Bring back some good or bad memories


June 7, 2020

Life Magazine 1949 Ford Photo Shoot

LIFE magazine ran a semi-promotional piece called “The New Ford” in their June 14, 1948 issue that showcased the new model. The photos were taken in March 1948 by photographer William J. Sumits. In addition to the obligatory models, there are some really cool shots juxtaposing the ’49 Ford with some vintage Model Ts.

The 1949 Ford was the first new Ford to be launched in the USA after World War II as all cars introduced before it were updates of the pre-war models. During the war all production was diverted to the war effort and no new cars were developed between 1942 and 1948. The 1949 Ford ushered in the era of modern streamlined cars as we know them today. They had integrated fenders, and other features which differentiated them from the cars of the 1930s and early ’40s. Due to its slab-sided shape, this car was also known as the “Shoe-Box” ford. It cost $72 million and 10 million man-hours to develop the 1949 Ford. A number of revolutionary ideas like providing a head-up display of the speedometer on the windscreen were discussed but trashed in view of the cost. The spinner in the grille was initially opposed by engineering stating hindrance to sir flow, but somehow survived.

In addition to the USA, this car was also assembled in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Ford manufactured a total of 1,118,308 of these cars which was 100,000 more than Chevrolet’s total production. The company made a whopping profit of 117 Million dollars due to these cars in 1949.

The standard car was offered in six colors, while the Custom Ford was offered in 10 colors. The wheels of the custom fords were body colored which was not the case for the standard cars, though body colored wheels could be ordered at an extra cost. Seats were either Mohair or Broad Cloth, though Custom Convertible had leather seats and Station wagon had leather on driver seat only. All cars could be ordered with vinyl seats for a price.

(Photos by William J Sumits / LIFE archives, via The Transport Journal)


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10