Ford

As one of the “Big Three” US automakers and one of the most successful automakers to this day, Ford has cemented its legacy in the automotive world. Their large-scale manufacturing procedures paved the way for modern automotive mass production. It was such a key part of Ford’s identity in the early years that it inspired the term “Fordism,” often used when referring to mass production processes. The mechanization of car manufacturing allowed automobiles to be within the grasp of the middle class for the first time in the early 1900s. The Model T and Model A would become pillars of American life for the first part of the 20th century. Ford was also responsible for introducing the first mass-produced Flathead-V8 engine in 1932. Beyond automotive endeavors, Ford also expanded into other areas including military manufacturing and superconductivity research. In the late 1950s, Ford merged with other auto manufacturers including Mercury, Lincoln, and Continental. Bringing Ford into the mass-produced performance arena, Ford released the first Mustang in 1964, introducing the world’s most famous pony car. Ford would be heavily involved in auto racing in the 1950s through the present day. The Ford GT40 and many of Carroll Shelby’s Ford-derived cars like the Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 would become truly legendary. Ford was also an engine supplier for Formula One from 1966 to 2004. Ford is well known for their engine designs, with V8 engines being their forte. The 289 V8 Small Block, 428 Cobra Jet, Boss 302, and Boss 429 engines are all truly classic powerhouses that have powered some of the most famous cars in history.