Cool Stuff

Ford Opens Historical Archives for 100 Years of Photos and Brochures

Ford has opened up its archives and brought much of the company's 119-year history online, making it accessible to the world for the first time. The Ford Heritage vault is filled with photos and brochures of Ford and Lincoln products, a project that took two years to complete. So if you've ever wanted to find a brochure for that 1958 Ford taxi lineup, the 1985 Ford Aerostar Concept, or almost anything else Ford and Lincoln (and Mercury), here it is.

Ford calls it the most comprehensive online database in the American auto industry, containing more than 5,000 photos and brochures. All of it is searchable and spans the company's first 100 years from 1903-2003. It will grow over time, with Ford planning to add more from its extensive archives to the collection.

“We’re opening up in a way we’ve never done before,” said Ted Ryan, Ford archive and heritage brand manager. “Our archives were established 70 years ago, and for the first time, we’re opening the vault for the public to see. This is just a first step for all that will come in the future.”

Getting original photos and brochures for 100 years of Ford and Lincoln (and it's not mentioned by Ford, but Mercury is in there) is not only really cool, but it's also really popular. So much so that we're having some trouble getting on the website now, as it's struggling to meet the demand.

The Ford Heritage Vault will have accessibility features too, to help work with assistive tech like screen readers and similar resources. Users can request accessible brochures.

So if you'll excuse us, we're going to be spending the rest of the day searching through old brochures of some obscure Ford models, looking for trim levels and options nobody in the world outside of Ford's archivists remember. Wave if you see us in the Vault.