Centenary celebrations are also planned at Ford plants in the UK, particularly over the centennial weekend itself. One of the largest will be at the company's technical centre at Dunton in Essex, which will host employees and their families from a number of major south-east England sites.
Other activities planned for this country include a Henry Ford Day (May 11) at the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust museum at Gaydon in Warwickshire and a European employee football tournament at Rush Green, Essex, in May. Teams from Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Turkey and Russia will play over a weekend for the honour of winning the Ford European Centennial Cup.
Already well under way is the Ford-supported 'Model T Challenge' competition for enthusiasts to restore Ford Model Ts. Judging takes place on May 31 at the Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset and while it was initially thought some 10 or 12 entries would be received, the response has greatly exceeded expectations and some 45 entrants, from as far afield as Orkney and Cornwall, have registered. Competitors include a Church of Scotland minister and a father and daughter team.
"The great thing about this competition is that when the judging has been completed, 45 more working Model Ts will be around than was the case in early 2002 when the project was first announced, " explained Daniel Ward, executive director, public affairs for Ford of Britain.
Throughout the year selected advertisements and product brochures will carry the Ford Centenary logo to convey the centennial message to consumers. Dealer point of sale material and the Ford roadshow activity will also carry a centennial theme.
Through a dedicated website, accessed via www.ford.com , Ford is not only giving enthusiasts the opportunity to keep abreast of global centennial events as they are confirmed but also contribute to Ford's history through a section of the site called "Your Stories".
This interactive section allows site visitors to share their Ford stories, everything from their first Ford product to how the company has impacted their lives.
"Ford has touched the lives of people in virtually every corner of the world, and 'Your Stories' gives people the opportunity to share experiences," said Roger Putnam, chairman, Ford of Britain. "We're encouraging Ford enthusiasts worldwide to share their stories, with the goal of creating a rich historical database that cannot be found in traditional historical material."Published 15 January 2003