TBT: Remembering Ford’s First African American Female Designer

We recently looked back on the career of Ford’s first African American designer, McKinley “Mac” Thompson, Jr. Today, we introduce you to the woman who is believed to be the company’s first African American female designer.

The daughter of a Ford plastic model specialist, Emeline King fell in love with the Ford Mustang as a child. She later studied transportation design at the Art Center College of Design in California before joining Ford Motor Company in 1983.

Some of King’s best-known work from her nearly 25-year career at Ford was seen on the interior design of 1994 Ford Mustang. She also contributed to the design of the 1990 Ford Probe and 2000 Ford Thunderbird, among other vehicles. Also, she patented a 15-inch wheel cover the 1989 Thunderbird.  

King, a Detroit resident and Wayne State University graduate, retired from Ford in 2008. She now works as a freelance artist and author.

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