Rev up your reading — Hundreds of Ford Times magazines now public

(April 3 2024) Get ready to take a road trip through automotive history as the Ford Heritage Vault makes Ford Times magazines available to the public. As Ford's network of branch offices rapidly expanded in the early 20th century, the Ford Times was created in 1908 to keep employees in distant locations updated on the latest company offerings. Within two years the magazine evolved into a consumer publication focusing on lifestyle and travel, enjoying a successful run until its final issue in 1993.

To celebrate the magazine’s cultural impact, we are now making all issues of the Ford Times from 1964-1981 publicly available through the Ford Heritage Vault, with more to come in the future. 

Because the earliest issues specifically catered to Ford’s branch operations in the U.S., they were filled with articles about Model T offerings, service instructions, parts availability, and advice on marketing and selling the Tin Lizzie. In 1910, the publication broadened its appeal to include a more general consumer audience by incorporating articles about lifestyle and travel.                                                 
The magazine was put on pause in 1917 due to World War I constraints on using paper and other company resources, but made a strong comeback in 1943 to support Ford’s wartime employees working on the home front, featuring articles on patriotic activities like minimizing waste, gardening and otherwise being a good citizen and employee.

In 1946, the magazine pivoted once more, this time reemerging as a consumer-facing publication that resonated with the baby-boom generation’s newfound enthusiasm for family road trips on the North American highwaysystem with articles featuring exciting destinations and reviews of the best roadside restaurants along the way.     

Beginning in 1950, curated selections of recipes from Ford Times’ “Famous Recipes of Famous Taverns” column were published in stand-alone cookbooks, which proved to be just as popular as Ford Times itself. A total of nine cookbooks, with over 1 million copies sold, were printed through 1979. The success of Ford Times gave rise to related publications, including Continental Magazine, Lincoln Mercury Times and Ford Truck Times, which were printed for decades.

Ford Times ventured in international markets over the years, including the UK and Canada, printing editions featuring products and content tailored to local audiences.

By the 1970s Ford Times had firmly established itself in American culture; Circulation figures would peak at about 2.1 million, with an estimated readership of around 8 million by the mid-1970s.         

Whether consumers were gifted their subscription when they purchased a new Ford product, or they subscribed on their own, generations of Ford owners would come to love the stories, pictures, recipes, and adventures featured in the pages of the Ford Times. If you love automotive history or just enjoy nostalgia, come over to the Heritage Vault and get a decade-by-decade glimpse into Ford’s cultural footprint.