looks like henry's last ride was in a packard
Henry Ford's last ride...in a Packard
Ron the Coilman
Excerpts of a letter written by Mrs. ford a few months after Henry Ford's death. It's interesting to read the account posted and compare with this brief (and poignant) account.
Thank you for beginning this thread.
Yes, thank you for starting this. I wish I could have met him...he is my mechanical hero.
The reading was by candle light because of power outage at Fairlane due to weather and flooding of the Rouge River. It had put the power house for the estate out of commission.
I read an excellent article on Henry's last day many years ago (late 1970s) in and issue of Old Cars or some other publication. It mentioned that on his last day his mind was very clear and he was busy and very happy. A good way to go out when the time comes.
From the book "The Last Days of Henry Ford" by Henry Dominguez, recounting the memories of the Ford's servant, Rosa Buhler:
The once dynamic Henry Ford was on his last days. Suffering the ill effects of old age and several strokes, the once energetic “master of mass production” was now following his wife around their Fair Lane estate like a little puppy. But there were days in 1946 and 1947 when he would become his old self again—lucid, energetic, and humorous. He was somewhat coherent when he attended the fiftieth anniversary celebration of his driving his first car, when he was initiated into the Automotive Hall of Fame, and when he visited Berry College. But he was particularly acute on his last day. Everyone there at the time said that old man Ford was “just like his old self.” Then tragedy struck. *** As soon as Buhler had sent Rankin on his way, she rushed back upstairs, using the flashlight to guide her, and turning it off as soon as she entered the Fords’ bedroom. In the candlelight, she saw Clara sitting on the side of her bed facing Henry’s. Buhler walked around and sat down next to her. “I saw right away that Mr. Ford was dying,” she recalled. “I just didn’t know what to tell Mrs. Ford. He was breathing very heavily, and I suggested to Mrs. Ford that we prop him up higher. He was uncomfortable.
Buhler went out into the porch off the bedroom and got a large pillow from the bed there. Then she and Clara took Henry’s arms, pulled him forward, and put the pillow behind him. He tried to speak, but couldn’t. Rosa Buhler, the Fords’ maid. She watched Henry Ford die “He probably knew what was going on,” recalled Buhler. “He motioned that we put out the candles.” Clara blew out the two candles, sending the bedroom into almost complete darkness. The candles burning in her dressing room cast a weak, barely visible light through the doorway. “Do you think the doctor will be here soon?” Clara asked in the darkness. Buhler turned her flashlight back on and shined it up toward the ceiling, allowing enough light for her and Clara to see Henry, but not enough to bother him. “Well,” she answered, “if Rankin had to drive there, it would be a while…before they come. Or if he called…. I don’t know.” By then, Henry’s breathing had slowed, and he seemed all right. But then his breathing became heavy again, and he started to toss and turn, and wanted to get up. Buhler laid the flashlight down on the bed, with its light facing Henry. “Maybe another pillow to raise his head a little will help,” Buhler said. Clara agreed. Buhler rushed out to the porch again, grabbed another pillow, and propped Henry up some more. “He seemed all right,” Buhler recalled, “but then he wanted to get up.” They stood him up next to the bed, Clara on one side of him, Buhler on the other. “He put his head on Mrs. Ford’s shoulder, just like a tired child,” Buhler recalled. “Henry, speak to me!” Clara cried. “Henry, please speak to me!” But he said nothing.
Henry on the 50th anniversary of his drive of the quadricycle in 1946:
Henry Ford in December 1946 with Clara and HFII:
A very beautiful first hand account, I knew not Thanks for posting.