Sunday, March 23, 2014

1952 Ford Customline V-8 Fordor Sedan

"An eye-corner glance tells you that no car — not even one costing far more — has more perfect line and grace than a '52 Ford. And then, close up, you find that every detail reveals the kind of skilled workmanship that only comes from expert hands. But there's something else, and this you've got to feel: Ford 'can do'. It's what comes from the most powerful engine in its field — 110 high-compression horsepower — V-8 style! It's the extra dividend of comfort assured by Ford's own Automatic Ride Control  . . .  the easy passage over roughest roads, the level rounding of curves. And it's the freedom from work, for Fordomatic takes over the shifting. You guide a Ford from an uncluttered cockpit as wide as a sofa. And 'guide' is the word. That's Ford 'can do'  . . .  and for the fun of a real heart-warming experience, please 'Test-Drive' it today!"

Witness design evolution the Ford way: the very successful 1949 Ford sported a characteristic central spinner in its front grille. This styling feature was carried through the various model years: in 1951, a second spinner was added, and for 1952, Ford sported no less than three circular spinners up front. "More is better", might have been the credo at Ford's styling studio, and accordingly, the copywriters texted: "New Wider Grille, with air-scoop design, gives a massive front-end appearance  . . .  maintains unmistakable Ford identification."

In retrospective, the Ford looks decidedly more modern than its competitors. Slab-sided body and an upright cabin with flat roof were design elements that would prevail through the next decades. Yet, in the early 50s, customers were clearly drawn to the flashier, ostentatious Chevrolets. In direct comparison, they looked much more voluptuous and sculptural, and still alluded to a previous era of automotive design. Yet, with their abundant chrome trim, they just looked more "glamorous", too. And thus, perhaps more befitting to the increasingly materialistic lifestyle which postwar America had developed after years of wartime austerity.

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