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  1. I've bought my car from Ford and it currently has a full ford service history. Is there any value in having my MOTs done at Ford? Or does it not really affect the cars value regarding the service history? Would appreciate your thoughts on this.
  2. As the title says, tell us about your car owning history? What cars have you gone through to end up with your current Ford? Anything interesting? No leaving out the embarrassing ones!? haha I'll start it off: - '93 Peugeot 106 1.4 Diesel XND Graduate in White What a beast!! My first car was incredibly cheap to run and never let me down but oh my was it slow and not to mention a little basic! Even a cigarette lighter was an optional extra! Good little first car though! - '04 Ford Focus 1.8 Zetec MK1.5 3 Door in Machine Silver Loved this car. My first Ford I was so pleased with after always admiring the Focus! Kept is for over 4 years with very few problems. Added a few subtle mods incuding ST170 wheels, ST170 upper and lower front grill, ST170 clear side repeaters, ST170 Air box, scoop, air deflector and K&N panel filter, Iridium plugs and upgraded ignition leads, full black leather interior with heated seats (retro fitted original factory spec buttons with illumination), HID headlight conversion and all other bulbs upgraded, pioneer bluetooth/ipod head unit and pioneer speakers all round, ST170 interior door handles, ST170 pedals, full colour coding of all outside black plastics, interior map lights retro fitted. I think that must be about everything. Sad to see it go! - '07/57 Smart ForTwo 1.0 Turbo 84hp 451 in Black Still have this as it's the wife's car although I drive it now and then. Took a little getting used to but have to say we both love it as a nice little run around. Surprisingly nippy and great on fuel/tax compared to the ST. Only put in a few upgraded bulbs and changed out the stereo to a pioneer as the original one sounded pants!! - '08 Ford Focus ST3 MK2.5 3 Door in Moondust Silver My current car and my pride and joy. Had it for more than a year and a half now and love every minute of it! Always wanted and ST and I have not been disappointed. Managed to find a tidy one with a few decent extras too. Mods so far include Bluefin stage 1 remap (what a difference!), K&N panel filter, de-resonated standard exhaust for a few more pops and a bit more noise, LED side lights and number plate lights to match the xenons, gloss black powder coated standard alloys, DMB gel overlays, bonnet lip wrapped in gloss black, bluetooth module upgraded to retro fit USB and bluetooth audio feature. So let's hear about your car history and what brought you over to the Ford brand?
  3. In a recent television documentary (Hitler's Rise - the Colour Films) Channel 4 'exposed' a number of today's well known brands who had collaborated with the Third Reich. Apart from learning that my favourite 'smellies' manufacturer, Hugo Boss made the SA's brown shirts, the one that made me listen up was the reference to Henry Ford's involvement with Adolf Hitler. However none of this is new and a little investigation can turn up some very interesting, if rather murky history. Shortly after he was released from Landsberg prison in December 1924, Hitler received a copy of Henry Ford's Mein Leben und Werk (My Life and Work published 1920) whose anti-semitic viewpoint had a great influence on his own thinking. Hitler hung Ford's picture on the wall of his office and quoted extensively from Henry Ford's book in his own diatribe of vitriol, Mein Kampf. Henry Ford is known to have donated $78,000 to the NSDAP in 1928, equivalent to $1,065,000 in today's money and he continued to give large sums to Hitler every year, up to 35,000 RM, on his birthday. 'I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration' Adolf Hitler was quoted by the Detroit News in an interview on 31 Dec 1931 and to show his appreciation, he awarded Henry Ford the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, a citation reserved for foreigners of distinction, which was presented by the German Ambassador to Ford on his 75th birthday on 30th June 1938, in his Dearborn office. It should be no surprise that the Ford Motor Company had direct dealings with the Third Reich prior to the Second World War, continuing on until the U.S. entered the war in Dec 1941. In 1936, a Ford executive visiting Germany was informed by a Party official that Ford's Cologne plant manager was a Jew, prompting discussions between Ford Germany and Dearborn. Heinrich Albert, Ford's German-U.S. liaison executive, insisted the man be fired and he was replaced by Robert Schmidt, a member of the NSDAP. Fordwerke, as well as Matford in occupied France contributed significantly in equipping Germany's armed forces with trucks and other important transportation such as half-tracks. Ford America also negotiated a resource-sharing agreement that allowed Germany access to scarce supplies, particularly rubber, and continued to ship CKD truck chassis to Fordwerke right up until Hitler declared war on the U.S.A in December 1941. During this same period leading up to the American entry into the war, Ford was reluctant to participate in the Allied military effort. Even in June 1940 after the fall of France, Henry Ford personally vetoed a plan to build aero engines for the Allies, although having said that, Ford