The Ford House

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House tells the story of the home life of a prominent American family.

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Miniature Cars Motor to Ford House
Posted: March 15, 2011

Miniature Cars Motor to Ford House
Two “Custer” racer cars used by Ford children join the Garage Exhibit display
 
What’s the perfect gift to give the children of Automotive pioneers? Miniature cars, of course! Three special guests are rolling into the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House (Ford House) garage exhibit – two gasoline-engine miniature racer “Custer” cars used by the Ford children and a 1935 Lincoln K Lebaron Coupe. The updated exhibit, which showcases historic Ford family vehicles and highlights Edsel Ford’s keen eye for design, open March 15.
 
A gift to Eleanor and Edsel’s two youngest children, William Clay and Josephine, by their grandparents Henry and Clara Ford for Christmas in 1934, the toy cars were fitting presents for the children of one of America’s greatest industrialists.
 
Made by the Custer Specialty Company of Dayton, Ohio, the racers are powered by one-cylinder Briggs & Stratton engines.
 
The miniature racer cars demonstrate the Ford family’s spirit of adventure and sport as they were used by the children to speed around the grounds of both Ford House and at Fair Lane, their grandparent’s home. 
 
“The Custer cars are a fun, new addition to the Ford House garage that reveal a playful side of the Ford family we don’t always get a chance to see,” said Ford House President Kathleen Mullins. “With the addition of home movies of William and Josephine zooming around the grounds in the cars, visitors get a real sense that this was a family home, alive with activity.”
 
The home movies, including one of Edsel joining in the fun by squeezing into one of the miniature racers to play with his children can also be viewed on YouTube.  The segment is taken from the Ford House iPod app tour, which was launched last summer and offers an in-depth look at the Ford House grounds and family life at the estate. The app is available for free on iTunes and is pre-loaded on iPods for visitors to use at Ford House.
 
Another vehicle rolling into the garage exhibit is a 1935 Lincoln K Lebaron Coupe. The Lincoln Model K was known for being one of the most elegant Lincoln cars of its time. With soft lines and more rounded curves, the Lincoln is considered an imposing, yet sophisticated vehicle. Stahl’s Automotive Foundation in St. Clair Shores generously loaned the vehicle to the estate while the Fords’ 1938 Lincoln Brunn Bougham Model K-411 is off display for light restoration work.

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