Ford Designer Series: GEORGE W. WALKER - Ford Inside News Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
Ford Falcon Ute
 
SobeSVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sobe, FL
Posts: 4,679
Send a message via AIM to SobeSVT
Ford Designer Series: GEORGE W. WALKER


FoMoCoNews: Ford Designers Series
George W.Walker

Dick Nesbitt suggested the name of George W. Walker for this next entry in the Ford Designer series. It turned out to be an excellent suggestion as Walker was one of the most influential designers in Ford history and the one that has under his belt the credits for making the car that signaled and achieved the resurrection of the Ford Motor COmpany after the assassination attempt by its founder Henry Ford (more on that if we ever do a Ford Management series). In a sense Walker got the torch of Ford design from the hands of E. T. (Bob) Gregorie who got it directly from its originator the great Edsel Ford himself.
Born in May 22, 1896, adulthood found George W. Walker as a semi-professional football player in Ohio, a activity that he maintained from the tender age of 15 until he was 25 years old.
Looking for a better future than just being a retired semi-pro, Walker graduated from not one but two design schools. His first design degree came from the Cleveland School of Art and the second from the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles.
George W. Walker start with the Ford Motor Company wasn't easy. In the early 1930s Walker was successful in selling Henry Ford a few chrome trim pieces. Later in 1935 he went to Henry again to show his vision of the future of car design, using a book in which he invested $3,000 of his own money. It turned out that the book fell apart when Walker was about to begin his presentation and Henry walked out on him. The next Ford Walker would hear from was Henry Ford II.
Walker was invited to comment on the in-house team (lead by the recently re-hired Bob Gregorie) design for the first post-war Ford, Walker responded with an entirely different design proposal, which scale clay model was baked in Mrs. Walker kitchen oven. Ford bought it, Gregorie left Ford for the second and last time and the in-house design became the legendary 1949 Mercury.
After this lucky break Walker was kept as a design consultant and with is team he designed iconic cars like the 1950 Lincoln, the 1951 Mercury, and the 1952 Ford.
There is the now legendary story of how a casual conversation with Henry Ford II in Paris on why couldn't America produce such gorgeous sports cars as they were admiring from Alpha Romeo, Jaguar and others, ended up in the 1955 Thunderbird.

After the Thunderbird success Walker was finally hired by Ford as vice president and director, styling office, Ford car & truck division. Walker retired 6 years latter in June 1st, 1961 and with him the flamboyance of the 1950s design left the Ford Motor Company never to return
Sources:
Brophy.com: GEORGE W. WALKER Henry Ford walked out on Walker's first presentation, but the ex-professional football player rose to be Ford's design chief.
LACEY, Robert. Ford. The Men and the Machine.
Wikipedia: George W. Walker


The 1949 Ford and the 1955 Thunderbird






To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
SobeSVT is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 02:27 PM
Ford Kuga
 
Mbukukanyau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In Front of my Computer
Posts: 1,710
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

The fascination with the Jet age designs was just amazing. The problem with those designs is that they were not very practical, like the flying car thing, which I think is the Cadillacs of the day captured well with fins.

Meanwhile the Stealth look of the XLR backfired, I think


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mbukukanyau is offline  
post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
Ford Falcon Ute
 
SobeSVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sobe, FL
Posts: 4,679
Send a message via AIM to SobeSVT
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbukukanyau View Post
The fascination with the Jet age designs was just amazing. The problem with those designs is that they were not very practical, like the flying car thing, which I think is the Cadillacs of the day captured well with fins.

Meanwhile the Stealth look of the XLR backfired, I think
WHAT??





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
SobeSVT is offline  
 
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 04:31 PM
Ford Kuga
 
Mbukukanyau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In Front of my Computer
Posts: 1,710
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by SobeSVT View Post
WHAT??
You know tail fins were inspired by Jets, and you do know Cadillac Art & Science was an attempt to capture the Stealth F117 Theme?




Prior Cadillacs


Prior Cadillacs with the Aircraft Tail fin theme..


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mbukukanyau is offline  
post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
Ford Falcon Ute
 
SobeSVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sobe, FL
Posts: 4,679
Send a message via AIM to SobeSVT
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbukukanyau View Post
You know tail fins were inpired by Jets, and you do know Cadillac Art & Science was an attempt to capture the Stealth F117 Theme?

