Monday, September 29, 2014

Spinners Upon Spinners: Early 1950s Ford Grilles

Although I wasn't fond of it at first, I now find the 1949 Ford an important, emblematic design (I discuss this in my ebook on car styling).

A distinctive feature (but not what was really important historically) was the grille design that featured a central element that was likened to an airplane's propeller hub spinner.  This spinner gave the front of the car a distinct focus in an otherwise somewhat bland design; imagine how the car would have looked were the spinner absent.

Ford stylists retained the spinner theme for several years, for a while elaborating it in an almost predictable manner, as seen below.


1949 Ford
Here is the original version of the spinner grille.

1950 Ford
Almost nothing was changed for the 1950 model year.

1951 Ford
The final facelift of the '49 Ford featured a two-spinner arrangement.

1952 Ford
The completely restyled 1952 Fords had what amounted to three spinners.  That set some people to thinking that even more spinners might be expected in future years.

1953 Ford
But no, the '53s dropped the spinner count down to one.

1954 Ford
Oops!  The 1954s reverted to three spinners.

1955 Ford
Finally, central spinners disappeared in 1955, though the running lights at the sides of the grille retained the spinner style.

1956 Ford
Spinners were finally gone for 1956.

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