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Old 04-09-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Ford Town USA



On September 24, 1960, Lee Iacocca saw his dream become a reality. That was the day that Flora, Illinois became "Ford Town USA." It was a huge promotional stunt that Lee organized for Ford. Essentially, all 1600 citizens of Flora with a registered ve...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:42 AM   #2
RichG
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

That is so cool! The sad thing is that if Ford tried that stunt today, people would get trampled to death (remember last Christmas's Wal Mart employee?).
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

I just wonder how many Engine Swaps took place in that WEEK ?? >>>>.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

It must be the carnie in me, but I love this !!!! Cool way to draw attention to yourself and your product.. Today's marketing gurus should take note. You can bet a lot of those folks ended up buying that new Ford they were driving on loan for a week. " Hurry, hurry, Step right up !"
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Lee Iacocca was such a visionary. Cool story.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

I can't see nobody getting into trouble unless there was something fishy going on with ford end of things. Shenanigans.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Great story. I can't imagine the logisitcs...
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

What's kinda weird is all the T-birds are 1960 models. Everything else is '61. Was Thunderbird production slow getting started in '61? Did they really have that many leftover white '60 'Birds?

Great story, though. Wish we lived there then. But we did have our own white Ford, a '58 Del Rio Ranch Wagon with "Interceptor Special" 352, Cruise-O-matic and red interior.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
What's kinda weird is all the T-birds are 1960 models. Everything else is '61. Was Thunderbird production slow getting started in '61? Did they really have that many leftover white '60 'Birds?
That's a good catch. Very weird.

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

I've seen that main overhead photo before and always wondered what the hell was going on with all the white Fords. I just figured it was ol' Henry's vision of heaven.
Cool story. Doubt we'll see any promotions similar to that again.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Ford is (or has, not sure) giving away 100 2010 Ford Fiestas for 6 months! Close, but not really the same.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009...esta-agent.php
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

The stuff legends are made of...

And it's been nearly 50 years!
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Sounds like something Iacocca would do. His autobiography is a great read if you get the chance..
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Production on the new styled '61 T-Bird did not start until October 3rd - the earliest release date to the dealers was November 10th.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Wow, as a Ford nut that is kind of like heaven!
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

You would think there would have been all kinds of drag racing going on..
Brand new free loaner car? I would have treated it worse then the rentals I've thrashed.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Yeah... that's why I am pissed at the details... Or lack there of...

You mean to tell me they gave some 16 year old kid a new Ford just because he was a registered car owner? And if they did, I REFUSE to believe that he and his pals didn't have some fun.

Where are the good stories? Screw all of these soft PR/Marketing stories around the event.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Ryan...So cool that you posted this. I live about 20 miles east of Flora, and even though I'm not a native I have met people that participated in this event. As a member of the Clay Co. Cruisers based in Flora, we at one time tossed around the idea of restoring one of the only known cars to still be in the area...We didn't get the job done at that time, but the club may still be working on it.
As far as negative press, even around here there are no stories of people trashing or stealing cars, but ya gotta remember that those were different times. This was a big deal for a small community, and people were very proud that Flora was chosen. I guess they were on their best behavior.
Every once in awhile a piece of memorabilia from the event will surface. I've seen fliers, key fobs, etc. at different times.


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Old 04-09-2009, 12:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Imagine trying to find your white 61 Ford in a parking lot full of white 61 Fords!
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ford Town USA

Glenn,
being that you are so close, I hereby put it to vote that you be the "official" digger of dirt and report back to us with SOMETHING more on this awesome event. All those in favor AYE
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