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The first order for a Ford car was placed on this day in 1903, 114 years ago. Back then, Ford was just a day away from turning a month old, and it received its first order for a car, from a Chicago-based dentist named Ernst Pfenning.
Dr. Pfenning had paid $850 for the car - a Model A with a tonneau (The backseat). The car was produced at Ford's facility on Mack street in Detroit and delivered to Dr. Pfenning just a week later.
The founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford had attempted to start his own automotive company twice before the third and successful attempt. The first attempt was in 1901 but was unsuccessful, and the company became the Cadillac Motor Company in 1902 after Ford left.
After the second unsuccessful attempt, Henry Ford managed to bring aboard eleven other investors as stockholders and founded the Ford Motor Company. Horace and John Dodge, the founders of the Dodge brand as we know it today were also among the eleven other investors.
One of the investors had a wooden factory building on Mack street which he rented to Ford Motor Company, and that is where the first Model A was produced for Dr. Pfenning.
Dr. Pfenning was the first of many who queued up for the Model A, and within two months' time, Ford had sold 215 cars, and in the first year, the number crossed 1000. The Model A was most sought after, as its two-cylinder, 8bhp engine was the most powerful engine in a passenger car at the time.
The car had no top and could seat two as standard, however, it could be ordered with the rear seats just as Dr. Pfenning did. The car was assembled in a facility measuring 250 feet by 50 feet, usually by Groups of two or three men assigned to work on each car.
The Model A was only the beginning of Ford's success, and, over the years, Ford's popularity grew. The launch of the Model T in 1908 took Ford to the next level and Ford over the next century gradually became one of the world's largest automotive companies.
It is nice to remind ourselves once in a while that, on this day, so many years ago, someone had done something important which now affects our daily lives. After reading this, I'm sure Ford owners today would agree with me.