of Britain did produce over 30,000 Rolls Royce Merlin engines at a purpose-built factory at Urmston, Manchester from the time America entered the war. Although Dearborn could no longer communicate directly with Ford Germany, indirect links continued with senior managers such as Robert Schmidt travelling to neutral Portugal in order to consult with US Ford officials. Ford Dearborn continued throughout the war as the majority (52%) shareholder in Fordwerke which was one of the major suppliers of war materiel to the Heer throughout WW2 and saw profits of over 1.0 million RM in 1939 rise to 2.1 million RM by 1943, with Dearborn receiving dividends through neutral countries from its German subsidiary thought to be worth approximately $60,000 for each of the years 1941-43. At the cessation of hostilities the Ford Motor Company even submitted a claim on behalf of the German factories for compensation of $7 million from the American Government for bomb damage, including 'loss of stock'! The claim was eventually settled at $780,000 in recognition that Allied bombing had made a particular effort to avoid hitting the Ford factories: it was said in Cologne during the war that the Ford plant was safer than any air raid shelter! Ford GB also maintained links with Fordwerke; the Dagenham Advertising Manager, Clayton Young travelled to neutral Sweden in 1944 to attend a conference with his German counterparts, but unfortunately suffered from the extreme cold in the DH Mosquito and died shortly after arrival. When the GIs landed on Utah and Omaha Beaches in June 1944, they did so in jeeps, trucks and tanks manufactured by Ford, Chrysler and GM. It came as a surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving identical trucks manufactured by Fordwerke and Opel (GM). When the U.S. Army liberated the Ford factories in Cologne and Berlin, they found destitute foreign workers confined behind barbed wire and company documents extolling the "genius of the Führer" according to reports filed by soldiers at the scene. Following a short detention for questioning by the occupying powers, Robert Schmidt and other senior Fordwerke managers who had been NSDAP members went back to work in the autumn of 1945. A U.S. Army investigation by Henry Schneider in September 1945, reported that Ford Germany had served as "an arsenal of Nazism" with the expressed consent of the parent company in Dearborn. However to give the company due credit, in the 1990's FoMoCo commissioned Professor Simon Reich to investigate the company's involvement with the Third Reich, in particular the use of slave labour, and published the ensuing report in 2001. Neither has the Ford Motor Company sought to deny its involvement with the Third Reich and today makes original documents from the period available at the Henry Ford Archive for anyone who wishes to see them. Such an open minded attitude may yet prove costly but then perhaps by holding up its hand the Ford Motor Company feels it has more to gain by admitting the past and moving on? The class-action suit brought by Elsa Ivanova against Ford in March 2012, is typical of likely future cases. In October 1942, at the age of 16, she was abducted from her home in the southern Russian city of Rostov, together with hundreds of other young women by German soldiers to work as slave labourers at the Ford plant at Cologne. "The conditions were terrible, they put us in barracks, on three-tier bunks," she recalled "it was very cold, they did not pay us at all and scarcely fed us. The only reason that we survived was that we were young and fit." In complete contrast to Ford's candid attitude is that of other American companies who also collaborated with the Third Reich – General Motors (Opel) try everything to keep their involvement secret although it is well documented that the du Pont family (American owners of GM) were as rabidly anti-semitic as Henry Ford and that Opel used slave labour in their factories like every other large enterprise operating in Germany from 1933-45. Other well known American brands who collaborated with the Third Reich were Coca Cola (WW2 slogan "Mach doch, mal Pause" which translates roughly as 'Do something, have a break' and whose advertising in Germany included a Coke bottle with swastika) and IBM who produced the Hollerith punch card systems with which the SS administered the concentration camps so efficiently. At least the Ford Motor Company is trying to make amends. I'm not sure that any of this affects my enjoyment of the nice new Mondeo Titanium on my drive, any more than I'm going to stop taking my beta blockers because they're made by Bayer, or, come to that, stop using aftershave because Hugo Boss made uniforms for the Sturmabteilung! Its just that I am interested in C20th history in general and in the history of the Ford Motor Company in particular and its fun to know what lies behind the company that built my car. Glossary Fordwerke - Ford-Werke GmbH is the German car manufacturer subsidiary of Ford of Europe, itself a subsidiary of FoMoCo. Heer - the land forces component of the Wehrmacht, or Armed Forces of the Third Reich NSDAP - Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei commonly called the N*zi Party in English, although on the FOC Forum one can't write !Removed! Party SA or Sturmabteilung - the NSDAP Stormtroopers (eg, thugs) or 'brown shirts' lead by Ernst Rohm.