Earlier this month, we had the pleasure to attend the exclusive Ford Innovation and Design Fantasy Camp in Dearborn, Detroit on behalf of Ford. “Ford Community Influencers” brought together a total of 140 bloggers from different walks of the blogosphere, which is quite a deviation from the general approach adopted by the automobile companies, most of them focus on bringing the like-minded people together, while the Ford motor company wanted an insight from everyone coming from a wide online background, much like the “Assembly line Production” adopted by the great innovator and pioneer, Henry Ford.
The Ford fantasy camp started off with an exclusive trip to the Henry Ford museum, with a personal tour of the "Driving America" collection. We were privileged to have got a private tour before the revamped museum opens to the public starting from Jan. 29.
The Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield Village features a selection of some of the most significant cars ever built, from early production vehicles of the 20th century to muscle cars, presidential limousines and other historic automobiles, which have been restored for the museum display. The theme at the newly revamped Ford Museum revolves around the American car culture. The exhibit sprawled over 80,000 square feet of space includes 130 vehicles, which along with more than 60 cases of artifacts have a story to tell about the car culture of that era. The rare artifacts at the museum include, the blood-stained rocking chair in which Abraham Lincoln sat when America’s sixteenth president was assassinated, George Washington’s camp bed and trunk.
The classic cars that fascinated us the most includes, the limo in which President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and the Reagan Presidential Limousine he was using when John Hinkley took fire. This is also the last presidential limousine that will be preserved.
And, there was the bus that Rosa Parks was riding when she refused to give up her seat, the Dwight D. Eisenhower’s "Bubbletop," the convertible sedan was the official car for 4 U.S. Presidents. There is also a classic "silver bullet" Airstream trailer amongst lots of other one-of-a-kind models. What makes the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Detroit different from other automobile museums is that its more about the man’s collection and not the Ford motor company’s collection. The exhibit includes not just cars but other classic modes of transportation including bikes, trains and muscle cars, from that of aviation history that showcases American innovation. Besides the prized artifacts and the classic cars, the museum also featured touch-screen exhibits to give a complete insight about the cars on display. The touch-screen app even teaches you how to drive a Ford Model.
A trip to the Ford museum was followed with a factory tour to Ford’s Product Design Center in Dearborn, Michigan. It’s always interesting to experience the behind-the-scene set-up. It was a great learning experience to know about the design principles and the whole process involved in designing an automobile; right from the concept stages to building a clay model, to working on the user interface experience and the huge amount of R&D that has gone into making Ford, world’s best green car company, which is constantly working on using the sustainable materials out of sustainable foods like corn, soybeans and carrots!
And, finally the tour came to an end with the launch of 2013 Ford Fusion at the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The 2013 Ford Fusion sedan proved to be the show stopper with its fascinating design and 3 hybrid model and five power-plans option, including a traditional Hybrid, a plug-in Hybrid and three different gasoline engines.
And, finally as Ford gets it right, “Ford sees itself as a technology company, not just an auto company.” Thank you Scott Monty, head of Ford’s Social Media and everyone else for inviting us to the Ford Fantasy Camp!
Check-out additional pictures in the Gallery below.