2001 Ford Forty-Nine Concept Car
- Ford's 2001 Design Study Tribute to the legendary 1949 Ford
- Sentimental drag race down memory lane
- Modern interior with heritage design cues
Ford’s first all-new car in two decades arrived for the 1949 model year. Its radically new “slab sides,” integrated body and fenders, independent front suspension and opening rear quarter windows served as a symbol of optimism for the future. The optimism was not misplaced: the ’49 Ford drew some 1.3 million orders and garnered a Fashion Academy Award.
The Forty Nine concept, introduced at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, harkened back to that time, described by the company as a “sentimental drag race down memory lane.” Its hyper-smooth appearance was achieved by an all-glass upper body structure with concealed pillars and windshield wipers. The exterior finish was accented by bright chrome wrapping around the greenhouse and modest chrome accents elsewhere, such as badging and 20-inch chrome wheels. The frontal aspect was heightened by round high-intensity-discharge and projector-beam lighting. In the rear, sleek, narrow wrap-around LED tail lamps made a distinct statement.
The interior was a modern interpretation of the original car’s simple design cues. A cantilevered, bench-style front seat was power-actuated. A floating center console ran the entire length of the interior, giving the impression of four-passenger bucket seating, while also serving to stiffen the vehicle’s structure. The floating console housed the five-speed shift lever and ventilation system for both front- and rear-seat passengers.
The drivetrain was projected to come from the revived two-seat Thunderbird, a 252-bhp 3.9-liter DOHC V8 with five-speed automatic transmission. Finished in satin black, stainless and chrome metal finishes, the engine compartment pays homage to hot-rodders’ obsession with performance and appearance. Alas, Ford chose not to put the design study into production....
As a side note, one of the stylists who created the original 1949 Ford was Robert Bourke who went to the Raymond Loewy team and who was responsible for the sensational 1953 Studebaker Starliner.
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