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IN HISTORIC SETTING, FORD UNVEILS NEW 32-VALVE, 'FOUR CAM' V-8 ENGINE

IN HISTORIC SETTING, FORD UNVEILS NEW 32-VALVE, 'FOUR CAM' V-8 ENGINE
 DEARBORN, Mich., March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- On the 60th anniversary of Ford Motor Company's V-8 engine, which history books have recorded as "Henry Ford's last mechanical triumph," the company unveiled the newest version of the famous powerplant -- the 32-valve, "Four Cam" 4.6-liter modular V-8.
 Speaking at a news conference inside Thomas Edison's Fort Myers Laboratory at historic Greenfield Village here, Robert H. Transou, general manager of Ford's Powertrain Operations, said the new engine represents a $300 million investment to bring Ford's second generation, high-technology, modular engine to market ... "a key element in our plan to redesign all Ford powertrains by 1995."
 Transou pointed out that the new, state-of-art V-8 will power the completely redesigned Lincoln Mark VIII luxury car that will go on sale late this year. Earlier versions of the 4.6-liter modular V-8 now power the Lincoln Town Car, Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria.
 These engines add to the more than 85 million V-8 engines built at Ford since the first V-8 rolled off the assembly line in a Model A on March 9, 1932.
 "When we reach full production of the 'Four Cam' in a few years, we'll be turning out about 130,000 units annually," said Transou. "The engine also will be used in other vehicles in the future."
 The engines are manufactured at Ford's Romeo (Mich.) Engine Plant converted from a tractor facility in 1988 as part of a $1.2 billion modular engine development program.
 "The modular engines built there are among the highest-quality products we've ever produced," said Transou. "Additionally -- and just as importantly -- the modular approach is providing us with significant flexibility and savings over more conventional technology.
 "The modular approach enables us to respond more quickly to changing market conditions, and results in reduced engine-development costs, shorter product-development cycles and higher overall quality and reliability."
 As part of the 60th anniversary commemoration, Transou introduced 87-year-old Don Sullivan, one of four engineers involved in the V-8 project from the very beginning in the Fort Myers Laboratory. Sullivan told of being "fired" by Mr. Ford in 1932, only to be assigned the next day to the top-secret program that changed the course of automotive history.
 "From the very beginning, Mr. Ford recognized power was the critical factor that would set Ford products apart from the competition," Transou reflected. "And while the naysayers of the world sat back and said it couldn't be done, Don Sullivan and his Ford colleagues worked diligently to develop the industry's first mass-produced, single-cast, 65-horsepower V-8 engine.
 "Over the past 60 years, many so-called experts have predicted the demise of the V-8 at various times, such as the gas shortages of the l970s. Not only is the V-8 engine alive and well, but we believe it will be with us for many years to come."
 -0- 3/9/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Carroll or Carolyn Brown of Ford, 313-322-1300/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


ML -- DE010 -- 6318 03/09/92 10:40 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 9, 1992
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