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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Ford Factory: 1954

Ford Factory: 1954

My father took this Kodachrome in Ford Plant 1 in Windsor, Ontario, in 1954. The history of Ford here goes back to 1904 when Model Bs and Cs, and later Model Ts, were built in this complex. The plant was located right alongside the Detroit River at Riverside Drive East and Drouillard Road. The two storey building in the foreground was built in 1912 as office space, and as Ford expanded more offices were installed in the buildings behind. This is where my father worked in management. To see a present day view click here. A photo by the Detroit Publishing Co. of this area in 1914 can be viewed here, and here is a story on the demolition in 1969. View full size.

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Not that it matters now

But to clarify in a general way, in Canada Monarchs were upscale Fords, i.e. Mercurys, and sold at Ford dealers.

Meteors were Ford's regular line slightly disguised and sold at Lincoln Mercury Meteor dealers, themselves few and far between and needing an inexpensive full-size car to survive.

That way, a small town with a Ford dealer could sell Fords, Monarchs (disguised Mercurys) and from late '59 Falcons, covering off everything but Lincolns. The ads showed Ford-Monarch-Falcon as the dealer branding.

Clear as mud? Well, nobody, not a soul I ever knew, cared but the dealer associations, I can assure you.

1954 Ford of Canada

Interesting that some '54 Fords built in Canada had 1953 Ford dashboards in them and some had the older flathead engine of 1953 instead of the 1954 Y-Block engine. Mr. Ford didn't waste a thing!

The middle red car

just might be a Meteor Niagara and is so different from the Ford on the left (2 small peices of chrome) otherwise undistinguishable from the plain looking Ford.

Uncle Bob

My uncle, Bob Horseburg, worked in the office here as well. When Ford opened its new Oakville, Ont. assembly plants many jobs were transfered there. One of them was his. The Ford Motor Co. was a huge part of Windsor. When Ford chose Oakville as its new Canadian centre , the city was devastated, and still hasn't recovered.

When I was a kid in high

When I was a kid in high school (Lowe Tech) I used to bus past this place every day. Good to see it again.

Dang it!

That's the third time this week I've tried to unlock the wrong car!

All of the cars are Fords in the parking lot!

Back when American/Canadian car companies built good cars, their employees drove the cars they built.

I'm a Ford brat too

My father began his 40-year career with Ford as paymaster at the Somerville, Mass., assembly plant in 1928. He was promoted and transferred so often that I went to five different schools in six years!

Red is a tough color to match

So I've been told.

Any color you want, 1954 style

Any color you want in 1954 as long as it was red? Geeze that is a nice set of wide whitewall matched Fords (in 3 colors) all parked in the sunshine.

This can't be the holding lot for shipping assembled cars because they would have a mixture of models and options and these have licenses.

I wonder if this is some kind of executive fleet. With the job you got a Ford to drive and they picked the model, options, and colors.

Fords & Meteors

Those three red sedans may look the same at first glance, then you see important trim differences. The car on the left is definitely a Ford while the two on the right are Meteors, a separate make built to allow Canadian Mercury dealers to cover the full price range.

Before the 1965 Auto Treaty there were strong tax incentives for domestic content in Canada, this led to a whole range of unique Canadian variants from all the manufacturers.

[Meteors were Ford equivalents; the Canadian version of the Mercury was the Monarch. - Dave]

Nice

Thanks, Angus J, those are some nice-looking cars. Fabulux and pointed into the future.

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