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Lot 18: Henry Ford Quadricycle

The Motorclassica Auction | 2016

by Theodore Bruce

October 22, 2016

Melbourne, Australia

Live Auction
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  • Henry Ford Quadricycle
  • Henry Ford Quadricycle
  • Henry Ford Quadricycle
  • Henry Ford Quadricycle
  • Henry Ford Quadricycle
   
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Description: Henry Ford Quadricycle
This example was produced by the Ford Motor Company to celebrate the centenary of the Ford Quadricycle .

The Ford Quadricycle was the first vehicle developed by Henry Ford. Ford's first car was a simple frame with an ethanol-powered engine and four bicycle wheels mounted on it.

On June 4, 1896 in a tiny workshop behind his home on 58 Bagley Avenue, where the Michigan Building now stands. Ford put the finishing touches on his pure ethanol-powered motor. After more than two years of experimentation, Ford, at the age of 32, had completed his first experimental automobile. He dubbed his creation the "Quadricycle," so named because it ran on four bicycle tires, and because of the means through which the engine drove the back wheels. The success of the little vehicle led to the founding of the Henry Ford Company and then later the Ford Motor Company in 1903.

The two cylinder engine could produce 4 horsepower. The Quadricycle was driven by a chain. The transmission had only two gears (first for 10 mph (16 km/h), 2nd for 20 mph (32 km/h)). The tiller-steered machine had wire wheels and a 3 US gal fuel tank under the seat. Ford test drove it on June 4, 1896, after various test drives, achieving a top speed of 20 mph. Ford would later go on to found the Ford Motor Company and become one of the world's richest men.

One of three produced by Ford Australia. Museum link: http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/370636

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