"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently" – Henry Ford. When the man behind this quote came up with Ford in the year 1903, he expected success. Through the early cars his company produced, they ushered in the automotive era and it is no surprise that his Michigan based company is ranked the fifth largest carmaker in the world. It has had its roots in almost all continents from South America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
The cars produced came in many phases. In achieving all the status, it was not the smoothest journey. In the new markets Henry Ford ventured in, he came with goodies. He would set up production plants for his cars and this would bring employment and good remuneration to the people. Some plants were a great success from the various cars produced but for others, the factories would just close down due to various factors as shall be seen.
Over time, the huge collection of cars produced have made headlines till date with famous cars like the Ford Mustang defining the success. But amidst that, there have been Ford cars that have been pictured abandoned. This one cannot be out of performance for sure, but for whatever reason, they were left to rot. And in here, we have a list of Ford buildings and cars that were abandoned. You just have to dive in to get to know each one of these 20.
19 Ford Motor Company Cincinnati Plant
The facility located in Cincinnati, Ohio had its name registered in the year 1989. The building, however, was built in the year 1915 and had some of the Model Ts produced. There is less history documented about this plant but it was abandoned and it was in the year 2003 that some developers turned it into offices.
The renovations took almost $10.3 Million and in 2014, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital purchased the building at $8.6 Million. In the facility, an over 100-year-old Ford Model T sits there giving us enough proof that the brand's builds were of quality. In the inflated world, you would get it at a price of over $10,000 according to WLWT
In the year 1928, Henry Ford had brought a hopeful new breath of a better economy and better conditions in Northern Brazil. He had an idea to build an ideal city with Ford concepts that would transform this area totally, with the emergent city being called Fordlandia.
This never came to see the light of day as the project was abandoned and what was left was a ghost city. Short labor and supply and management issues were some of the factors that led to its decline. The idea was a good one but it never played out the way it should have.
17 Highland Park Ford Plant
The birth of this plant was on January 1, 1910, in Manchester Street. The building hosted offices, power plants, factories, and foundry. Beginning at the Piquette Avenue Plant, this was the Model T second manufacturing facility. According to Detroit Historical Society, in the early '20s, automobile production was taken to River Rogue plant and up to 1927, Model T was still being produced here.
They shifted and the plant focused on tractors and trucks production along building engine parts for aircraft and building tanks. In the year 1974, the facility shut its doors and more recently, it has been used to record storage.
16 Abandoned Ford Plant in Villa de Reyes
What you are seeing was a $1.6 Billion project that was intended to be erected in Villa de Reyes in Mexico. Unfinished Buildings states that in January 2017, Ford announced its cancellation of the project and what was left behind was the skeleton of the plant standing over the desert.
The reason for the cancellation was the declining sales in the cars that the factory was to build according to Mark Fields who was Ford’s chief director at the time. This was a failed project and to erect that skeleton alone, Ford went on a big loss as this was intended to be one major project in terms of production and employment.
15 Ford Geelong Plant
Eye Witness News had a headline, "Australia’s first major car maker, Ford, has shut down its factories in Geelong and Melbourne, leaving 600 workers unemployed." The plant had initially been built as an outpost of the Canada Company back then in the year 1925.
Among the products they dealt with was assembling of Model T from kits and a notable production was the Falcon. Problems arose from 2009 and in 2013, the company closed its doors citing sales issues and the manufacturing costs. A lot of workers were left unemployed and to others, their payments were left unpaid. As recently as Fed 14, 2019, Vestas, a Danish energy giant, took over the building for the purpose of building turbines.
14 Ford Piquette Plant
This 1904 plant is found in Detroit, Michigan. This was the second center among the many that would come in later through the years. In here, the first Model T was created and produced. It was among the first cars that introduced those in the US to the automotive world with its vast following.
In addition, 100 cars were being produced here daily. The facility lasted through 1910 when the activities were taken to a bigger facility. The Highland Park Ford Plant would proceed on with the productions. In the year 1911, the facility got another assembly partner, Studebaker, all through to the year 1933. Over the years, it has found new owners till 2001 when it was made a museum.
13 Omaha Ford Motor Company
The building is situated at 1514-1524 Cuming Street in North Omaha, Nebraska. It operated for sixteen (16) years and with it had 1,200 employees who oversaw the production of approximately 450,000 cars. This was another Model T producer which housed every assembly process in it.
Revolvy states that it was all under one roof and the top floors housed the finished product as opposed to the previous production lines. Introduction of the Model A, which was a replacement to the Model T, required the use of a continuous line whereby the plant could not install such a system, resulting to its closure in 1932. It has seen warehouses, sales services, offices, apartment and conference halls taking it in the later years.
12 Jacksonville Ford Plant
After the vast Model T success, Henry Ford was forced to open other productions and he saw it fit to do one on Wambolt Street, Jacksonville. This was back in the year 1924. First Coast News states that the building was 200 feet wide by 576 feet which was later expanded to 800 feet. It covered an 11-acre piece of land. They go on to state that the 800 employees at the plant would produce a record of 200 cars daily.
The Great Depression in 1932 made the plant become a parts distribution center till 1968. After 1968, the building was abandoned. Roll on the years, the beautiful design still greets you but a step closer leads you to see a transformed plant serving as a wooden pallet storage unit.
11 Washington St. Ford Plant
The plant is located at 1315 E. Washington St. and it opened its doors in the year 1915. Within the factory, daily production of 60 cars was achieved through the 250 workers who were later on doubled. Just like many plants in this piece, the Model T was also produced in here. In the year 1932, this plant closed its doors for production and it turned out to be a hub for parts service and auto sales.
This went on into the '40s and was later sold to the Indianapolis Public Schools where it was used as a receiving and storage facility according to Old Cars Weekly. Today, TWG, an Indianapolis developer, plans to take and revitalize the building for other services.