Prior Cadillacs with the Aircraft Tail fin theme..
I know and while the old Cadillacs were gorgeous beyond belief the XLR is an awkward design to say the least.

But, what does any of that has to do with George Walker??? Even though he commanded Ford design during the "tail fin" era, none of its iconic designs has any resemblance to a jet, except maybe for the "turbine" in the front end of the 1949 Ford, which I may be wrong but I think it is inspired by a bullet.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
SobeSVT is offline  
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 04:38 PM
Design Mahārāja
 
Dick Nesbitt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 51
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by SobeSVT View Post

FoMoCoNews: Designers Series
George W.Walker

Dick Nesbitt suggested the name of George W. Walker for this next entry in the Ford Designer series. It turned out to be an excellent suggestion as it turned out that Walker was one of the most influential designers in Ford history and the one that has under his belt the credits for making the car that signaled and achieved the resurrection of the Ford Motor COmpany after the assassination attempt by its founder Henry Ford I (more on that if we ever do a Ford Management series). In a sense Walker got the torch of Ford design from the hands of E. T. (Bob) Gregorie who got it from Edsel Ford himself.
Born in May 22, 1896, Adulthood found George W. Walker as a semi-professional football player in Ohio, a activity that the maintained from the tender age of 15 until he was 25 years old.
Looking for a better future than just being a retired semi-pro, Walker graduated from not one but two design schools. His first design degree came from the Cleveland School of Art and the second from the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles.
George W. Walker start with the Ford Motor Company wasn't easy. In the early 1930s Walker was successful in selling Henry Ford a few chrome trim pieces. Later in 1935 he went to Henry again to show his vision of the future of car design, using a book in which he invested $3,000 of his own money. It turned out that the book fell apart when Walker was about to begin his presentation and Henry walked out on him. The next Ford Walker would hear from would be Henry Ford II.
Walker was invited to comment on the in-house team (lead by the recently re-hired Bob Gregorie) design for the first post-war Ford, Walker responded with an entirely different design proposal, which scale clay model was baked in Mrs. Walker kitchen oven. Ford bought it, Gregorie left Ford for the second and last time and the in-house design became the legendary 1949 Mercury.
After this lucky break Walker was kept as a design consultant and with is team he designed iconic cars like the 1950 Lincoln, the 1951 Mercury, and the 1952 Ford.
There is the now legendary story of how a casual conversation with Henry Ford II in Paris on why couldn't America produce such gorgeous sports cars as they were admiring from Alpha Romeo, Jaguar and others, ended up in the 1955 Thunderbird.

After the Thunderbird success Walker was finally hired by Ford as vice president and director, styling office, Ford car & truck division. Walker retired 6 years latter in June 1st, 1961 and with him the flamboyance of the 1950s design left the Ford Motor Company never to return
Sources:
Brophy.com: GEORGE W. WALKER Henry Ford walked out on Walker's first presentation, but the ex-professional football player rose to be Ford's design chief.
LACEY, Robert. Ford. The Men and the Machine.
Wikipedia: George W. Walker


The 1949 Ford and the 1955 Thunderbird

It's great to see this background on George Walker.
Ford achieved incredible success during the Walker years with an amazing variety of exciting,brilliant,original and very "aspirational" car designs that were often purchased every two or three years because people just wanted them--even if they didn't really have to replace what they already had.
Imagine a customer buying the "newest of the new" 1949 Ford--he is thrilled and very proud!
In just a few years,the all-new and very "modern" 1952 Ford is introduced,including the glamorous Victoria Hardtop,now in it's second year--and suddenly,the '49 is very "dated".
-- The '49 customer has got to have a new '52!!
A few years later--and the 1955 Ford is introduced................
It's got a "futuristic" wraparound windshield and a new,plush,high-level Fairlane series................
--The '52 is still nearly like new--but he has got to have a new '55..........
It just couldn't get any better than this --and then,the 1957 Ford is introduced........
It seems like it's too good to be true--with futuristic styling from the "Mystere" dream car!!
Two different sizes--Custom and Fairlane!!--The new Fairlane and Fairlane 500 are fantastic,and would make any Oldsmobile,Buick or Chrysler owner envious!!
Yes--the '55 is still like new--but he just can't live without a '57 Fairlane 500,even if it will take some overtime to do it.............

