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  • 1941 Ford

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    The Ford car was thoroughly updated in 1941, in preparation for a time of unpredictability surrounding World War II. The 1941 design would continue in an aborted 1942 model year and would be restarted in 1946 and produced until 1948 when the more modern 1949 Fords were ready. During the initial year of this car, it evolved considerably. The front fenders came in three pieces, the theory being that small damage could be replaced easily. During the year, it evolved into two pieces with the lower front and back sections being joined. The hood risers changed, the early ones being the same as 1940 Fords, changing during the year to the better later version. The 1941 Convertible had no rear side windows, the only side windows being in the doors; in 1942, quarter windows were added so the rear occupants could see out. Five different coil/distributor arrangements were used during 1941, causing confusion for mechanics. Other variations were: two different positions for the generator, and three for the cooling fan — front of the crankshaft, front of the generator (rare) and on a bracket. This is thought to be the first Ford to offer an oil filter. The two interior heaters were a "Southwind" gasoline burner, which had the advantage of keeping one warm in winter at drive-in movies (provided a small electric fuel pump was used), and a more ordinary hot-water type. Both had window defrosters. It had an excellent radio, which could consume the battery in about two hours. Electric windshield wipers were available in addition to the vacuum-powered wipers. Three different convertible power top mechanisms (vacuum, electric screw, and hydraulic) and two different header bar latching systems were used. Rear suspensions sometimes had a sway bar, most did not. It had excellent brakes for the time, and the best handling of an ordinary car at the time. It was a very transitional car. The two previous Ford car lines, Standard and De Luxe, had blossomed into three, Special, De Luxe, and Super De Luxe. This time, the entry-level 136 CID (2.2 L) V8 was switched in favor of a new 226 CID (3.7 L) L-head straight-6, the first Ford six since the 1906 Model K. The popular 221 CID (3.6 L) V8 remained as the top-line engine and was standard in De Luxe models. Both engines were rated at 90 hp. The 239 CID engine, introduced in 1939 for Mercury and trucks, was continued in the Mercury models. The chassis was longer, with a 114-in (2.9-m) wheelbase. The "ignition key" for these cars was actually used to operate a bolt lock which, on one end, unlocked the steering column (a feature destined to return, mandated, decades later), and on the other end unblocked the ignition switch, allowing it to be operated. Starting the car was then accomplished by pressing a pushbutton on the dashboard, another feature destined to return with the advent of "smart keys". Although starting cranks had been replaced by electric starters for decades, Ford cars included a manual starting feature until 1948 as an antidote to dead-battery syndrome. The wheel-lug wrench served as a handle (also for the jack) and the jack shaft with bayonet-coupling pins could be inserted through a small hole in the grille to engage a bayonet socket on the forward end of the engine crankshaft. A quick-and-easy twist of the handle was sufficient to start the flat head V8, and the bayonet coupling was self-disengaging for safety.

  • Ford Windstar

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    The Ford Windstar is a minivan produced and sold by Ford from the 1995 to 2003 model years. The second minivan designed by the company, it marked the transition from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive layouts popularized by the Chrysler minivans. Serving as a replacement for the Ford Aerostar, the two minivans were sold for three model years until the 1997 discontinuation of the Aerostar. For the 2004 model year, the Windstar was renamed the Ford Freestar. Although sold as part of the Ford car lineup, the Windstar followed a tradition set by the Aerostar by not having a Lincoln-Mercury counterpart, being completely unrelated to the Mercury Villager. The success of the Windstar led to the first Ford-developed Mercury minivan, the Mercury Monterey. All Windstars, Freestars, and Monterey minivans were assembled in Oakville, Ontario, Canada at the Oakville Assembly Plant.

  • Ford F-Series (eighth generation)

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    The eighth generation of the Ford F-Series is a line of pickup trucks and light- to medium-duty commercial trucks produced by Ford from 1986 to 1991. While the 1980 cab and chassis was carried over to the new model, the 1987 model was more streamlined, and maintenance items were made simpler. The exterior was facelifted with new composite headlamps, a more aerodynamic front end, and circular fenders. Inside, the interior was given a complete redesign. Rear antilock brakes were now standard, the first pickup truck to boast this. For the first time, all models were produced with straight-sided Styleside beds; the Flareside bed was discontinued except for a small number of early 1987 models using leftover 1986 beds with new circular fenders. In 1991 Ford premiered the 9th gen tail lights (the white reverse light was decreased in size) on the last year of the 8th generation.

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