Bad predictions

I just started reading History’s Worst Predictions And The People Who Made Them.

One of the entries that should interest the members of this forum has to do with Henry Ford.
When Ford’s attorney–Horace Rackam–approached The Michigan Savings Bank for a loan to help float Ford’s new company, a V.P. of the bank turned him down, with these words:

“The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is merely a novelty–a fad.”



I suspect a few years later that the VP was no longer VP of that bank.


Heh heh heh. Yeah I think that’s what drove him to partner with the alcoholic Dodge boys to finance his operation. Beware of expert opinions. The experts are often wrong.

Was this the first Ford car company? The second? Or the 3rd? Only the 3rd one was successful. :grin:


The third company was financed by the Dodge brothers after all the banks had turned Ford down because he had been bankrupt twice.

They lent Ford the money to get into production, but also redesigned the fragile rear axle of the model T and spent twice as much money to build their own plant to build parts for the model T, including engines. 1908 -13 Dodge had more employees and produced more of the model T than Ford did.


Ya have to figure that every failure takes you closer to an eventual success. Now if you can fail with other peoples money . . .

The worst historic misjudgment would have been by the British HIgh Command in 1945 when they went over the VW plant in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The general in charge wrote in his assessment report of the plant and technology that “there is not much here of any value”, and the Brits decided to just give the plant and designs to the local state government to see what they could use it for.

The rest is history…


I think Hitler’s and Napoleon’s ideas to invade Russia were worse.

Even Germany needed to recover from the war. I don’t mind them having a place to employ a lot of people. Not my father in-law, of course. He lived too far north of Wolfsburg to work there. He was a dairyman, anyway.

Yes, but the history is due to one smart British Major named Ivan Hirst who re-started production of the Beetle when no major car maker wanted to buy the company.

A German took over in 1949 and the company came to be one of the largest carmakers in the work with VW, Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Seat… the French brand Bugatti, the Italian brand Lamborghini and the British brand Bentley.

As well as Italian Ducati motorcycles, Swedish Scania and German Man trucks

Well now I know who to blame for the radio not shutting off with the ignition. You had to be sure to shut the radio off each time or you’d come back to a dead battery. I kinda liked my 59 with a sun roof though. Nothing like a midnight cruise on a hot summer night with the roof open. No air conditioning then kids.

That was one of the VERY strange features of the original VWs.

Also, the OEM bumpers were so pathetically thin that many dealers sold internal “bumper stiffeners” as an add-on at purchase. I was dismayed to see that the bumper stiffeners on my brother’s brand-new '64 bug were already rusted, but at least they were thick steel and they gave some actual strength to the manufacturer’s pathetic bumpers.

I backed into a light pole so had to replace the bumper. The brand new nice chrome bumper cost me $10. Yeah it was pretty thin.

The entire car was pretty thin… :slight_smile:

People at that level of society have a special knack for avoiding the consequences of their actions.