On Oct. 10, 1901, Henry Ford took one of his contraptions from his Detroit Auto Company to the Grosse Pointe Race Track and raced Alexander Winton of Cleveland, an auto manufacturer considered one of the greatest racers of his day.
Ford took time to figure out how to make the turns at a high speed over the course of the 25-lap race, but once he got the hang of it, Ford overtook Winton, whose car suffered mechanical problems.
The win was Ford’s one and only racing victory, but it helped him recruit backers who put up money to form the Henry Ford Motor Company less than two years later in 1903. The 1903 company was a precursor to the corporation that would make Ford one of the world’s wealthiest men.
Source: Michigan Every Day