To take the edge off Michigan's brutal winter, the Henry Ford museum raised the heat by opening the hoods on dozens of the automobiles on display at its Dearborn history palace. The special Engines Exposed exhibition runs through January. For severely afflicted gear heads needing a preview fix and for those who can't make the trek, we present this guided photo tour.
1896 Ford Quadricycle Henry Ford sold his first experimental car for $200 and bought it back later for $65 to demonstrate his ingenuity and his wheeler-dealer instincts. This buggy originally had neither brakes nor reverse. Its 59-cubic-inch two-cylinder four-stroke engine produced four horsepower, enough to accelerate the contraption to 20 mph on the streets of Detroit after the 32-year-old self-made engineer widened the door of his shop with an ax.
1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II Though it sold for $9966, the second-generation Continental allegedly cost Ford more than twice that to manufacture. The 368 cubic inch OHV V-8 engine produced 285 horsepower.
1965 Goldenrod Bonneville streamliner One of the most successful racers to thunder across the Utah salt flats was built by Bob and Bill Summers with only a little help from Chrysler. Four fuel-injected 426 cubic inch Hemi V-8s delivered a combined 2400 horsepower to all four wheels. Using only three of the four available gears, Bob Summers broke the land speed record in November 1965 with a two-way average of 409 mph.
1919 Ford Model T The flivver's 20-horsepower four-cylinder engine was blessed with an electric starter about halfway through its 20-year production run, during which more than 15-million cars were manufactured by Ford in six countries.
1965 Pontiac GTO The car that flagged off the muscle car era was powered by a 389 cubic inch OHV V-8 that produced 360 horsepower when equipped with a $116 Tri-Power (three two-barrel carburetors) option. More than 32,000 GTOs were sold by Pontiac in 1964, the introductory year.
1960 Chevy Corvair The car that made Ralph Nader famous was Chevrolet's flawed attempt to thwart the VW Beetle. The air-cooled flat-six 2.3-liter engine mounted behind the rear wheels initially produced 80 horsepower. Subsequent efforts to build a decent small Chevy (Vega, Chevette, Citation) were only slightly more successful.
1949 Volkswagen 1100 The Corvair's nemesis began rolling off Wolfsburg, Germany, assembly lines after World War II rubble was cleared and fresh management was installed. Motor Trend reported 34 mpg and a top speed just over 60 mph for the initial model which was powered by a 25 horsepower 1.1-liter fan-cooled opposed four-cylinder. During its 58-year life, more than 21-million Beetles were produced.