actually EVERY YEAR (starting with 1958)
www.musclecarclub.com: Fairlane (pictoral) History
Please forgive this tangent - I'm curious about Mr. Walker's involvement with, what for my money is, the surprise-winner of this era, the 1958 Fairlane!
compare ^this^ sleekness with the '57 & '59 at the MuscleCarClub page!
Perhaps Ford was just a bit busy with the new Edsels, but the Fairlane got a healthy dose of the new 4-seat Thunderbird in its front quarters - to me even more impressive since we're talking about a full-size family car with the Fairlane.
Wiki's Tbird page
credits Joe Oros
with the "Square Bird's" design but makes no specific mention regarding the '58 Fairlane - any confirmation? ...Mr. Nesbitt? ...Sobe?
also here're crossreferences for the above-mentioned Mystere concept-car SeriousWheels (1 large pic) & CarStyling.ru (2 small pix)
Some background on Ford's styling organization during the early to mid 50's might be helpful.............
George Walker became a styling consultant to Ford after the success of the '49 Ford design he had created with considerable help.
He had a very successful industrial design office business with many important clients and prestige similar to Raymond Loewy.....
--Walker remained a consultant to Ford until he was appointed Vice President of Ford Styling in 1955.
While Walker was still a consultant with his staff --Ford also had it's own "inhouse" styling staff!!
Charles Waterhouse--of Waterhouse Coachbuilder fame in the 1930's,was head of the Ford overall design operation,and reported to VP of engineering,Earl MacPherson..............
Ford division styling was directed by Frank Quick Hershey.
Hershey was one of Harley Earls first "Art and Colour" styling employee's at GM where he later created Pontiacs famous "Silver Streaks"in 1935,and Cadillacs P-38 inspired tailfins in 1948.
--Gene Bordinat directed Lincoln-Mercury styling.
Walkers designers were Joe Oros assigned to the Ford studios and Elwood Engle assigned to the Lincoln-Mercury studios.
Gil Spear directed Ford's Advanced Styling studio,and reported to Charles Waterhouse.
As can be imagined--this arrangement created quite a bit of friction....
--This group of design managers and their staff were most responsible for the actual "hands on"effort in styling FoMoCo vehicles of this era.
-George Walker was a "master politician" ,which enabled him to get the outstanding results Ford Styling was capable of--even when dealing with Robert Strange McNamara.......
This effort was really as important and significant as the "hands on" styling effort.
The 1958 Thunderbird was a spectacular sales success,and earned a great profit for Ford--unlike the 1958 Lincoln and Continental MK III,which shared floor space with the Thunderbird at the then new Wixom assembly plant.
--The only two cars to increase sales in 1958 were Thunderbird and Rambler.
--The 4 passenger Thunderbird was Robert McNamara's decision and it did turn out to be financialy very successful--even though 2 passenger Thunderbird enthusiasts were naturally disappointed.............