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Ken Leonard | all galleries >> Cruisin' for a Cure 2004 Vol. #4 > 1949 Ford - Click on photo for lots more info
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1949 Ford - Click on photo for lots more info
09/25/2004 Copyright 2004 Ken Leonard

1949 Ford - Click on photo for lots more info

Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, CA

Nikon Coolpix 8700
1/220s f/6.4 at 9.5mm iso50 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Frank Pizzardi 29-Dec-2007 18:23
In 1949 or 1950 what colors did for have for these cars
Garry Andersen 15-Mar-2007 08:33
Irealy like the body stylehow much to by one
Cam 26-Apr-2005 14:40
Very interesting piece on the great Shoebox. One correction - it was Henry's grandson, Henry II, that got the early release from the military in 1943, when his father, Edsel, passed away.
Rick Johnson 01-Apr-2005 00:10
1949 Ford. This is heralded as the car that saved Ford Motor Company. Henry Ford was certainly one of the most important individuals in automotive history. Perhaps even, it would be fair to say, the most important, since he developed the assembly line and was the first to mass produce an automobile at an affordable price so that it became attainable to the average person. But as the years passed, Mr.Ford became increasingly reluctant to change and innovation, and when he passed away in 1947, Ford was the number three car maker behind GM and Chrysler. Ford was in deep financial trouble, and the Government was worried that it might have to get involved and provide subsidies for it to survive. Ford's son received an early out from military service so that he could provided needed leadership and a new management team to turn it around. Originally, what became the
1949 Mercury, was to become the new post-war Ford. The 1946 through 1948 Fords had been based on pre-war Fords, with minor grille and cosmetic changes. But something new and significantly different in style was needed if Ford was to turn things around.

I recently read an article regarding how the 1949 Ford design originated and how it ultimately became Ford's choice as the 1949 model instead of what became the 1949 Mercury.
A key member of Ford's staff, who presented the design for consideration, had only recently come to Ford after being fired by Studebaker. The story goes that he was very popular with other Studebaker staff, and when he was given only three weeks to come up with an acceptable model for consideration, his former Studebaker buddies secretly helped him at home come up with the design and model that was selected and evolved as the 1949 Ford. Some photographs and clay models labeled "1946 Studebaker Champion" have been recently published that bare a strikingly resemblance to the 1949 Ford. Since it is improbable the a new design could have been produced from scratch in just three weeks, it is speculated that one of these Studebaker models is what he and his friends used. This model was originally considered as the first new post-war Studebaler, but was rejected in favor of a Virgil Exner model and design that did not have the smooth slab-sided body.
Notice that, like the 1950-51 Studebaker, the 1949 Ford had a center "spinner" motif. Perhaps much more subdued and integrated into the grille, but nevertheless, a spinner. Ford continued the spinner theme in some form through the 1954 model year.

Anyway, however it came to market, it was enthusiastically received by the public, and vaulted Ford into second place, and Ford became a serious contender to Chevrolet as the nation's sales leader, surpassing Chevy at the end of the decade in 1957 and 1959.

Those first cars were seriously lacking in fit and finish and quality control. But the public was so taken with the styling, they forgave Ford, and they say....the rest is history.
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