Re: Question for member Gaspump

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Posted by Tim Daley(MI) on September 10, 2019 at 03:22:45 [URL] [DELETE] :

In Reply to: Question for member Gaspump posted by SelectOSpeed on September 09, 2019 at 21:03:32:

I'm not Gustafson but can offer this on the earlier N Series. Tractor production was always independent of car & truck schedules. Until Henry II took over, the bean counters didn't account for every dome for the tractors. When they did that's when they discovered Ford was losing money on every tractor and Ferguson was making money which led to the Deuce firing Ferguson and ending his grandfather's 'handshake agreement' with Harry Ferguson, Inc. That resulted in a whole new can of worms involving the Ferguson lawsuit against Ford. Engineering would set goals as to when they'd release the new tractor but there was no marketing department and accountants setting release dates, at least early on. It wasn't until the "WHIZ KIDS" looked into costs and production that they really began to control dates and things. Henry Ford had wanted the new 9N tractor to be released in June of 1939 so engineering strived to make that happen and on June 29, 1939, history was made in Dearborn. That was a marvel feat in itself because it took Harold Brock and his team of engineers only 7 months to go from concept to production. That's never happened ever again anywhere. However, some things were not yet ready to be put into production. The steel hood stampings for example were wrong and Sorenson was forced to come up with Plan B in order to meet the June 29 goal for the release date, and had hoods cast out of aluminum. As 1939 went on, other issues arose and changes were often made on the fly to resolve. Car and truck engineers were comfortable with having four or five years on average from concept and design to production. Tractor engineers were always separate from the car & truck guys, at least early on. When Building 'B' was designated to be the place where the 9N would be designed and built, much secrecy was involved even amongst the Ford guys themselves. Production workers had Ford ID Badges with their badge number and the department/building they worked in. They were not allowed to venture into other areas or buildings not authorized as their own. Harry Bennett's Gestapo goon squad made sure employees were only where they were assigned to. The 2N model didn't get produced until October, 1942 as the US War Board had declared all domestic/civilian US manufacturing to be suspended so goods and products could be produced for the war effort. Ford was shut down on February 10, 1942 on all US cars, trucks, and tractors and only ordance produced for the war. The Ford 8N Tractor Model was released for production in July, 1947. the Ford NAA/Jubilee tractor Model was released for production in September 1952. Beyond that, the Whiz Kids were in control and their divisions would now be separated into departments like accounting, engineering, production, cost analysis, etc. That would lead to one of Fords' most devastating costly failures when in 1958 Ford Chief Tractor Engineer Harold Brock went head to head with the sales and marketing team. The new Select-O-Speed transmission was being built and marketed as the best thing since sliced bread. sales & marketing wanted the new tractor to be put into immediate production for 1959 models. Chief Tractor Engineer Harold Brock said, NO! It was flawed and would fail in service and required more revamping and testing before it would be ready for production. Marketing said hooey to that, they were going to release the new 1959 tractor with the new (but defective) S-O-S transmissions anyway. Mr. Brock resigned over this argument; some accounts say he was fired, but Harold would quit Ford and immediately get hired by the John Deere company where he spent the rest of his career designing and building tractors for the green and yellow models. As for Ford, Mr. Brock was right all along and the S-O-S models often failed in the field, owners and dealers were frustrated, and an eventual recall was initiated but by then the damage was done and Ford, who once held over 25% of the market share, was now at the bottom of tractor manufacturers. After that I can't say what the Thousand Series would do as far as production without going into my books and giving you the long version. So I hope this answers some of your questions.

Tim Daley(MI)


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