Pay attention, Ford buffs. There's a centennial around the next bend in the road. It was in 1903 that Henry Ford incorporated his Ford Motor Co., launched in a converted wagon factory with 10 employees and a working capital of $28,000. By the time that first legendary Model T, a whopping success, rolled off the assembly line in 1908 and was sold to a Chicago dentist, funds had dwindled to $250. No matter. Over the next 19 years, about 15 million Model T's changed the history of transportation.
Naturally, the company that Henry built is already planning a major celebration with a full lineup of special events set for June 12-16, in Dearborn, Mich. The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village along with other historical landmarks in the Dearborn area, built or funded by Henry Ford will play host.
One highlight will be a display of more than a thousand classic and collector Ford Motor Co. vehicles selected by an independent panel for historic significance and how well they reflect classic Ford car themes. To enter your car for consideration, log on to www.ford.com and purchase tickets to the event. A Vehicle Display Application will be provided to you. The lineup is open to all Fords as well as other models under the company's umbrella - Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover.
Nostalgia lovers can roam the Henry Ford Estate, "Fair Lane," now a National Historic Landmark, which will be open for tours. Located on the campus of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the house is where Ford and his wife, Clara, lived from 1915 until their respective deaths in 1947 and 1950.
Explore Greenfield Village, assembled by Henry Ford to show how the United States was developed. The area includes period homes, farm buildings, shops and historical businesses.
Nearby, the Henry Ford Museum houses historic exhibits on transportation, manufacturing and technology. The "Automobile in American Life" exhibit, for example, features classic cars, diners, motels and drive-in movies along with the John F. Kennedy presidential limousine and "Old 16," the Locomobile race car and first American car ever to win the Vanderbilt Cup in 1908.
On June 12, it's Ford Racing Appreciation Day with a race car display and autograph session with NASCAR Winston Cup drivers. As part of the centennial celebration, NASCAR racing will also be featured on June 15 at the Michigan International Speedway.
Throughout the five-day event, enjoy outdoor concerts featuring Motown, jazz, rock and country music. Nostalgic items will be for sale. Adult tickets are $24.95, children younger than 12 are admitted free. One admission ticket is good for all five days and can be used for discounts to local attractions including the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village and Fair Lane.
Check the Ford Web site for complete schedule and updates.
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