March 6, 2007
Ford family honoured for the “Deuce”
Indianapolis, Indiana – Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford and grandson of Edsel Ford, has accepted the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Ford family. The award coincides with the 75th anniversary of the 1932 Ford, popularly known as “The Deuce”, the vehicle considered the heart of the hot rod and muscle car culture.
“I accept this on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Ford employees who preceded me, who work with me now and who will come after me,” Ford says. “It was really the entire Ford Motor Company that produced the ’32 Ford.”
The award, named for the publisher of Hot Rod Magazine and founder of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, is presented annually at the Hot Rod and Restoration Trade Show. Past winners have included Carroll Shelby, Andy Granatelli and George Barris.
“This is the first time the award has honoured an entire family instead of an individual,” says Dick Messer, director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “There are no more deserving recipients than the two men who literally started the performance industry, Henry and Edsel Ford.”
The 1932 Ford carried the world’s first mass-produced V8 engine and new styling sophistication, and would go on to spark car enthusiasts to personalize and modify their vehicles. The hot rod and automotive aftermarket has evolved into a US$34 billion industry.
“It was an interesting mating of an engine and a design and a wonderful coming together of a father and son,” Ford says. “Henry wanted to do a V8; he was the engine promoter. But I think it was Edsel’s design that really made the ’32 Ford.” Ford added that Edsel, who died in 1943 at the age of 49, never received the credit he deserved. “My grandfather had a huge impact on this industry that I think was very much underappreciated.”
As part of the event, Ford was asked to autograph a 1932 Ford pedal car which was raffled off, with proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a charity the Edsel Ford family has long supported.
The 1932 Ford’s anniversary will be celebrated at numerous events throughout the United States this year; for more information, visit Deuce75.com.