Henry Ford founded one of the car manufacturers that made history, the Ford Motor Company.
Over the years, his innovative ideas changed the quality of life for millions of people by revolutionizing road transport.
An identity company of the twentieth century and today that describes itself from the photos of the history books to the glimpses of our daily reality, confirming itself as one of the best-selling brands in the world. What is not known by everyone in the path of this company is a very particular patent. It is a project from 1941 but which is incredibly current also for our modern needs, always looking for green and alternative solutions for a more eco-friendly lifestyle. We are talking about the Hemp Body Car.
Henry Ford was an entrepreneur with an innate nose for business but particularly attached to nature.
He had never hidden the dream of creating “reasonably priced, reliable and efficient cars”, a tool for the future but inextricably linked to the earth.
The Hemp Body Car or Ford Cannabis was a prototype car designed by Henry Ford and completed in 1937. Its peculiarity was to be entirely made with a plastic material obtained from soybeans and hemp, and powered by hemp ethanol (the fuel was refined from the seeds of the plant). It was the first car built entirely of hemp plastic, lighter but also more resistant than normal metal bodies.
Henry Ford himself, in order to demonstrate to journalists and the public the elasticity and resistance of the new type of bodywork, had himself filmed while violently hitting the back of the car with a club, without it even denting.
Combining a passion for nature with an undoubted ability as an entrepreneur, Ford wanted to create a car that "came out of the earth"; relying on his best engineers, after twelve years of research he managed to give concrete form to his idea of him, creating an eco-sustainable and ingenious car. The completed prototype was exhibited in 1941 at the Dearborn Days festival in Dearborn (Michigan), Ford's hometown.
It was also unveiled at the Michigan State Fair Grounds that same year.
Due to the Second World War, the production of cars in America was drastically reduced and the experiment of a car with a structure of soy and hemp was stopped.
At the end of the war, Ford's idea fell into oblivion. Furthermore, Henry Ford died six years later, and in 1955 the cultivation of hemp was banned in the US, so that the Ford Hemp Body Car never entered the market.