Stories Of Inspiring Visionaries Are Fuel For A New Year

With 2014 right around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to reflect back on a couple automobile visionaries whose contributions to design, performance and innovation continue to shape how we look at and enjoy cars today. Without them, we might be stuck driving around in shapeless hunks of metal, getting five miles to the gallon and pulling bugs out of our teeth.

Enjoy, and have a wonderful new year!

Henry Ford

Undoubtedly one of the greatest innovators of modern time, Henry Ford’s passion for machinery led him to start his own automobile company and build, race, and develop what he liked. Yet his greatest contribution to automotive innovation didn’t come in the form of the fastest or the best looking car, but simply the most affordable. Although there were 87 other car companies at the time he began the Henry Ford Company, Ford believed that automobiles should be made available to all (not just the extremely wealthy) and that the open road belonged to everyone with the desire to get behind the wheel and go. "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

Enzo Ferrari

Beginning his career as a professional race car driver for Alfa Romeo after World War I, Enzo Ferrari soon realized that cars must push the limits of form and function in order to remain competitive. If Ford brought the automobile to the general public, Ferrari elevated our understanding of what a car could be to a level of art and refinement that was never seen before.

Enzo Ferrari was a pioneer and automobile enthusiast that could never be satisfied to be good enough. “I have never gone on a real trip, never taken a holiday. The best holiday for me is spent in my workshops when nearly everybody else is on vacation”. - Enzo Ferrari

Soichiro Honda

Born near Mount Fuji in a rural village of Japan, Soichoiro Honda found his passion early in life when the first locomotive he ever laid eyes on visited his town. As the son of a blacksmith, the smell of burning oil emanating from that contraption was intoxicating to young Soichiro, and helped cement his love for all things mechanical. Although his first great success as an inventor and entrepreneur came by way of a refurbishing two-stroke engines for motorized bicycles in post World War II Japan, Honda never lost sight of the horizon and what came next. He knew motorcycles were only the beginning and at a time when other auto makers were retrofitting their gas guzzling models to comply with changing emission regulations and fuel shortages, Honda's long held philosophy of doing more with less proved to be exactly what a new generation of car owners wanted.

"There is a Japanese proverb that literally goes 'Raise the sail with your stronger hand,' meaning you must go after the opportunities that arise in life that you are best equipped to do." - Soichiro Honda

Ferdinand A. "Butzi" Porsche

As the third Ferdinand in a long line of automobile inventors, Ferdinand Anton "Butzi" Porsche had big shoes to fill right from the beginning. His grandfather Ferdinand Porsche developed the wheel hub motor used for the first ever electric-gas hybrid vehicle, the Lohner-Porsche, which although innovative was to expensive and impractical for mass production. Butzi's father, Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche, helped Porsche senior develop a people's car for Adolf Hitler, also known as the Volkswagen Beetle, which would eventually become one of the longest running and best selling model cars of all time. Ferry also put the Porsche company on the right track to success by building the Porsche 356 sports car after World War II.

Ferdinand A. "Butzi" Porsche's time to shine came when his family's company needed a successor to the well received 356. And although many designs came and went, Butzi's studies in mechanical engineering and aerodynamics paid off when he revealed the Porsche 901, later named the 911.

It is a simple and classic design that has taken his father and grandfather's vision into modern day, and will undoubtedly continue into the future.

And with that, we leave you to welcome in the new year! Thank you to all who have followed along with us this year, we are excited to start another year here at MotorEthos and we hope you'll come back soon!



Popular posts from this blog

Top 10 Mustangs Movie Moments of All Time

Monterey Week 2015: A Reunion of Motorsports