“The Cars That Henry Ford Built” by Beverly Rae Kimes. 136 pp. 81″ x 101″. (Automobile Quarterly Library, 245, West Main Street, Kutztown, Pennsylvania I9530, USA. 19.95 dollars – de luxe edition, 32.95 dollars, shipping one dollar.)
This is an appropriate time to launch this book, as it commemorates Ford’s 75th Anniversary. Note that it covers only the Fords especially attributable to Henry himself. This is done in five main sections, covering the pre-Model-T Fords, the quite-immortal Model-T, the Model-A that had so much to live up to, or live down, depending on how you view it, the Model-B (described as “The Ford Nobody Noticed, I,east of all Henry”), and the great Ford V8s. The chapter sub-heads are Americanised, the text hardly at all. The book is by that talented, hard slogging, remarkable girl Beverly (I remember how much I enjoyed showing her Brooklands Track, before Big Business began to destroy this historic British heirloom). She has unravelled as much motoring history, of the truly detailed sort, as most males.
So there is no faulting her paper-tribute to Henry Ford, except that as I read it, looking forward to grasping at anything new I could learn about Fords, especially the Models T and A, I sensed that I had read it all before as I had, in the pages of the high-grade magazine (or portfolio) that Beverly Kimes so skilfully edits. lf, however, you have not seen her erudite coverage of Henry’s autos, you are in for a great treat, with this beautifully-presented book about them the point being that it contains, as well as a detailed technical and industrial history, more than 100 fine colour pictures of all the Fords the text describes. Most of these pictures depict Fords restored by American owners or which are in the Ford Museum at Dearborn incidentally, instead of selling Schlumpf, why don’t Tour Operators send their customers to Dearborn?
The pictures number 14 of the 1896-1908 pre-Ts, to 40 of the 1932-1941 V8s, including racing Fords of both periods. There are three plates devoted to pre-Model-A “four-pot” Fords, including a Model-Y. Ms. Kimes writes the long Preface and her bossman Scott-Bailey a most interesting Introduction, about how the old-car hobby and motor-publishing came into his life.