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1969 - 1986 The Ford Capri - The European Pony Car That Came Before the Mustang

1969 - 1986 The Ford Capri - The European Pony Car That Came Before the Mustang

The Ford Capri was Europe’s pony car long before the Mustang went global

When you think Ford, you think the GT40 or the Mustang, both of which American models with great heritage. Before the Mustang became global, however, Europe had its own equivalent of the pony car. The Ford Capri was a rear-wheel-drive, 2+2 coupe that could be both a commuter and a weekend warrior. Although the Capri name, as we know it, has been retired, it has a long history and we are about to share with you everything we know about the car, sometimes referred to as “the European Mustang”.

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Ford Mustang Mach 1 History - A Legendary Timeline Greatness

Ford Mustang Mach 1 History - A Legendary Timeline Greatness

The 2021 Mustang Mach 1 is only the fourth model of its kind in 51 years

Originally available in just one trim and a GT Equipment Group that eventually became the familiar GT version, the Ford Mustang quickly evolved into a multi-model pony car. By the late 1960s, Ford was already offering two Shelby models, two Boss versions, and various region-specific variants. With five performance models in showrooms for the 1969 model year, Ford decided to introduce a sixth version: the Mach 1.

The first iteration of the Mach 1 remained in production in various forms until 1978. When the second-generation Mustang was discontinued, the Mach 1 nameplate was phased off for decades and didn’t return until 2003. After a short-lived stint with the fourth-gen ’Stang, the Mach 1 once again disappeared until 2020. Just like the Bullitt and the Boss, the Mach 1 is a unicorn Mustang. With the nameplate revived for the 2021 model year,, it’s the perfect time to have a look at its history and what made this badge famous.

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Six Generations of the Ford Explorer

Six Generations of the Ford Explorer

Ford’s iconic SUV has had a roller coaster life

The Ford Explorer has been around for almost 30 years. In that time, the SUV segment has evolved in ways no one could’ve dreamed of. Through it all, the Explorer has remained one of the segment’s backbones, a pillar from which the SUV world has stood on for close to three decades. The Explorer’s life reads like a Hollywood script, too. It started off with a bang, establishing itself as one of the most popular SUVs on the market. That success lasted for more than a decade before the Explorer lost its way as other SUVs arrived. Sales eventually cratered, leaving Ford desperate to recapture the magic the Explorer had when it became the breakout hit of the early ’90s. The return to form eventually took place as the SUV segment in the U.S. exploded. With the Explorer now entrenched as one of the most popular SUVs in the market, Ford’s banking on the sixth-generation model to keep that momentum. Whether it does so or not remains to be seen, but the all-new Explorer appears fully equipped to take on that challenge.

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Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models

Don’t expect any of these models to go away anytime soon

There is no shortage of car models in the auto industry these days. Some models have gained followings while others have become flashes in the pan. Then there are the titans of the business, the models that have lasted the test of time and have been around, literally, for generations. In the course of their respective lifetimes, these models have evolved in more ways than one, none more evident than their designs. These seven models have been around for so long their designs have evolved considerably from when they first came out. Knowing their place in the business, these models are unlikely to go away anytime soon.

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Ford Builds First Truck 100 Years Ago Today

Ford Builds First Truck 100 Years Ago Today

Happy birthday to Ford’s iconic pickup truck

Ford is celebrating 100 years of making pickups today. It was July 27, 1917 that Ford introduced the Model TT pickup. It was based on the hugely popular Model T, but came with a stronger frame built to carry 2,000 pounds in its cargo bed. A meager 209 examples were built that year. Now, a century later, Ford’s F-Series pickups continue the legacy build by Henry Ford with trucks ranging from the half-ton F-150 to the commercial medium-duty F-750 Super Duty. Nearly a million examples sold in 2017, each costing a bit more than the Model TT’s price of $600.

Henry Ford designed the Model TT to accommodate aftermarket beds, allowing the truck to cater to an endless number of industries. Yet, the Model TT used the Model T’s cab and engine, helping cut costs while streamlining Ford’s genius of an assembly line production. Remember, it was Mr. Ford who started producing vehicles on an assembly line with the Model T just nine years prior. Amazingly, this concept hasn’t changed. Ford trucks continue to share parts, like the cab section between the F-150 and the updated-for-2017 Super Duty. Between 1917 and 2017, Ford has built dozens of generations and variations of its pickups, including more unique examples like the car-based Ranchero and the compact Ranger. A more comprehensive list is down below.

Continue reading for more information.

