also carried simple V8 hood side emblems, see example shown below:

This is a Ford V8 Deluxe hood side emblem (1938-1939)  mjs
Size: 125mm wide 31mm high

The Ford V8  Standard model for 1939 had new styling with a new grille emblem and small chrome "Ford" scripts on both front hood side panels and on the trunk, see example shown below:

Ford V8 Standard model (1939-1940)    onlinedigeditions 

Ford V8 Standard 85 grille emblem (1939-1940)  

Ford V8 Standard hood side script (1939-1940)   

The Ford V8 Deluxe model for 1939 displayed some variations in styling with a new blue painted V8 emblem integral with the hood ornament and grille, and a small chrome "Ford" script on the right hand hood side panel and on the trunk and a small chrome "Deluxe" script on the left hand hood side panel, see example shown below:

Ford V8 Deluxe model (1939-1940)     hyman

Ford V8 Deluxe grille emblem & hood side scripts (1939-1940)

There was a change in styling and emblems in 1940, see  Ford Standard V8 hood emblems shown below, with "Ford" lettering integral with the upper front of a diecast chrome hood ornament, and with separate "V" and "8" trim pieces on the lower front edge of the hood:

Ford Standard V8 hood emblem (1940)   ms

Ford Standard "V8" trim piece (1940)   ms

The Ford V8 Deluxe model for 1940 had a "V" on the hood latch with an "8" immediately below the "V" on the lower hood edge trim, see example shown below:

Ford Deluxe V8 hood emblems (1940)   jill reger

The 1940 Ford Deluxe model also displayed small diecast chrome "Ford Deluxe" scripts at the rear of the hood sides, see example shown below:

Ford Deluxe V8 hood side scripts (1940)    jill reger

The 1940 Ford models also displayed the "Ford" name on a painted diecast chrome emblem mounted on the trunk, see example shown below:

This is a Ford V8 trunk emblem (1940)    ms
Size: 75mm wide 56mm high   MM: None

There was another change of styling for 1941. The Ford Deluxe model displayed a "Ford" script on the lower grille bar and on the horizontal upper grille trim, and a vertical "Deluxe" trim piece on the hood front and with a diecast chrome oval "6" or "V8" with blue painted background mounted above the vertical hood trim piece, identifying the engine, see six-cylinder and V8 examples shown below:

1941 Ford Deluxe Six grille (1941)   rmsothebys

Ford Deluxe Six hood emblem (1941)    rmsothebys

Ford Deluxe V8 hood emblem (1941)    mecum

The Ford Super Deluxe model had the same emblem arrangement as the Deluxe model, except for a plain chrome vertical front hood trim, which was also used for the Ford Standard model but without the engine size emblems. See Ford Super Deluxe V8 example shown below:

Ford Super Deluxe V8 hood emblem (1941  ms

The Ford Super Deluxe model also displayed a diecast chrome "Super Deluxe" script mounted on the front fender, see example shown below:

Ford Super Deluxe V8 showing emblems & fender script (1941)    autotrader

For 1942, the lowest priced Ford model, the six-cylinder Ford Special, had a blue painted, winged diecast chrome "Ford 6" emblem on the hood, see example shown below:

Ford Special Six hood emblem (1942)   jamesedition

The Ford Deluxe model displayed the same "Ford 6" or similar "Ford 8" hood emblem depending on the engine size and a blue painted chrome "Deluxe" vertical trim on the grille center, see examples shown below. The Ford Super Deluxe model had the same arrangement as the Deluxe model except for the deletion of the "Deluxe" vertical trim. 

Ford V8 Deluxe coupe (1942)   facebook 

Ford V8 Deluxe & Super Deluxe hood emblem (1942)  leftcoastclassics

Ford Deluxe grille emblem (1942)   ebay
Size: Unknown

There was a new styling for Ford when production resumed in 1946 after the Second World War. The 1946 Ford Super Deluxe V8 model had a painted chrome hood emblem inscribed with "Deluxe" and "8". The "Ford" name was displayed in paint on the top center of the chrome grille trim. There was also a red painted "8" on the upper center of the hood and a "Super Deluxe" script on the left front fender under the headlamp, see examples shown below:

Ford Super Deluxe V8 (1946)    ms

This is a Ford Super Deluxe V8 hood emblem (1946)   ms
Size: Unknown

Ford Deluxe V8 grille emblem (1946)    ms

Ford Deluxe V8 upper hood emblem (1946)    ms

The Ford Super Deluxe models for 1947 had modest styling changes and the new models continued into 1948. There was a change to the hood emblem, a slight change to the grille emblem and deletion of the "Super Deluxe" fender script, see examples shown below:
 
Ford Super Deluxe V8 (1947)   hemmings
 
This is a Ford Super Deluxe V8 hood emblem (1947-1948)  ms
Size: Unknown

This is a Ford Super Deluxe Six hood emblem (1947-1948) pinterest
Size: Unknown

This is a Ford Super Deluxe grille emblem (1947-1948)  ms

There was a new look for Ford in 1949. The 1949 Ford was the first entirely new post war model by any of the "Big Three" car makers, It displayed the "Ford" name in individual letters at the bottom of the hood just above the grille, and had a distinctive single central chrome "bullet" in the chrome grille with an "8" or a "6" painted on the center depending on the engine size, see V8 example shown below:

Ford V8 Custom Deluxe (1949)   hemmings

Close up showing hood & grille emblems (1949) 

There was a further change in detailed design for 1950 and the introduction of a new Ford emblem that would continue for several years in various shapes and sizes, see example shown below:

Ford V8 Custom Deluxe (1950)    hemmings

Close up showing hood and grille emblems (1950)

This is a Ford hood emblem (1950)   ms
Size: Unknown

I am most grateful to Dennis Neilsen for his helpful advice regarding the dates of use of Ford emblems. Any errors in my interpretation of this advice is entirely down to me.








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