Henry Ford turns 150: A look at some of the greatest Fords ever
While Ford isn't the oldest car company, it has certainly had perhaps more of an impact on the modern automobile market than any other brand to ever grace the roads. After all, it was Henry Ford's implementation of the assembly line that set mass production of automobiles in motion. And it was 150 years ago this month that Mrs. Ford gave birth to a bundle of joy that would create the Model T – one of the best selling cars of all time – and a company that is considered an American institution.
While Ford can be credited with laying the foundation for this groundbreaking automobile manufacturer, the company continued to blaze new trails long after his death. While it's hard to say which model and year is the best to ever wear the Ford badge – whether you credit the Taurus for re-imagining the sedan, the Bronco for taking off-road to new heights or the Mustang for starting the pony car revolution – you can objectively choose a few masterpieces in a range of categories. Here is a look at some of the best Ford's of all time.
While this model is still a commanding presence in Australia, where it has been a top-seller for more than 40 years, it had a short-lived, albeit magnificent, run stateside between 1960 and 1970. It was a compact sedan that had big-car sensibilities, in that it could comfortably haul the entire family around without looking like a boat. The first generation had a basic straight six engine in it but given the car's size this little pony could move. It was replaced with the less-than-stellar Maverick, and the subsequent compact offerings pretty much went downhill from there until the late 90s, when the company took a more European approach upon the arrival of the Focus.
It was introduced to challenge the Jeep Wrangler, and from 1966 to 1996 it certainly did. During this 30 year span, the Bronco was arguably the greatest off-roader on the market, with a rugged construction that could take a beating and a lack of frills that actually worked in its favor. While European SUVs like Land Rovers offered sophistication when it came to going off the beaten path, the Bronco was a filthy mongrel, and consumers loved it. While the Bronco's successor, the Explorer, essentially ushered in the age of the modern SUV, it also nailed the coffin shut on the true off-roader – that, and in one of the most famous real life car chases of all time – and the market has been hurting for a Bronco ever since.
It's hard to believe that this is even an American car, as few – if any – other automakers stateside has ever made a supercar that could so handily compete with the fastest racing brands of Europe. The GT40 was and remains perhaps the best race car of all time, having given the United States a share of the glory when it won at Lemans in 1966. When the Ford GT came to the market a few years back, the designers were wise to not veer too far from the look of the original, since this car looks as fresh and dangerous as it did nearly 40 years ago.
Of the many dozens of models that have worn the Ford badge, which one is your favorite? Leave your thoughts below: