Last week, Ford symbolically got back its blue oval. Back from whom? you ask. It wasn’t exactly sitting in someone’s living room, but the corporate logo—along with many of Ford’s factories—was pledged as collateral for an enormous, $23.5 billion loan package Ford took in 2006. At the time, Ford was bleeding money and not selling enough vehicles; to avoid bankruptcy, the automaker mortgaged anything it could to raise cash. The company’s accountants also were worried that if any other big auto businesses—from manufacturers to suppliers—went bust, the resulting havoc could bring down Ford. When two of the three major credit-rating agencies gave Ford an appropriately high rating this month, the pledged assets were released. The blue oval is once again the sole property of Ford, and to celebrate, we’ve put together a timeline showing its history.

  • Comparison Test: 2012 Ford Focus SE vs. 2012 Honda Civic EX
  • Instrumented Test: 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
  • First Drive: 2013 Ford Taurus SHO

By Justin Berkowitz