10 Atlanta Assembly
This production line had its doors open from the year 1915 to 1942. In it, there was the production of Model As, Model Ts, and V-8s, with a 22,000 mark production of cars attained every year. The assembly was put down as a result of the massive sales recorded in Atlanta. It was one of the best buying states. The building was eventually sold in the year 1942.
They used the building as a storage facility and had their offices there. Later on, the year 1979 presented the opportunity of the building being sold for development but still maintained the brand name Ford. It is called Ford Factory Square and in it, it houses retail shops and apartments.
9 1965 Ford F150
It seems a caring person heard the cry of this beautiful rusty beast and came to its rescue. Having its production between 1960 and 1966, this is among the many F-series trucks that were released. The F-series has been the biggest success in Ford’s history. Business Insider claims that in 2017, Ford sold 896,764 F-series trucks!
This alone made the model the best-selling vehicle in the States. Every minute, an F-series pickup is being bought. This one in the picture is not yet worn out. Mirrors are good, tires are surprisingly intact, headlights are still fixed. With the accolades it carries and the ‘good’ condition it has, the owner had to rescue it. Probably with no ransom.
8 1939 Ford Truck
1939 was the time when Henry Ford replaced the old-fashioned brakes with the modem hydraulics units after pressure from the buyers. So from 1939, the trucks were fitted with hydraulic brakes – which makes this one special as it falls among the first to have ever been installed with one.
Sadly, the truck here is totally abandoned despite the milestones it has achieved. It is worn out from the interior, exterior and what can be salvaged is the quality body Ford produces. This can still get into rebuilding that will get the vintage beast back to its feet. It stands solo in the Pennsylvania woods and within no time, the plants surrounding will find themselves in the car.
7 1951 Ford F100 Pick up
This beast is so rusty and the toothy grille seems to portray a rather gnashing face of this front. HowStuffWorks states that the make was referred to as a ‘Million Dollar Cab’ as its designing and tooling cost a staggering $1 million. Please remember this is in the year 1951.
Imagine that price now? Ford made the claim its comfort was next to none. They referred to it as ‘Living Room’ comfort. Additionally, its styling was so classy and what else could define a 1951 Ford model? So here we have, a costly design, an expensive comfort and a classy styling all abandoned. It can’t get any worse.
6 1957 Ford Thunderbird
This was among the first generation convertibles ever produced by Ford. The inspiration behind the make was as a result of a Chevrolet Corvette at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the year 1953. The Corvette was made as a sports car, an idea from the love of sports cars among those in the US.
A fast transformed idea to a prototype to the final Thunderbird, wasn’t as successful as the Corvette. The speeds from the sports cars and the Corvette were not evident in this two-seater car. The comfort they dreaded also, wasn’t in any way matched with the Corvette. This rusty Thunderbird still looks ‘strong’ and a visit to a restoration shop can do some justice.
5 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
A quick search on GT 500s will show you that they were limited productions. There were only 2,048 of them released. As a gearhead you should know anything that had a Shelby imprint on it, was a car on a different level. The love for this limited muscle should be intense.
For the class it oozes, to the high performance it had in the V8 engine that produced 355 horsepower, why would you let this muscle car reach a point of growing a healthy plant to that height? To put it into context, the Shelby GT 500 in Gone In 60 Seconds was sold for more than $1 Million! If only the owner knew…
4 1946-1947 Ford 1.5 Ton Flatbed
Another F-series brand. This time is the first post-war designed truck. It had multiple horizontal grilles and on the fenders, the headlights were perfectly situated. The truck received a successful reception and to date, the success of the F-series is still enormous.
The labels were from an F-1 half-ton, F-2 for ¾ tons, to the F-8. The Fords released during the period were very identical for their engines as they used either a V8 flatbed or an I6 flatbed. On this particular Ford, it looks as complete as ever. Mirrors are undamaged and the chassis looks so intact. A rust removal job would 60% complete the makeover.
3 Abandoned Ford Edsel
First things first, the car is viewed as a failure in Ford’s franchise after spending more than $250 Million in production. From the reliability issues to the design, this surely was not what Ford hoped for. The more reason its production lasted for two years. This was back in 1955 – 1957. The price? It was overpriced at $3,800.
Remember, that was in the '50s. The car was not impressive at all. To put into perspective, the car is very bad, from the interior to the exterior - that's probably why it is lying idle in this junkyard. But a quick look at it, you can see the windscreen, wipers, headlights and the front side is really intact. Touted as the car of the future, seems it was cut short.
2 1972 Ford Granada Consul
This rust filled Granada Consul is not the best site for everyone who knew how they were short-lived. They had their production for three years and it will be remembered for its low budget and The Sweeney appearances.
The four-door saloon car used various German-built engines like a 2.3L/ Cologne V6, 2.0L/ straight-four and the Ford Taunus V4. They had a few arrivals later on which included a two-door coupe till its production was discontinued in the year 1975. What we see here is a Granada Consul that has its body still looking strong and a makeover would surely revive the '70s feeling. It shouldn’t house the rainy water on its hood.
1 1959 Ford Ranchero Pick-up
Its body had the cab and the cargo bed integrated into it. The one here is a first generation one that was produced in the year 1959. For this one, unlike many others, it had a longer bed by measurements of 7ft and a bigger windshield.
This Ranchero, spotted on some junkyard, looks so lonely with rust covering it on top and partly on the hood. It seems to have stayed there for a while by the look of the deflated tires and its surrounding. The windshield and the other windows seem undamaged. The headlights and the front are okay. Maybe what’s remaining is a tow to a restoration garage and this swanky car gets to come back to life.
Sources - Ford, Pinterest & How Stuff Works