Ford Quadricycle

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Ford Quadricycle
1896 Ford Quadricycle
ManufacturerHenry Ford
Also calledThe horseless carriage
Production1896, 1 produced
SuccessorFord Model A (1903)
Body style(s)1-seat
Transmission(s)2-speed (no reverse)[1]
Wheelbase49 in (1,200 mm)
Curb weight500 lb (230 kg)[1]
Fuel capacity3.5 US gal (13 L)
DesignerHenry Ford
ManualsService Manual

The Ford Quadricycle was the first vehicle developed by Henry Ford.

On June 4, 1896 in a tiny workshop behind his home on 58 Bagley Avenue,[1] Ford put the finishing touches on his gasoline-powered motor car. After more than two years of experimentation, Ford at the age of 32, had completed his first experimental automobile. He dubbed his creation the "Quadricycle," so named because it ran on four bicycle tires. The success of the little vehicle lead to the founding of Ford Motor Company in 1903[2].

The Quadricycle was driven by a chain. The transmission only had two gears (first for 10 mph (16 km/h), 2nd for 20 mph (32 km/h)) and did not have a reverse gear. The tiller-steered machine had wire wheels and a 3 US gal (11 L) fuel tank under the seat.[1] Ford test drove it on June 4, 1896, after various test drives, achieving a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h).[1]

Today the Quadricycle resides at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.58.