NEIT Students Build Replica of Henry Ford’s Quadricycle – the First Motored Vehicle

Henry Ford QuadricycleAn ambitious project begun in 2013 by students in New England Tech’s Mechanical Engineering program to build a full-scale working replica of Henry Ford’s first motored vehicle is nearing completion. Ford’s Quadricycle was completed in 1896, a full 15 years before he started mass production of Model T and Model A vehicles.

The Quadricycle used a 2-cylinder; 4-cycle ethanol engine, that is essentially the same engine used in modern vehicles. Ford made only two models of the Quadricycle, and only a handful of replicas have ever been built.

Under the supervision of Assistant Professor Christopher Vasconcelos, students handcrafted most of the parts for the vehicle on campus with the exception of only a few purchased parts. They used blueprints created decades later by long-time Ford Motor company employee George DeAngelis, who had gathered every written description New England Tech Mechanical Engineering forms Quadricycle Cluband photograph he could find. The historic car sat in an enclosed display case, so DeAngelis estimated his initial measurements through the glass.

Armed with these materials, the New England Tech team got to work – and the project soon went global. Vasconcelos posted the project on the international web forum Home Model Engine Machinist, and it started receiving interest, support, and collaboration from forum members worldwide. Soon after, regional suppliers also got involved, offering select parts and components.

The project included some modern modifications for safety. Ford’s original model had no braking system – the driver needed to use his or her foot against the front wheel to slow or stop the vehicle. The New England Tech model is incorporating a modern mechanical braking system. Other modifications include store-bought spark plugs, original Model-T ignition coils, and a standard carburetor.

As of May 2018 the vehicle is fully operational

The engine has been tested numerous times on blocks. Further testing of the engine and safety precautions are in place, and the goal is to have New England Tech President Richard Gouse take the Quadricycle for a spin sometime over the summer.

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Transportation Technology Events

The Access Road campus has been busy lately hosting a transportation networking event and several Mercedes presentations.

On Thursday, October 13th, NEIT held the annual campus cookout on the Access Road campus, which doubled as a networking event for Automotive and Marine Tech students looking for part-time work. 7 companies interacted and spoke with students about automotive and marine part-time jobs. NEIT would like to thank Balise, CarMax, Enterprise, The Hinckley Company, Bald Hill Dodge, UPS, and Flood Ford for spending a few hours with our students and enjoying the cookout.

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On Tuesday, October 18th, Brandon Ames from Custom Training Group presented to automotive students about the Mercedes Drive training program. It is a 16-week training program geared towards graduates from the Automotive technologies. Thank you to Brandon for sharing the information!

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Welcome, Paul Harden

Paul HardenPaul Harden is named Director of Transportation Technologies. Paul comes to NEIT with many years of experience in both the public and private sectors. He served the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) in various roles. Most recently, he was the Manager of Workforce Development and Business Services & Sector Lead for Marine Trades, where he assisted companies with workforce development, addressed operational and regulatory challenges, and developed training programs. In addition, Paul implemented over $15 million in workforce development grants for both large and small companies for training of new hires and the retraining of existing employees.

Prior to his position at RIEDC, Paul coordinated the state’s responsibilities for the America’s Cup World Series, overseeing public safety, logistics, transportation, and security for the event with over 30 public and private entities. Paul is also a partner in a Ford dealership in Camden, NY, where his company won Ford’s President’s Award for customer service and sales in 2010 and 2012.

Paul earned a MBA from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Hobart College. He serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Workforce Partnership of Greater R.I., the R.I. Marine Trades Association, the Northeast Economic Developers Association, the R.I. Hospitality Education Foundation, the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities Employment Committee, and the R.I. Disability Business Enterprise Committee.