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NEW YORK - On June 10, 1948, the 1949 Ford was unveiled to the public at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
The 1949 Ford was the first new, post-World War II Ford vehicle. Its design and styling was completely different from previous Ford vehicles and was kept secret until it’s unveiling.
It was extremely well received by both the press and the buying public alike.
Designed by Ford’s George Walker, the 1949 Ford won the Fashion Academy Award for overall styling and the car was advertised as the “Car of the Year.”
It was available in eight exterior colors – Bayview Blue Metallic, Birch Gray, Sea Mist Green, Arabian Green, Colony blue, Gun Metal Gray metallic, Midland Maroon Metallic and Black. Two additional colors – Fez Red and Miami Cream – were only available on the Convertible model.
Noted Walker, “The thing that really counts is a well-designed product that millions of hands will stretch out to buy because it says something to them that they cannot resist. When the right lines and contours are applied to a product, they must evoke that particular emotion in that buyer.”
It’s innovative “slab side” body styling also drew buyers in great numbers.
“I must say that I was rather shocked, (at Walker’s design) primarily because it was the first time that the so-called slab-sided design had been implemented in three dimensions. Naturally, from a designer’s point of view, it was quite exciting,” said Gene Bordinat, a contemporary of Walker in Ford’s design studio.
Overall, the revolutionary design ignited a styling trend in the industry.
“Without realizing it, we had set some of the first aerodynamic considerations for an automobile with was the aircraft spinner theme,” said Joe Oreos, who worked for Walker, specifically on the distinctive Front-end theme.
With a total of 1,118,762 units produced, the 1949 Ford was the symbol of Henry Ford II’s revitalization of the company.
Often, vehicle is cited as the car that saved Ford Motor Company by starting the company on a track to the post-war period profits of the 1950s.
Noted J .R. Davis, vice president and director, Ford Sales and Advertising, “New standards of beauty and comfort, economy and performance in the 1949 Ford passenger cars advance them far ahead of others in the low-priced field. Styling of the new Ford definitely establishes it as the car of the year.”