75 years of Innovators: Henry Ford
In the 75 years since Machine Design began publication, here are some of the people who have changed the way we live.
Introduced the first mass-produced V8
Henry Ford may be best known as the founder of one of the largest American car companies as well as the first to introduce assembly lines for mass production of vehicles. But, in 1932 at age 69, he introduced his last engineering triumph: the V8. This was the first low-cost, mass-produced V8, leaving the competition, which was producing six-cylinder engines, in the dust.
Ford was the first company to successfully cast a V8 block in one piece, which was produced at the company's Rouge plant. Detachable "flathead" cylinder heads gave the engine its name. Notable features include a dual-plane crank, 90* V design, and a downdraft carburetor. The flathead V8 produced 65 hp at 3,400 rpm, and went from 0 to 60 mph in 14 sec. The first "Model 18" equipped vehicle rolled off production lines on March 9, 1932. By June, production of the flathead V8s hit the 1 million mark.