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.

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.

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 GM and Chrysler 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.

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