1949 Ford

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1949 Ford custom 300 pic3.JPG
1949 Ford Custom Four door Sedan
Model years1949–1951
AssemblyDearborn, Michigan
Chester, Pennsylvania
Long Beach, California
Saint Paul, Minnesota
United States
Singapore, Malaysia
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size Ford
Body style2-door sedan (Tudor)
4-door sedan (Fordor)
2-door coupe (Club Coupe)
2-door business coupe
2-door hardtop (Victoria)
2-door convertible
2-door station wagon (Country Squire)
2-door coupé utility (Australia)[1]
LayoutFR layout
RelatedMeteor (Canada)
Mercury Eight
Monarch (Canada)
Lincoln EL-series
Lincoln Cosmopolitan
Engine226 CID (3.7 L) L-head I6
239 CID (3.9 L) Flathead V8 100 HP
Wheelbase114 in (2,896 mm)
Length196.8 in (4,999 mm)
Width71.7 in (1,821 mm)[2]
Curb weight3,110–3,770 lb (1,410–1,710 kg)[3]
Predecessor1941 Ford
Successor1952 Ford

The 1949 Ford was an American automobile produced by Ford since 1948. It was the first all-new automobile design introduced by the Big Three after World War II, civilian production having been suspended during the war, and the 1946-1948 models from Ford, GM, and Chrysler being updates of their pre-war models. Popularly called the "Shoebox Ford" for its slab-sided, "ponton" design, the 1949 Ford is credited both with saving Ford and ushering in modern streamlined car design with changes such as integrated fenders and more. This design would continue through the 1951 model year, with an updated design offered in 1952. The crest was designed by Frank L. Engle.[4]

After sticking with its well-received previous model through model year 1948, Ford completely redesigned its namesake car for the year 1949. Save for its drive-train, this was an all-new car in every way, with a modern ladder frame now supporting a coil spring independent suspension in front and longitudinal semi-elliptical springs in back. The engine was moved forward to make more room in the passenger compartment and the antiquated "torque tube" was replaced by a modern drive shaft. Ford's popular 226 CID (3.7 L) L-head straight-6 and 239 CID (3.9 L) Flathead V8 remained, now rated at 90 hp (67 kW) and 100 hp (75 kW), respectively.


The 1949 models debuted at a gala at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in June 1948, with a carousel of the new Fords complemented by a revolving demonstration of the new chassis. The new integrated steel structure was advertised as a "lifeguard body", and even the woody wagon was steel at heart. The convertible frame had an "X member" for structural rigidity.

From a customer's perspective, the old Custom, De Luxe, and Super De Luxe lines were replaced by new Standard and Custom trims and the cars gained a modern look with completely integrated rear fenders and just a hint of a fender in front. This way, Ford was the first of the Big Three automotive concerns to introduce all-new postwar popular model, beating Chevrolet by six months and Plymouth by nine months, and in addition, presenting the most modern-looking car of them.[5] The new styling approach was also evident in the 1949 Mercury Eight and the all-new Lincoln Cosmopolitan. The styling was influential on many European manufacturers, such as Mercedes Benz, Borgward, Austin, Volvo and many others, while the "Bullitt-nose" grill was also used on the 1950-51 Studebaker coupes and sedans but with a pronounced appearance. The all new 1949 Ford was said at the time to be the car that saved the Ford Corporation.[citation needed] Competition from GMH was surpassing the Old Ford designs. In some ways the vehicle was rushed into production, particularly the door mechanism design. It was said that the doors could fling open on corners. In the 1950 model there were some 10 changes in the door latching mechanism alone.

The car was met with a success and as a result, Ford sold 1,118,740 cars of 1949 model, taking the first place among American manufacurers, although an extended 16-month model year contributed to it.[5]


1950 saw a new Crestliner "sports sedan"—a 2-door sedan with 2-tone paint intended to battle Chevrolet's popular hardtop coupe of 1950.[6] Another new name was Country Squire, which referred to the 2-door wood-sided station wagon. All wagons received flat-folding middle seats at mid-year, an innovation that would reappear in the minivans of the 1990s. The 1949 and 1950 styling was similar, with a single central "bullet" in the frowning chrome grille.[7] In the center there was a red space that had either a 6 or 8 depending if the car had the six-cylinder engine or the V8.[2] The trim lines were renamed as well, with "Standard" becoming "Deluxe" and "Custom" renamed "Custom Deluxe". The new Fords got the now-famous "Ford Crest" which appeared on the division's vehicles for many decades in one form or another. A Deluxe Business Coupe was also marketed.[8]


The 1951 Fords featured an optional Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission for the first time (starting in November of 1950.)[9] Ford finally answered the Chevrolet Bel Air and Plymouth Belvedere charge with the Victoria hardtop in 1951, borrowing the term from the victoria carriage. The car was an instant hit, outselling the Chevrolet by nearly 10%. The Crestliner continued for one more year, however. All 1951 Fords sported a new "dual-bullet" grille and heavy chrome bumpers. This year Ford also added a new "turn-key" ignition.[10] Front suspension is independent coil springs.[11] Head room was 36.1 inches.[12]

Australian production[edit]

The 1949, '50 and '51 V8 models were also produced in Australia, offered in 4-door sedan and as a 2-door coupe utility body styles.[1] The coupe utility was a uniquely Australian variant, developed by Ford Australia. Australian content on the locally produced models had reached 80% by 1950.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Norm Darwin, The History of Ford in Australia, 1986, pages 124-127
  2. ^ a b Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5.
  3. ^ "Ford (USA) Full-Size 2nd generation versions and types". automobile-catalog.com. 2010–2014. ISBN 978-83-931772-0-2. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  4. ^ "The Ford Crest". The Andalusia Star-News. Andalusia, Alabama. February 1, 1951. p. 7. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b Flory Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946-1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 210–211. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-03-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide (2007-09-24). "HowStuffWorks "1949 Ford Spinner Grille"". Auto.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  8. ^ 1950 Ford Six brochure, www.lov2xlr8.no Retrieved 19 October 2016
  9. ^ Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946-1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5.
  10. ^ "Directory Index: Ford/1951_Ford/1951_Ford_Foldout". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  11. ^ "Directory Index: Ford/1951_Ford/1951_Ford_Foldout". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  12. ^ "Directory Index: Ford/1951_Ford/1951_Ford_Foldout". Oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2012-05-31.


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