This is the scene: a fashion display featuring the 1959 Fords is underway at the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 58, the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. We’ve been told that the Comité Francais des L’élegance of Paris just gave the Ford Motor Company a gold prize.
“This is a very important fashion award” It’s not clear if the Comité or the company picked these exact words, but they’re used to describe the new ’59 models as “the world’s most beautifully proportioned cars.”
We thought it was interesting that Ford didn’t show off its most expensive cars at this event, but instead went for a slightly less expensive model. They have a Fairlane 500 instead of a Galaxie as the station wagon, a Country Sedan instead of a Country Squire as the convertible, and a cloth-top Sunliner instead of a foldable Skyliner as the convertible.
The 1959 Fords were shown to highlight the fact that all models, not just the more expensive ones, had unmatched style. George Walker, Ford’s visionary style leader, is frequently cited as saying that he personally prefers the ’59 models out of all the designs he created. Notably, the picture above shows a Galaxie, which adds to the overall picture of Ford’s dedication to style across all of its 1959 models.
Ford had a big year in 1959 when it made a total of 1,462,000 cars, just 19,000 less than its main competitor, Chevrolet. A big part of this success was the release of the Galaxie, a new trim level that quickly became the best-selling car in the range, selling over 269,000 units.
At this time, people who bought full-sized Fords cared more about the features than the price. The choices people made are a striking example of this trend: an amazing 78% chose V8 engines over inline sixes, and 71% chose automatic gears. This change in customer tastes shows how important performance and ease of use are to them when choosing their favorite Ford models. If you want to learn more about this interesting time in the history of cars, you might want to watch the movie below.