All roads lead to Dearborn as people from around the world make their way to Ford Motor Company's THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration, June 12-16, on the grounds of the company's world headquarters. The company is celebrating with cars, stars, a spectacular fireworks display and five days of fun-filled activities.
Key activities include a concert series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights featuring headliners in R&B, country and classical music.
Sporting activities and appearances by stars from the worlds of auto racing and professional bull riding, and even "Blue" from Nickelodeon's popular TV show Blue's Clues will be onsite. In addition, there will be thousands of classic Ford cars and trucks.
"We will have something for everyone – from adults to children," said Jim O'Connor, group vice president, Ford North America Marketing, Sales and Service. "Our celebration is designed with the whole family in mind."
The celebration begins Thursday, June 12, with a special event for racing fans. Ford NASCAR and other race vehicles will be on display, and Ford drivers such as Ricky Rudd, Dale Jarrett, and Mark Martin will sign autographs. The weekend's activities conclude with the company's Annual Shareholders Meeting on Monday, June 16.
"Reaching 100 years is a great milestone for Ford Motor Company," said O'Connor. "No other company has put its mark on a century more completely than Ford with the creation of the automotive moving assembly line and the $5-a-day workday."
Details of the events and activities include:
Live performances will take place throughout the five-day event, but a special concert series is planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Earth, Wind & Fire will kick-off the concert series on Friday followed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and a spectacular fireworks display. Lead singer of the multi-Grammy winning pop R&B group Destiny's Child and film star Beyoncé Knowles will perform on Saturday, and country music superstar Toby Keith will headline on Sunday.
FUN FOR KIDS
"Blue," the popular dog from Nickelodeon's animated TV show Blue's Clues will be onsite all weekend entertaining the younger crowd and smiling for the cameras. Parents also can participate in Ford's Commitment to Kids program and receive free child identification booklets. The booklets include family safety tips, a place for a color photo of their child, fingerprints and important safety information for use in case of an emergency.
Kids also will be able to ride or walk through the Kids Safety Village to learn how to cross the street, the importance of not talking to strangers, fire prevention and other important safety tips.
FUN FOR ADULTS
Guests can indulge in a luxurious head, neck and arm massage in the Lincoln Mercury Spa or help a team of classic car enthusiasts assemble a Model T – from hundreds of pieces to cranking it up – in less than 20 minutes. Golf enthusiasts will be able to practice their golf swings in the virtual golf simulators, where they have the opportunity to win items autographed by golf pro Phil Mickelson.
FUN FOR EVERYONE
Take a ride in a Model T – the car that put the world on wheels – through a specially designed course that winds through the past 100 years.
Vanna White from the popular game show Wheel of Fortune will present two of the winners from the Wheel of Fortune and Lincoln Mercury "20 Cars in 20 Days Sweepstakes" with vehicles from the 2003 Lincoln Mercury line-up. White will be on the property on Saturday, June 14 for pictures and autographs as well.
Inside the Mustang Café, guests can make their own Mustang compact discs with their favorite driving songs.
Guests who decide to walk the "red carpet" will be greeted by celebrity impersonators as they view the coral-colored Thunderbird driven by Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry in the Bond film Die Another Day.
Wilder activities include a professional bull riding (PBR) competition and real Monster Truck Jams in a special arena in the Ford brand area. The top names in PBR will vie for positions in the PBR Built Ford Tough Series circuit. Visitors also can climb aboard Blue Thunder, a converted Monster Truck complete with roll cage, or have their picture taken with one of the bigger-than-life vehicles.
CLASSIC VEHICLES ON DISPLAY
Thousands of classic car and truck owners are displaying their vehicles on the grounds of the Henry Ford II World Center during this historic occasion. Rounding out the display will be a vehicle from each of the company's 100 years. Some of the classic vehicles registered include:
1903 Ford Model A, owned by Dennis Huron, Port Perry, Ontario. This car was purchased new by his great great-grandfather and has been in the family ever since, making it the oldest family-owned Ford in the world.
1939 Lincoln Zephyr Continental Cabriolet, owned by Robert Anderson, Houtzdale, Pa. This recently restored vehicle was Edsel Ford’s prototype car, Body #2. Edsel Ford gave it to car designer E.T. "Bob" Gregorie after the 1940 models were introduced.
1964-1/2 Mustang, Owned by Bob Fria, La Crescenta, Calif. This was the first production Mustang hardtop.
1907 Ford Model S Runabout, owned by Dan Walters, Ann Arbor, Mich. This vehicle, built at the Piquette Plant in 1907, appeared on television in the recreation of "The Great American Race" (Chicago to Evanston, Ill.).
