The Birth Of A Revolution
I was browsing YouTube for vintage LeMans footage when I found this two-part clip on the design and development of the shoebox Ford. Of course, the footage sugar coats what was actually a very tumultuous process and time for Ford. The company was just getting out of war programs, its two top family execs (Henry and Edsel Ford) passed away during the strategical planning phase of the car, and the entire company was in the middle of a reorganization. Even so, just about everyone at Ford believed that the 1949 model was to be the most important new car release since the model-T.
And, in a way, it was… Chevrolet had out sold Ford the previous two model years and the end of the war marked a new period in car design for Detroit. The first out of the gate in 1949 would have a head start going into the most important decade in Detroit’s history – the 1950’s. With the shoebox, Ford had a holeshot.
During the first day of sales, Ford sold 100,000 cars and it would be months before the company was able to catch up with back orders. Final production came to 1,118,308 (100,000 more than Chevrolet’s 1949 totals) and the company profitted to the tune of $177 million in that year alone.
Pretty incredicle given the tune we hear from Detroit these days…