COLOGNE, Germany – Ford of Germany employees are embarking on a marathon road trip to celebrate the150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford. In the penultimate leg of this fascinating journey Michael Krieger and Andreas Kirsch visited historic Stolberg castle in a 1978 Ford Fiesta and its modern-day counterpart.
It’s a 16 kilometer drive from the vast open cast mine of Inden to historic Stolberg and its mighty castle and imposing limestone cliffs. For Ford employees Michael Krieger and Andreas Kirsch it’s a rare chance to take a trip back in time behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta MK 1.
The car, with its 52 HP engine, revolutionised the small car sector when it was launched in the seventies. Parked alongside a current Ford Fiesta ECOnetic though, it looks and feels all of its 35 years and more. For starters, it only has four gears, one wing mirror and there’s no power steering.´
“Fiesta has come a long way in 35 years,” said Kirsch. “The MK 1 car is very mechanical. When you drive it, 110 km/h feel more like 150 km/h. Nevertheless, it still drives great!”
Michael Krieger has especially fond memories of the MK1 Fiesta. It was his very first car. Today he works in metrology, using cutting edge technologies such as 3-D scanning to measure vehicle components. Krieger is very proud of the company.
“Henry Ford wanted to make mobility affordable for everyone,” he said. “Delivering affordable mobility is a fundamental part of our global strategy. Henry Ford famously said that it is not the entrepreneur who pays wages – he only wages. It is the product that pays the wages. That rings true to this day.”
As the Fiestas make their way to Stolberg it becomes apparent why in the early 19th Century this was most advanced industrial region of Germany. Stolberg was famous for its brass production, and metal work remains a significant employer in the town.
Stolberg is also home to the world’s longest nail. It’s housed in the castle museum and is recognised in the Guiness Book of World Records.
From this nail, the seventh and final stage of the Henry Ford Anniversary Tour will head to the Ford Research Center in Aachen. A full report on that drive will appear in @Ford Online next week.