Did you know that Ford has been around for more than 100 years? That’s right, they’ve been at it since 1903! So, one could say that if a company has been around for more than 111 years (that’s the magical number, by the way), then they’re bound to make something great happen. Besides, they were not just surviving for a century+ – they were creating one of the best models on the market, starting with affordable family hatchbacks like the Fiesta and ending with high-performance muscle cars, like the Mustang. Actually, the Blue Oval brand has so many awesome models that it’s pretty damn tough to make a tiny list of Ford’s Best Cars Ever. And, come to think of it, a list is always a personal thing and it usually ends up being super-subjective. It’s a question of what defines greatness for each one of us, I guess. So, without further mumbo-jumbo let me just introduce to my extremely personally and non-objective at all line-up of Ford Motors Factory’s greatest cars to date – the best of the best, if you will.
The Ford Model T – The Biggest Rival To Horses & Royal Carriages
Come on, what better way to start a conversation about Ford’s best cars ever then to remember about the most iconic, the most legendary and the most ground-breaking vehicle in the history of the automobile industry. Did you even think otherwise? Guess not! This is the real deal, folks – in 20-some years the engineers manufactured 16.5 million units. The Ford Model T was launched in October 1, 1908 and was the first affordable automobile in America (and in the rest of the world, of course). And finally, with the Model T the company developed the now-legendary and standard moving assembly line that allows for mass production on a low budget. In a way, this was the first family-friendly car as well, because you had seats for the whole family. And it could run equally great both on gasoline and on kerosene. Under the hood you had an inline 4-cyl engine that was good for 20HP and a max speed of 40-to-45 miles per hour. Hey, don’t laugh, back then that was huge! So, let’s go up the list of Ford’s Best Cars Ever.
The 1948 Ford F-Series – Pick-Up Truck American’s Best Friends
That’s right, the super-successful and super-mighty Ford F-Series has roots that go as far as post WW2. This was the company’s first new era design, with extra attention to flexibility and utility. It was so much more comfortable, enjoyable and usable than any other pick-up before it, that folks called it the “Million Dollar Cab”. And after almost 7 decades (that’s 70 years!) the F-Series are still the best-selling vehicles on the market, with the F-150 doing great things in 2016 with a brand-new aluminum platform and a tech-packed interior. Actually the F-150 has been the best-selling car in America for the last 32 years and the best-selling pick-up for the last 43 years! Oh yeah, it’s a pretty great vehicle, and we sure do love our trucks. If you take a look at the very first F-Series truck and latest models you won’t really find any similarities, but the heart, the soul and the mind are still there – they never even left.
Ford’s Best Cars Ever: The 1955 Ford Thunderbird – Personal Luxury
This swagged out bulldog-faced 2-seater was the first 100% glamorous car for Ford Motors Company. Three years later it turned into a 4-seater, however, it was the very first edition that found its way into our hearts. The T-Bird was a pretty fantastic thing back in the ’50s and made all the other cars in the parking lot jealous and envious. By the way, it single-handedly created a market niche known as the “Personal Luxury Car”. Overall, the Thunderbird went through 11 generations from ’55 to 2005. And for over 10 years we never heard anything new about it. Thankfully, just recently some information surfaced about Ford allegedly working for a brand-new, redesigned and restyled edition for 2017. I for one am really excited for this and wish the company best of luck in delivering just the perfect incarnation of the 50s queen.
The 1964 Ford GT40 – Beating Ferrari On The Race-Track
The GT40 was Ford’s strongest contestant on the race track: they combined two rather unfitting components – an American-made 4.9-lit V8 engine with some European chassis parts That’s why this car appears in our Ford’s Best Cars Ever list. Why go through all that trouble? The answer is simple: to beat Ferrari at its own game. And they did! The GT40 successively won the #1 medal on 4 Le Mans 24s between 1966 and 1969. To put it simply, this is the best racing car from Ford, period. And it was that much more surprising when the company just stopped production after a while. Fortunately, they came to their senses in the 21st century and introduced the 2004 Ford GT – the heir to the throne. Actually, if you take a look at the 2004 GT, or even the upcoming 2017 GT (check out my review), you’ll see that they have a lot of common with the ’64 legend in terms of design, because that was such an iconic model. Overall, the company made only 135 of these racing beasts, so, you could imagine how ridiculously expensive a car like that could be right now.
The 1964 Ford Mustang – The Daddy Of All Muscle Cars
Say whatever you want about Ford’s latest policy of family-oriented low-budget cars, but the legendary Mustang (along with the aforementioned GT) is one hell of a beautiful thing. This is the ultimate “Bro-Car” for a couple of American generations, and that says a lot about it. The very first edition was introduced back in 1964, but it was the 1967 model that made the biggest impact. 50 years later Ford did an awesome anniversary celebration with the release of the 2015 Ford Mustang – an entirely different but still a kick-ass muscle car. Unfortunately (or, rather, fortunately), I’m not that old and I don’t quite remember the ’64 and ’67 Mustangs; however, I do love and own the 2015 masterpiece. It’s a super-cool steel horse with a sleek, catchy design, an appealing attitude, a mighty powertrain and tons of that testosterone to go along with it. Definitely, one of the greatest American cars ever made.
The 1968 Ford Escort – UK’s Favorite
This one wasn’t a sexy stud like the Mustang or a work-horse like the F-Series trucks. It was just an all-around solid, straightforward car with RWD (rear-wheel drive) and a front engine. In terms of design, the Escort looked a lot like a British model, not something from Ford’s line-up. And that’s probably why it was so popular in England. Plus, it was a pretty tough rally car and a performance legend. Yep, I bet you didn’t even know the Blue Oval brand was capable of manufacturing something as rigid and firm without turning it into a pick-up. Well, now you do. This car might not be as popular and loved as the other ones in today’s list, but as far as influential and history-vital models go, the 1968 Ford Escort is a pretty big fish.
The 1986 Ford Taurus – Saving The American Industry
Back in the mid 80’s the automobile industry here in the United States was in pretty bad shape: it was failing, falling, and pretty much crashed by the Japanese giants. Nobody in the country was even considering buying an American-made sedan, because they were simply full of flaws. However, in 1986 that all changed when Ford introduced the aerodynamic, comfortable and all-around solid Taurus. That’s arguably when the people (and the investors) started to believe in US production again. It was a highly influential model, especially in terms of design and introduced a lot of new features and innovations. Right now the Taurus is in its sixth generation and it’s doing pretty awesome, with the upcoming Ford Taurus 2017 SHO making its way into the Chinese market. If the journey pans out, we’ll witness Ford’s first full-on attack on the Asian segment, which could be huge for the company. So, that’s it with the list of Ford’s Best Cars Ever.
Check out the video–>CNET On Cars – 1967 Mercury Cougar: A look back to see how far car tech has come: