Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire by Richard Bak

By Richard Bak

The epic fight among a father and son and the construction of a global company empireIn this retelling of the tale of the increase of Ford vehicles, journalist Richard Bak bargains a bold new point of view at the human drama that assisted in shaping one of many world's nice company empires. No dry company historical past, Henry and Edsel specializes in the epic conflict of wills among the unyielding Henry Ford, his talented son Edsel, and his "second son," the brutal and insidious Harry Bennet who rose from barroom brawler to develop into Henry's inheritor obvious. Bak dispels the typical misperception of Edsel Ford as a vulnerable and ineffectual supervisor, and explains that it used to be actually Edsel's level-headedness and imaginitive enterprise strategies and that allowed the corporate to outlive the various demanding situations to its survival within the first 1/2 the 20th century. Timed to coincide with the one hundredth anniversary get together of Ford Motor corporation, Henry and Edsel is bound to be warmly obtained via heritage buffs and enterprise readers.Richard Bak (Detroit, MI) is a veteran journalist who has written broadly at the Fords and the car undefined.

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Ford, however, had different ideas, concentrating his efforts on building a larger and faster race car. There was "a barrel of money in this business," Henry confided in a letter to his brother-in-law. " Once again Henry self-destructed by stubbornly defying the wishes of his backers. After Murphy repeatedly warned him to stick to designing a passenger car, a machine-shop legend was brought in to correct the situation. Henry M. Leland, the brilliant and physically imposing head of Leland & Faulconer, was widely respected for his companys ability to tool products to remarkably close tolerances.

That he had never driven an automobile before, much less a leviathan like the 999, mattered not. On October 25. 1902. after just a \veek of lessons, he piloted 999 at the annual day of challenge races at the Grosse Pointe track. This time the field lor the main event included five gas-guzzling racers, including Winton in a machine called the "Bullet'' Prior to the race, Ford fretted over the 9995 lack of safety features and his driver's inexperience. Oldfield dismissed such concerns. ·'Well. " Oldfield then put his bravado on spectacular display, going fullbore the entire way until he covered the five miles in an unprecedented 5 minutes, 28 seconds, lapping the runner-up in the process.

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