Saturday, August 15, 2009

1949 Ford Fordor Sedan

"Never in 20 years has Ford been so far out front"

The car you see here had no easier task than to save a whole company. Henry Ford, inventor of the mass production of cars, had left the company in disorder when he resigned in 1945, and his successor, Henry Ford II, was appointed with the difficult duty to bring Ford back to old glory.

Even more than Chevrolet, Ford needed a fresh model to replace the pre-war design, which was sold with small touch-ups until 1948. When the 1949 lineup was launched, it became evident, that the engineers and designers had done an excellent job: construction and appearance were much more radical and modern than the Chevrolets. The competition between the two "Biggest Three" was under fire, and with more than 1.1 million units, Ford held the first place in the sales statistics for the first time since 1937.

Credits for the design of the 1949 Ford go mostly to George W. Walker, once a semi-professional football player, who was a design consultant for Ford when he got involved in the design of the 1949 model, and eventually became Ford's design director in 1955. Other sources add, that the design of the front- and rearend was the work of Robert E. Bourke, who was Manger of the Studebaker design-team, and just helped Ford's designer Dick Caleal to develop a catchy theme. When you compare the bullett-nose of the Studebaker, and Ford's frontend, then this story becomes credible. A complex industrial product like a car has always many fathers...

More than 50 years later, this Ford Fordor Sedan from Sancti Spiritus still can impress with excellent proportions and fluid lines. In these years, Ford had rather funny names for it's models: Tudor was the two-door version, and Fordor the four-door sedan.

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