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Old-School Shootout - The Big Three's Heavy Haulers From 1996: Video

Old-School Shootout - The Big Three’s Heavy Haulers From 1996: Video

In 1996, trucks were just becoming acceptable daily drivers for those who didn’t report to the job site every morning, but were still made to work. That’s especially true for these three heavy-duty duallies from Ford, Chevy, and Dodge.

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Old-School Shootout - The Big Three's Heavy Haulers From 1996: Video

Old-School Shootout - The Big Three’s Heavy Haulers From 1996: Video

In 1996, trucks were just becoming acceptable daily drivers for those who didn’t report to the job site every morning, but were still made to work. That’s especially true for these three heavy-duty duallies from Ford, Chevy, and Dodge.

This awesome episode of MotorWeek from nearly 20 years ago shows just what the U.S. truck market was up to. And though it looks pretty familiar against what Ford, Chevy, and now Ram are currently doing, all the numbers have grown.

What numbers? Prices and towing capacity

Just listen to those tow ratings. The Single Cab Ram 3500 has the guts to pull 13,300 pounds on its hitch with its big, honkin’, Viper-derived 8.0-liter V-10. The Ford F-350 comes in behind, lugging a maximum of 12,500 pounds thanks to its then-new 7.3-liter V-8 PowerStroke turbodiesel made by International. The Crew Cab Chevy pulls up the rear with its tried and true 454 cubic inch V-8. The very under-tuned big-block only cranked out 230 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque for 1995, likely leading to its sub-par 10,000-pound maximum tow rating.

Speaking of sub-par, the Chevy continues the trend here, as both the Ford and Dodge surpass its horsepower and torque ratings. The Ford’s PowerStroke lays out 210 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque while the big Dodge pushes 300 horses and an impressive 450 pound-feet from its V-10.

In comparison, these three heavy-duties’ grandchildren are towing a lot more. The Dodge turned Ram 3500, for example, can lug around 30,000 pounds on a fifth-wheel trailer while the F-350 comes in at 24,700 doing the same. Prices have equally skyrocketed. The price for a similarly equipped F-350 in XLT trim is $48,000. The Ram, thanks to its single cab setup, costs much less at around $37,000.

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Zombie Special: Five Cars That Should Stay Dead

Zombie Special: Five Cars That Should Stay Dead

Well, it’s that time of year where scary things happen; when the supposed dead rise and walk among us; when spooky things lurk just beyond the shadows; watching and waiting. Yes, it’s Halloween and there are plenty of frightening relics oxidizing away in your neighborhood junkyard just waiting for a chance to come back from the dead.

The TopSpeed staffers have put together our five worst nightmares of automotive resurrection in the list below. It contains vehicles that should have never been made and whose rightful place is deep inside the bowels of the crusher.

These are vehicles that are both terrible in their mere existence and terrible in the negative ramifications that would befall their respective makers for constructing such fiends. These are vehicles that, if they were people turned zombies, Rick Grimes of The Walking Dead wouldn’t hesitate to exterminate with his .357 Colt Python.

So hold on tight, grab a weapon, and fight your way through our list of cars we’d hate to see become the undead.

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Ford Planning Le Mans Comeback

Ford Planning Le Mans Comeback

Ford Motor Company is reportedly pondering a factory GT program that will see the Detroit-based manufacturer return to the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race after a very long absence. The comeback is scheduled for 2016, SportsCar365 reports citing industry sources, when Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first overall win at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Ford, who is currently providing EcoBoost engines to a prototype program with Riley Technologies in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is said to be evaluating a factory GT project. If the program comes to fruition, the Blue Oval will join the iconic Le Mans event in the GTE category for production-based cars. Set to receive new regulations for 2016, the GTE class is currently disputed by companies such as Ferrari, Porsche, Chevrolet, and Aston Martin.

While this is great news for every motorsport enthusiasts, our advice is to take this report with a pinch of salt. For Ford to be able to join the famed race in 2016, a vehicle should already be in development, and not just a pending approval. Unless the said race car is a well-guarded secret, chances are slim for Ford to make a comeback to Le Mans as soon as 2016.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford at Le Mans.

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11 Ford Mustangs You Never Knew Existed

11 Ford Mustangs You Never Knew Existed

Arguably one of the most iconic automobiles ever built in the United States, the Ford Mustang is already 50 years old and carries with it a rich heritage. If Ford would had not developed the Mustang and crafted the pony car concept, famed vehicles such as Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Cuda would have probably never existed. Sure, the `Cuda predated the Mustang, but the Mustang truly built the segment.

