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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Quadricycle is making progress

Members of New England Tech’s Quadricycle Club are making progress in as they work to build a replica of Henry Ford’s quadricycle.

Quadricycle Photo

Henry Ford’s Quadricycle

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Spotlight On New England Tech Quadricycle Club

New England Tech recognized in the Henry Ford BlogNew England Institute of Technology has formed its own Quadricycle Club.

The purpose of this club is to have Mechanical Engineering Technology (MCT) students, as well as interested students from any of the college’s more than 40 academic programs, work collaboratively towards a goal of reverse engineering, manufacturing, and building Henry Ford’s first automobile, the Quadricycle.

Henry Ford QuadricycleClub Advisor, Christopher Vasconselas, a faculty member in the MCT program is thrilled to see the excitement in his students as they bring their very own Quadricycle to life. The club meets anywhere from 2-5 hours per week, and the members hope to have the Quadricycle ready to take its maiden voyage in two years—a labor of love for certain.

New England Tech Mechanical Engineering forms Quadricycle Club

[Image credit: the Henry Ford Blog]

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