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Ford’s Forty Nine Concept Promised a Mainstream Retro Future for the Blue Oval

Posted December 12, 2018 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: auction classic auto Concept Ford

At the crest of a wave of retro design that swept over the auto industry at the turn of the 21st Century, Ford introduced a pair of concepts that called back to one of its most successful vehicles and that narrowly missed becoming production cars in their own right. Nearly 20 years later, one of that pair will cross the block and remind Ford fans of what direction the brand could have taken.

The arrival of the Volkswagen New Beetle in 1997 (along with the Plymouth Prowler that same year) led automakers around the globe to mine their histories for iconic – or merely well-recognized – designs and nameplates they could use to generate their own retro buzz. Perhaps no company took that formula to heart more than Ford, which hired Volkswagen designer J Mays – who collaborated with Freeman Thomas on the Concept One show car that presaged the New Beetle – in 1997 as the company’s vice president of design, replacing Jack Telnack.

19 years ago, Ford looked to its past to model its future, and now it's fun to examine that from the present.

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Re: Ford’s Forty Nine Concept Promised a Mainstream Retro Future for the Blue Oval

12/13/2018 10:56 AM

Is retro, like leonardo da Vinci handing his mona lisa to picasso for a redux ?

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