Ford had some serious quality problems during these years--but no one can deny the "gotta have it" appeal of the styling--almost year after year!
--There are several great cars available now--but how many are there we just couldn't live without???
Thanks,George --from '49 to'61,we will probably never see anything like it again..........
Dick Nesbitt
Dick Nesbitt is offline  
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
Ford Falcon Ute
 
SobeSVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sobe, FL
Posts: 4,679
Send a message via AIM to SobeSVT
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Nesbitt View Post
It's great to see this background on George Walker.
Ford achieved incredible success during the Walker years with an amazing variety of exciting,brilliant,original and very "aspirational" car designs that were often purchased every two or three years because people just wanted them--even if they didn't really have to replace what they already had.
Imagine a customer buying the "newest of the new" 1949 Ford--he is thrilled and very proud!
In just a few years,the all-new and very "modern" 1952 Ford is introduced,including the glamorous Victoria Hardtop,now in it's second year--and suddenly,the '49 is very "dated".
-- The '49 customer has got to have a new '52!!
A few years later--and the 1955 Ford is introduced................
It's got a "futuristic" wraparound windshield and a new,plush,high-level Fairlane series................
--The '52 is still nearly like new--but he has got to have a new '55..........
It just couldn't get any better than this --and then,the 1957 Ford is introduced........
It seems like it's too good to be true--with futuristic styling from the "Mystere" dream car!!
Two different sizes--Custom and Fairlane!!--The new Fairlane and Fairlane 500 are fantastic,and would make any Oldsmobile,Buick or Chrysler owner envious!!
Yes--the '55 is still like new--but he just can't live without a '57 Fairlane 500,even if it will take some overtime to do it.............

Ford had some serious quality problems during these years--but no one can deny the "gotta have it" appeal of the styling--almost year after year!
--There are several great cars available now--but how many are there we just couldn't live without???
Thanks,George --from '49 to'61,we will probably never see anything like it again..........
Dick Nesbitt
Hi Mr. Nesbitt,

Did you ever had the chance to meet him in person? If that was the case, how was he like? I know he was long retired when you joined Ford but you worked closely with Gene Bordinat, his successor so I was thinking that you may have met him socially or have had first hand account of what it was like working with him.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
SobeSVT is offline  
post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 05:00 PM
Ford Kuga
 
Mbukukanyau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: In Front of my Computer
Posts: 1,710
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by SobeSVT View Post
I know and while the old Cadillacs were gorgeous beyond belief the XLR is an awkward design to say the least.

But, what does any of that has to do with George Walker??? Even though he commanded Ford design during the "tail fin" era, none of its iconic designs has any resemblance to a jet, except maybe for the "turbine" in the front end of the 1949 Ford, which I may be wrong but I think it is inspired by a bullet.


Was this a real jet or a car? Did he design it?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Mbukukanyau is offline  
post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 05:24 PM
Design Mahārāja
 
Dick Nesbitt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 51
Re: Ford Designer Series: GEORGE W. WALKER

I never had the honor or pleasure of meeting George Walker in person.
--Mr. Walker was a legend at Ford Design when I was there in the 70's,and I was looking forward to meeting him,and getting some personal background from his point of view..........
The design of the Bordinat era was more "rational"--but I have always greatly admired the exuberance,excitment and risk of the Walker era..........
--Dick Nesbitt
Dick Nesbitt is offline  
post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-14-2007, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
Ford Falcon Ute
 
SobeSVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sobe, FL
Posts: 4,679
Send a message via AIM to SobeSVT
Re: Ford Designer Series: George W. Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbukukanyau View Post
Was this a real jet or a car? Did he design it?
That is probably a scale model of an extreme design by one designer in his team for promotional purposes (as the picture itself). Not representative at all of the cars that Walker is known for. These are a few of them:


1949 Ford


1955 Ford Thunderbird


1952 Ford


1951 Mercury


1950 Lincoln





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
SobeSVT is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Tags
designer, ford, george, series, walker

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Inside News Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome