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Henry Ford's 1924 X-8 engine and
How it will be used to raise dollars for Special Needs Children.

Historic X-8 Engine: Built by Henry Ford in 1924


This engine is documented as the second of two air-cooled prototype radial X-8 engines designed and built by Henry Ford. The first X-8 was built in 1919 and tested in a specially built X-Car. The second X-8 was built in 1924 and secretly tested in an Oldsmobile. It was driven around the Detroit area for over one year. This engine had the greatest appeal to Mr. Ford of his various designs, both air-cooled and water-cooled, that he first considered in 1919 to eventually replace the Model T four cylinder engine used through 1927. After test driving this exact X-8 engine in an Oldsmobile for over one year, Henry Ford decided the engine lacked power and later developed the flathead V-8 design which was introduced in 1932 and lasted through 1953, with design changes along the way.



Mr. Ford eventually placed this experimental X-8 engine (having been driven and road tested) in his museum at Greenfield Village where it was to remain forever to be shared with the general public. However, this engine was apparently miscataloged and later showed up in the museum inventory as a 1946 company project that was abandoned along the way. As a result, this X-8 was removed from its display in the museum and relegated to a spot on the concrete floor in the Sorghum Mill, an old building within Greenfield Village where several dozen other experimental and test engines were stored. Many years later, it was among numerous engines designated for house cleaning and was put up for sale at the 1982 Greenfield Village Fundraiser Auction along with numerous old radial airplane engines. I had read about this engine as a teenager and recognized it in their auction brochure. At the sale, as one of many bidders, I was very fortunate to be the high bidder on this historic one-of-only-two X-8 engines from the Henry Ford Museum. The Wright Brothers infamous Kitty Hawk engine was also mistakenly sold at this auction. Its value today? Ten million $$ perhaps?


In 2012, after owning Henry’s X-8 engine for thirty years, I will now sell it to raise money for charity and to pay off loans and medical bills. My goal is to raise over $3,000,000 from its sale with part of it benefitting special needs children by placing this historic engine into one of several car museums or into a private collection. One museum being considered is the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The funds could be raised from individual members, from the various Regional Group clubs, and from major car collectors such as Speedy Bill Smith, Tom Monahagn, Nick Alexander, Lew and Margie Webb, and the Estate of Jerry J. Moore. Funds may also come from other wealthy philanthropists such as Michael and Susan Dell, Bill and Linda Gates, Warren Buffet, Joe Jamail, and Red McCombs, just to name a few, and also from the general public.


The $3,000,000 in funds will be used in several ways. $2,000,000 will fund a long-term care fund for our special needs daughter Ruth and payoff all our loans for medical expenses. The remaining $1,000,000 will be donated to the non profit I run which is Partners in Affordable Housing, Inc. We help families through organizations which provide services for Autistic and other special needs children to help them pay for their services (such as therapy and special teaching techniques). The funds will also go directly to families who are challenged with Autistic children and other special needs to provide financial assistance for ongoing therapy, special ed summer camp, special equipment to assist with care for their child, and even for family trips to Disney World or Disney Land. We will also use part of the funds to assist families of fallen police officers and soldiers serving our country at home and abroad. Homes built for these families may be debt free when sufficient funds are available to fully pay for a home. Additional funds raised will be used in the same manner.

The medical, therapy, and long-term care expenses these funds can provide are the same financial challenges we have been confronted with for over fourteen years to help our daughter, Ruth. Through God's grace the money has always come from somewhere so we could continue with Ruth's therapy and medical expenses. Ruth has worked extremely hard over the last fourteen years and has surpassed all the limits we were told she could never even reach let alone develop beyond. We have the same dream for other children and their families. As Ruth has developed and learned, we have watched other families struggle with challenges even far greater than we have faced. Our happiness and excitement for Ruth's endless successes has been tempered with our concern for others who deal with far greater handicaps and life-long care expenses. So we are sharing the money we hope to raise from the sale of Henry's historical engine.

Thank you for viewing this historic 1925 X-8 engine and for any donation you may have made or plan to make in the future. In the coming weeks, reach out to a family with a special needs child . . . YOU can brighten their day with a kind word or just offering to help in some small way.

. . . Eli Apolzon . . .
X-8 Engine built by Henry Ford in 1924

Click HERE to see more photos of the X-8
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 Henry Ford's 1924 X-8 engine and <br>How it will be used to raise dollars for Special Needs Children.
 Antiques for sale

Custom powder coated trumpet designed by my son, Chris, who played in both the Westlake High School jazz band and the Tufts University jazz band.
Thank you for looking at our developing site, Eli . . . .
The most recent update is Sunday, September 16, 2012.
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