Forget celebrity-endorsed ads…this is how real men sell cars

Ben Nevis Model T Ford

Heard the one about the man who wanted to sell a car so bad he drove all the way to the top of a mountain to do it? That’s exactly what happened when Ford agent Henry Alexander tried to market the Model T Ford to customers in the UK in 1911.

Nowadays car firms advertise their cars by putting dogs in them or enlisting movie stars. But Edinburgh-based Alexander and his son Henry Alexander Jnr literally went the extra mile. They wanted to shift the cars so bad they drove a Model T Ford all the way to the top of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, as a publicity stunt, pictured above. It took ten days to prepare the route to the halfway point with bridging planks, then three days to drive up there. It then took a further two days to tackle the snow and stones on the way to the observatory at the summit.

Despite the odds, Henry made it to the top and back down again to a hero’s welcome in the nearby town of Fort William. A quick adjustment of the brakes was all that was needed to get the Model T back on the road for the trip back home to Edinburgh.

The Model T Ford is one of the most important cars in history, as it changed the way most things are made with the invention of mass production. And Henry Alexander’s heroic efforts helped ensure massive success for the car in the UK and the rest of the world.

In May 2011, car fan Neil Tuckett and pal Jamie Davidson recreated the historic trip to celebrate its 100th anniversary. But because of modern health and safety laws their Model T Ford had to be dismantled half way up the mountain, carried to the top, then reassembled.

Henry’s publicity stunt was surely one of the most impressive ever carried out by a car sales agent. Can you think of a better one? Let us know in the comments section below…

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About Del McDougall