1942 Mercury Convertible, owned by Wendell Mathis, Abilene, Texas. This classic Mercury was one of the last cars built before World War II interrupted production.
1957 Jaguar XKSS, owned by Richard Harms, Clarkston, Mich. This street-legal version of the Le Mans-winning D-type is one of only five in the U.S.
Each vehicle displayed on the event grounds will receive a commemorative dash plaque.
Balancing out the cars and trucks from Ford's past will be its cars and trucks of the future. A comprehensive lineup of Ford concept vehicles will be displayed during THE ROAD IS OURS event. Visitors can expect to see the MA, Ford 427 concept, Model U, Ford Freestyle FX, Mustang GT coupe concept and Mustang GT convertible concept, Supercharged Ford Thunderbird concept, Ford GT, Lincoln Navicross, Mercury Messenger and Ford Interceptor.
FORD RACING NIGHT
"Ford Racing Night" will kick off THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, June 12. Beginning at 4 p.m., Ford racing fans will see some of their favorite Ford NASCAR Winston Cup drivers, and have a chance to get autographs and attend live question-and-answer sessions. More of Ford's racing legends will be onsite and available for autographs from Friday, June 13, through Sunday, June 15, including Sir Jackie Stewart, three-time Grand Prix World Champion; Dan Gurney, winner, 1967 Le Mans 24-Hours; NASCAR Champions Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson; Bob Glidden, 10-time National Hot Rod Racing Association Pro Stock Champion; Tom Gloy, Trans-Am Champion; and Bob Bondurant, FIA Sports Car Champion.
As a special treat for racing fans, THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration will host the 40th Anniversary Shelby Tour. This tour celebrates Shelby's racing success and includes significant pieces of Ford's racing history.
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF FLIGHT
The founding of Ford Motor Company was not the only milestone for personal mobility in 1903; it is also the year of the Wright brothers' first powered flight. Henry Ford, a friend of the Wright brothers, started what was to become a rich history in aviation for the company, including bringing aviation to the masses.
To help celebrate the aviation portion of Ford's heritage, the company's Countdown to Kitty Hawk Pavilion Display will make a stop at the Ford Centennial property. The 20,000-square-foot display includes an exact reproduction of the1903 Wright Flyer, and the company's Lincoln Aviator Kitty Hawk Edition. The display highlights the 100-year history of flight, along with fun activities such as interactive flight simulator stations, which allow the user to experience what it's like to pilot an aircraft.
After a quick, free shuttle over to the Dearborn Proving Ground, visitors can learn even more about aviation history and Ford's crucial role in the development of aviation in America.
Guests can view the Ford airplanes that established the commercial aviation industry, including the famous Ford "Tri-Motor," as well as the airplane hangar and runway used by Charles Lindbergh during his tenure as Ford Motor Company’s chief test pilot.
With the purchase of a ticket to the event, visitors have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive their own car or truck on Ford's Dearborn Proving Ground. For a $50 donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Henry Ford Health System, drivers can take a parade lap around the famed test track, have their photo taken with their car and receive a commemorative dash plaque. Visitors can participate in the charity drive through Sunday, June 15.
COMMEMORATIVES AND COLLECTIBLES
In the tradition of the 30th, 50th and 75th anniversaries of the company, Ford is producing a commemorative coin that is part of the value package for each person who purchases a ticket to the event in advance. Ford's 100th anniversary logo is featured on one side of the coin. The flip side features an image by Ken Eberts, one of today's foremost automotive artists, depicting Ford's past, present and future product, along with the words THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration June 12-16, 2003 on the perimeter.
During the event, a wide selection of 100th anniversary merchandise will be available for purchase including apparel, die-cast models, collectibles, artwork and more. This merchandise is available now through www.fordcollection.com.
TICKETS FOR THE EVENT
Tickets to THE ROAD IS OURS 100th Anniversary Celebration are available for purchase at the Lifestyle Café at the Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn. Tickets are $24.95 per person (children age 12 and under are admitted free when accompanying a paying adult). Tickets for Ford Motor Company employees, retirees, D Plan-eligible dealership personnel, and their extended families (as defined by A, D and Z Plan eligibility) are $19.95 per person. Additional ticket information is available by calling 866-410-0367.
Each ticket purchase includes credentials for entry all five days, access to all activities – including the Concert Series and all displays, a daily assigned parking area with shuttle service to and from the event grounds, discounted admission and free shuttle service to local attractions - including Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Estate - Fairlane, and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, a 100th Anniversary commemorative coin and discounts on 100th Anniversary merchandise.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is the world's second-largest automaker with approximately 350,000 employees, and operations in more than 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Hertz and Quality Care. The company's world headquarters is in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Company will officially observe its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003. Additional information can be found on the company’s Web site at www.ford.com.