from a news account
On this date in 1896, a young electrical engineer named Henry Ford completed, and successfully tested, his first experimental automobile. He called it the "Quadricycle," because it rolled around on four bicycle tires. He'd been working on it for two years, out in the shed behind his house on Bagley Avenue in Detroit. It was finally ready to test when he hit an unexpected snag: It was too wide to fit through the workshop's door. Ford took an ax to the doorframe and the surrounding bricks, and was soon rolling down Grand River Avenue.
The Quadricycle had a two-cylinder, four-horsepower engine and could achieve speeds up to 20 miles per hour. It had two gears and no brakes. It ran on pure ethanol, and it was steered by the means of a tiller, like a boat. It wasn't much to look at, just a 500-pound skeleton with a steel frame and no body. But the first test drive was a success.
Henry miscalculated the transmission ratios and could only drive in first. Top gear was too high. But it moved under its own power. Eureka!
I believe that entering "Ford Quadricycle" in Google will take you to Dave Dunlavys web site. He has done a wonderful job documenting Henry's first and collected a lot of pictures and information on reproductions that have been built including his own plus the one I have that my dad built. He has several others that have been built. He plans to bring his to Old Threashers at Mt Pleasant, Iowa probably on Friday before Labor Day. I plan to have mine there each day of the reunion.
Try Ford Quadricycle - Dave Dunlavy.us.
There's one that was built in Spain, but I can't find the link for it
According to the Henry Ford Museum, the motor ran on gasoline.
Info on the replica of Ford's Quadricycle here - http://www.quadricycle1896.com/en/home.html
Thanks, Erik. I wondered about that part when I read it. Sounded fishy to me.
About ten years ago the new corn ethanol industry put out lots of lies about Henry and ethanol.
If you google "no need for speed, Tom daw" you can see pictures of my dad and his quad plus there is a Lenk there for Dave Dunlavys web site. Pretty sure Dave has a video of the one built in Spain included on his site.