Of course, we can’t claim that the muscle car phenomenon wouldn’t have gained the same huge proportions without the ’Stang, but it’s hard to picture such an important era with Ford’s pony missing from picture.

The car’s background is pretty much an open, drama-filled history book. The Mustang had its highs and lows, starting with the great 1960s and early `70s and passing through the dark years of the second-generation model. Then there’s the four-cylinder era, the "new edge" generation and the rebirth that came with the current model. With the 2015 Mustang just around the corner, a new chapter is about to begin as scholars dip their pens into inkwells.

And while we’re all familiar with each generation and model of the of pony, there are numerous Mustangs that some of you might have never seen or heard of. Some of them were prototypes, others are just studies that have never seen the light of day, and some were real-life models. They’ve all contributed to the Mustang we know one way or another, but most of them are shadowed by the productions cars we’ve seen roaming the streets the past 50 years.

As you might have already guessed, we are here to introduce you to some of these concepts and studies, and to a couple of limited-edition models too, that came out of Detroit since Ford began pondering about the Mustang.

More details after the jump.

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Video: 50 Years of the Ford Mustang

Video: 50 Years of the Ford Mustang

The new-generation Ford Mustang will be unveiled on December 5th, but for those of you who want a quick look back at the evolution of the Mustang, Ford has prepared a little video (above) for you.

This new morphing video crams 50 years of famous — and some infamous — Mustang designs into 100 seconds, giving you the chance to remember all of the changes the Mustang endured through its storied history.

For those of you who are not as familiar with the Mustang’s lifespan, Ford unveiled the Mustang in 1964 and to date, it has gone through five different generations, all with a specific design language and with a different engine lineup.

The sixth-generation Mustang will be unveiled at the end of this week, and it will be offered with a series of innovative changes, like the availability of an independent rear suspension and a global design language.

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1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 R

1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 R

Carroll Shelby is and will always remain a legend in the automotive industry. He took skill, dedication, and a little bit of good luck to produce some of the most amazing muscle cars that will ever be produced, from the very first Shelby Mustang produced in 1965. What Shelby did to Ford’s new Mustang was transform it from a less-than-stellar pony car to a limited edition Shelby GT350 R

The Mustangs built for the 1965-1966 model years were powered by a K-Code 271 engine modified to produce 306 HP, but the GT350 was a car not built for comfort or ease of driving, so the right place for it was the race track. This decision lead Ford to Shelby for the development of the Shelby GT350 R for the SCCA races.

Shelby American only built 34 units of these GT350R models, even though the SCCA rules required a total of 100 units to be built and raced. However, during an SCCA race weekend, the GT 350R proved what an amazing car it was as it competed at the highest level.

Hit the jump to read more about the 1965 Shelby GT350 R.

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Battle Over Carroll Shelby's Remains is Settled, Finally

Battle Over Carroll Shelby’s Remains is Settled, Finally

After we lost racing and general automotive legend, Carroll Shelby on May 10th, a squabble ensued over his remains. His estranged wife, Cleo, claimed that she had the rights to his remains and the documentation that his children had, which requested that he be cremated and his ashes split between his children and his burial plot in Texas, was forged.

According to reports, Shelby had filed for an annulment of the marriage, citing that his wife had lied about her background and even her name, just before he died. Unfortunately, the annulment was not awarded posthumously, so it appeared as if the only other way to settle the dispute was in court.

Fortunately, the two sides managed to keep the case out of court by coming to an agreement on Monday and Mr. Shelby’s body will be laid to rest in the way that he requested, except for one minor compromise. The minor compromise is the fact that his estranged wife gets part of his ashes.

We’re glad to hear that the issue is settled, though we would have preferred to see his wife completely cut out of it. The most important thing, however, is that the issue is done and this legend can now be laid to rest peacefully and his children can hold their heads high that their father was laid to rest in the way he requested, though his son Michael says that they are still not happy with the results.

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1955 Ford Thunderbird Pro Touring

1955 Ford Thunderbird Pro Touring

RK Motors Charlotte has become pretty notorious for its Pro Touring models, which are ultra-high-performance versions of classic muscle and sports cars. Not only are they extremely powerful, but RKM also has the restored to a condition that is better than the factory could have ever imagined. Just recently, RKM launched an all-new Pro Touring model in the form of the 1955 Ford Thunderbird Pro Touring.

