COLOGNE, Germany – Ford of Germany employees are embarking on a seven stop road trip to commemorate the150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford.
The third leg of this special event saw two Niehl employees drive from the Goldenberg power plant in Huerth-Knappsack through the Rhine-Erft region to Kerpen in a Ford B-MAX 1.0-litre EcoBoost and a 1948 Ford Taunus.
The destination for the day was Visteon’s technical Centre. The company shares a special link with Ford. A part of Ford Motor Company until 2000, Visteon today is a leading automotive supplier that supplies innovative products to Ford and other manufacturers around the world. Kerpen is Visteon’s centre of excellence for climate control and cockpit electronics.
Despite the rough weather conditions, the tour received a warm welcome from Visteon’s Business Manager Frank Bredemeier. The engineer not only shares a common past with Ford through his current employer, he started his career in Ford’s engine plant.
Therefore it was a perfect coincidence that the two Ford employees who accompanied the tour for that day also work in Ford’s Cologne engine plant. Ingo Koenen is in charge of tooling improvements within the Ford Production System (FPS). Daniel Baum is a safety engineer.
As with all the classic Ford models of the anniversary tour, the one featured on this leg – a 1948 Ford Taunus - caused quite a stir among the participants. Equipped with a 34 PS 1.2-litre engine, Ford’s first postwar model kept up well on the road while making an extraordinary sight in everyday traffic.
“It is a totally different feeling compared to today’s cars,” said Koenen. “It has a lot more charm, it rattles and shakes and the smell is different. You smell the fuel and oil – that’s special.”
Driving alongside the Taunus was a Ford B-MAX, acting as a modern counterpart with its innovative body design.
“I liked the contrast between the two vehicles,” Baum explained. “The B-MAX with its innovative door concept, everything has a premium appeal and modern design. And then there’s the old ‘Buckeltaunus’ (hunchback Taunus), leisurely gliding along.”
The next leg of the Henry Ford anniversary tour will be driven through the brown coal fields around Kerpen on July 10.