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Hagerty Employee

The shoebox that saved Ford remains affordable today

Long before Henry Ford II kicked Enzo Ferrari’s butt at Le Mans, he saved the family business.

 

The son of Edsel became president of Ford Motor Company in 1945. He wasn’t even 30 at the time. The war had finally come to an end, but the company was bleeding badly. In early 1946, its longtime chief stylist, Eugene T. “Bob” Gregorie, blew the dust off some designs he had penned before America entered the war, but The Deuce and his young team of executives weren’t impressed ... Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

 

https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/the-shoebox-that-saved-ford-remains-affordable-today...

 

18 REPLIES 18
Pit Crew

I can't imagine an organization that went through more challenges and changes than Ford did in the decade of the 1940's. The list is huge. Willow Run, B24's, Edsel's passing, Henry II called back to lead at 25, John Bugas, Harry Bennett leaving with his coffee cup, and then post war challenges to bounce back. Here's to the Shoebox that drove the renaissance just in time for a new decade and the future. Make mine a 1951 convertible. When my father was young he owned a 1951 Vicky. I love these cars.

Advanced Driver

I love this car!!!! It's been on my hit list for many years but can't seem to find one within my budget. The shoebox pictured is my ideal. Flat/satin black, period wheels etc... The custom options are limitless. I can see me now....Cuffed jeans, slicked back hair (grey now), pack-a-smokes rolled up in my tee shirt sleeve, tooth pick in my mouth, (remember Jim Croce HOT ROD ROY). Yeah I know he drove a 57 Chevy but this would put it to shame. Just sayin'. 

New Driver

The 1950 Ford two-door black and white Custom got some national attention -- when 23 year old Donald Turnupseed failed to yield while turning left to the oncoming Porsche 550 Spyder of 24 year old James Dean -- at the Cholame 466/41 Junction on September 30, 1955.  

Intermediate Driver

If I recall, Bob Bourke and Virgil Exner did the initial sketches for the ‘49 on Bourke’s kitchen table.

New Driver

And who can forget the 1951 Ford 2 door sedan (with a 1950 front end) and a triple carbureted Ford y block in the 1958 movie "Thunder Road"!

Intermediate Driver

I hate to see customizers remove the wind splits from the rear fenders. That's a defining characteristic of the cars not to be removed.

Intermediate Driver

Coil springs were used in the front only.  The rear axle was supported by two semi-elliptic leaf springs running longitudinally. As part of Walker's independent design team, Richard Caleal deserves most of the credit for the shoebox's distinctive shape.

Passenger

The 1951 Ford Victoria Hardtop was the first Ford designed by Gordon Beuhrig

,of Auburn Cord Duesenberg fame, after he joined Ford in 1949

Pit Crew

Great car.  I had a 1950 Club Coupe that I put a 1956 Olds engine and 1937 Cad-La-Salle 3 speed floor shift transmission in for drag racing.  It also had cut down 1951 Mercury rear fender skirts, spinner wheel covers and a set of Traction Masters to keep the rear tires planted when I got on the loud pedal.