After the Corvette was a smash hit, Ford decided two years was a long enough wait to build its direct competitor to the Corvette, the Thunderbird. The T-bird and Corvette, however, went to completely different directions over the year. As expected, both vehicles became progressively larger through the `60s and `70s, but the T-bird grew to proportions that no one expected by the time it hit the 1967 model year.

After 1997, Ford decided to axe this growing monster, but released it again in the 2002 model year with styling cues taken from its first generation model. The first generation was arguably the most beautiful for the T-bird and RKM’s model promises to not take away from its classical styling, but rather add to it with modern modifications.

Did RKM hold true to its promise not to completely hack up this first rendition of the T-bird, or did it make this beautiful car just a shell of its former self?

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.

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Automotive Legend Carroll Shelby dies at 89

Automotive Legend Carroll Shelby dies at 89

Every automotive enthusiast has heard about Carroll Shelby and knows about his huge contribution to the automotive industry. He began his racing career as an amateur, and in 1959, won Europe’s prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1962, he tested his first Ford-powered AC 260 Roadster – the car that would become the Shelby Cobra. This was the beginning of his extremely impressive career, but unfortunately, on May 10, 2012, this legend died at the age of 89.

"Today, we have lost a legend in Ford Motor Company’s history, and my family and I have lost a dear friend. Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done. Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene or building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him. He was a great innovator whose legend at Ford never will be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends," said Edsel B. Ford II, member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.

RIP Carroll Shelby. The automotive industry has lost an inspiration and will surely miss you.

Hit the jump to read more about key moments in the history of Carroll Shelby.

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Steve Saleen Returns to the Company he Founded

Steve Saleen Returns to the Company he Founded

Many years ago, okay maybe less than two years ago, if you were cruising down the road in your hopped up Mustang GT and came across a Mustang bearing the “Saleen” name on the side, you knew your poor GT had no chance. In 2007, this all started to change, as Steve Saleen left the company. Then in 2011, the performance vehicle side of Saleen shut down altogether. This rendered the once feared custom car builder just a high-performance parts supplier.

Shortly after leaving Saleen, Steve Saleen started SMS Supercars, basically a new version of Saleen. A long legal battle ensued after Saleen’s new ownership group refused to honor warranties for the performance vehicles it manufactured prior to taking ownership and SMS Supercars stepped in to try to help. The legal battle circled around whether or not SMS Supercars had the right to use the “Saleen” name.

After what seems like ages, there is finally a decision. Steve Saleen has been awarded the rights to use the “Saleen” name on all of his vehicles. In addition, all previously manufactured SMS Supercar vehicles will be added to Saleen’s master registry, making them official Saleen vehicles. Plus, Saleen will start producing badges for all of the old SMS Supercar vehicles, which SMS Supercar owners can buy and put in place of the old “SMS” badges.

SMS Supercars essential now becomes one with Saleen, which means Saleen will begin producing super high-performance models of the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro.

Saleen lovers of the world rejoice! The days of Saleen being little more than AutoZone on steroids are over. We cannot wait to see the first Saleen branded cars, which should be coming very soon, though there is no official release date.

Hit the jump for the official press release

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1965 Ford GT40 Roadster

1965 Ford GT40 Roadster

One of Four: The ultra-rare GT40 prototype, chassis number GT/108

Ford was becoming frustrated with the continuing success of Enzo Ferrari’s racing machines. It came to a point that Henry Ford II was given an offer by Enzo to buy the company for an unheard of $18 million dollars. The buyout ended up falling through and Ford was left on its own to develop a racing team that could compete on the European circuits. Due to the non-compete pact between American automakers, Ford knew it would have to look outside of its Dearborn, Michigan team for talent.

To make a long story short, Ford took over a GT racing project from Lola, hired a prominent racing manager in John Wyer, and then designed the original GT40s to be raced in 1964. The story is much more complex than that, but the legend that would come from this humble beginning is much more important. The initial GT/101 chassis was essentially a uncompetitive and Ferrari continued to run away with victories. By 1965, Carroll Shelby was taken away from his Cobra projects and started developing the next generation of GT40 for Ford. This car gave Ford a win at Daytona in the first race of the very next year.

Ford developed several very special prototype cars including four roadster versions. Until more modern times, the GT/111 chassis was thought to have been destroyed, but a chance find in London several years back led to its discovery. Extensive restoration and consequential historic racing had finally brought it to the auction block at RM’s Villa d’Este with a value estimated between $3,900,000-4,700,000.

Let’s have a look at this important Ford GT, serial number GT/108, down below.

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