Sunday, March 25, 2012

Forgotten Concepts: 2001 Ford Forty Nine


The original 1949 Ford that inspired the car was very revolutionary; it featured a Lifeguard body with integrated fenders, and slab styling. The design brought Ford into the 1950s, something Ford hoped the forty nine’s retro design would do for the brand in the new millennium.

Two forty nines were built, one a Coupe, and One a Convertible, Riding on the same DEW98 rear-drive platform that it shared with the Lincoln LS, the Jaguar S-Type the Ford Thunderbird. The Forty Nine also shared its engine with the trio, though it wore “Powered By Thunderbird Badges” on several locations around the car. Under the hood the AJ-V8 is smothered in satin black, stainless and chrome metal finishes, No power figures were ever released. Click Read More

The Body of the car has a very classic shape with clean lines, and almost devoid chrome, save for the very elegant trim around the DLO, and a few other minor accents. Pontoon style fenders are subtly suggested up front that result in HID projector style headlamps, reminiscent of the traditional bull’s eye lenses of the past. The lower front fascia is curved under the car, reminiscent of the smooth roll pans sometimes found on custom cars. My only qualm with the front end is that the grille looks nothing like the original ’49 Ford; in fact it looks more like something Dodge would have put on one of their cars in the early 1950s.

From the side the car has a very slim cigarette shaped profile, with a very demure bone line, that is left uninterrupted by skirted wheel wells, and becomes a scalloped rib with incorporated LED taillights as it nears the rear. On the Coupe the pillars are blacked out, and the glass from the fixed panoramic roof extends to cover them, the roofline is separated from the windows by a thin strip of chrome that wraps around the windscreen header and widens as it makes it’s decent down the rear pillars, which makes it appear as though the chrome is the only support for the roof, giving it a very distinct retro look. On the Convertible this same strip of chrome follows the edge of the canvas top. The whole effect reminds me just a bit of the Spyker D12 Peeking to Paris.
The rear end is just as clean as the rest of the car, it flares out at the both ends, like the Pontoon fenders of its namesake, and the horizontal tail lamps add to the nostalgic feel of the car.  The tail is flanked dual chrome exhaust outlets that hint to the car’s V8 Power. In line with the scalloped rib that runs the width of the rear, is a thin chrome bar that tops a license plate cove with a glass cover.

Two polished circular door handles provide access to a two tone black and sienna trimmed interior, which features plenty of chrome and aluminum accents. The majority of the instruments are combined into one circular pod, like the original. Aluminum Controls on the steering wheel harken back to the sorely missed horn ring, and a 5 speed automatic is concealed in the floating center console that stretches to the rear of the car.

The Forty Nine was considered for production, as Ford was planning a whole line of heritage cars, but the poor sales, and harsh criticism killed it, which is a crying shame, because this is one of my favorite Ford designs of all time. Check Back Next Week for another Retro forgotten Concept

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