DISCOVERING FORD IN AUSTRALIA
The first Ford car landed in Sydney in 1904 barely a year after Henry Ford started Ford Motor Company. Ford cars, trucks and tractors helped open up this vast country and Ford was the first major manufacturer to begin operations here.
Ford Motor Company of Australia was formed in March 1925 and assembly of Model T cars and trucks began in an old wool store in Gheringhap St, Geelong. Today, just opposite the site where those early cars chugged to life, a new chapter in Ford’s history has begun.
The Ford Discovery Centre, which opened today (April 16, 1999), houses a unique display of history and technology that traces the development of Ford – and the development of Australia’s motor industry – through graphic presentations, working technology and, of course, the cars themselves.
The Centre is a skilful blend of sight, sound and text and is both entertaining and educational. Various developments in the car industry are shown by the actual vehicles of those eras while film and video presentations trace the history of motoring in Australia.
There are many ‘hands-on’ exhibits – you can install an engine in a new Falcon or weld a body with a robot – as well as interesting photographs and words telling a story no other Australian vehicle manufacturer can.
Walking through the two-storey Centre, visitors can follow the development of a car from drawing board through full sized clay model to testing, manufacturing and assembly. They can also see what their parents and grandparents drove through the years and glimpse the future in concepts projected by Ford’s Australian designers and engineers.
Of course, cars are the feature and there’s everything from the ubiquitous Model T to the fire-breathing GTHO, sleek Thunderbird to sporty Mustang, Henry Ford’s Quadracycle to family Falcons and the world’s first Coupe Utility – virtually a Ford for every occasion!
But, the Ford Discovery Centre is much, much more than a museum. It’s a living, constantly changing look at one of Australia’s most vibrant and technologically advanced companies – Ford Australia.
The Ford Discovery Centre is situated right in the heart of Geelong’s Waterfront District in Gheringhap St. It’s open daily, except Tuesdays, from 10.am to 5 pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 Concession, $3 for children and a family ticket for two adults and two children is $15. Children under 5 are free.
See map below
Melways Map 401