Ford Sports Car That Never Was

Dorwin Teague Ford
Dorwin Teague Ford

Hemmings Motor News published an interesting story this past Thursday regarding an attempt within Ford Motor Company to create a Ford sportscar as early as 1941!

As you likely know, the Ford Thunderbird did not arrive on the scene until 1955, and at that time, it came as a two passenger.  Read Hemmings, and then consider this: how might the Corvette have come into being, or how might it have been different, if Ford had pursued this earlier concept of a four passenger sportscar, rather than what they did actually do fifteen years later?

Might the Corvette have come out as a four passenger response to Ford's entry, rather than what really happened, the two passenger Thunderbird coming out as a response to the Corvette?

I imagine we will never know.  What are your thoughts?

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3 Responses to Ford Sports Car That Never Was

  1. Tuna Dobbins says:

    As I understand it, Chevrolet decided on the 2-seat sports car concept because of the GI’s desire to own one of those little European sports cars. Chevy didn’t want to miss a market here. They almost did since the ’53 Corvette didn’t handle very well and was down on power.

    Additionally, anything on the drawing board in 1941 by Ford, GM or Chrysler was DOA due to the war. 12-15 years later and after WWII and the Korea War, the game was totally different.

    Just my thoughts on this.

  2. Bill Connell says:

    I wouldn’t disagree with anything you say. However, I’m thinking “what if.”

    What if Ford had gone to market with a four-seater just prior to the war? When production began after the war, they would have continued with that model. When the soldier boys returned, Ford dealers would have encouraged buyers to grab what was available: their four-seater. Then, would GM have stayed with what actually did happen, or might they have instead introduced a four-seater to complete with Ford?

    • Tuna Dobbins says:

      Let’s say the war didn’t happen – Chevy would have to build a 4-seater to compete with Ford. The GI’s would not have gone to Europe and they would not have seen and driven all the little sports cars over there. There would have been little demand for them here in the States for a long time. I think that would have delayed the Corvette introduction for sure and who knows what the name would have been.

      The 1940 Ford could be had in 2-dr coupe, 2-dr convertible, 2-dr wagon, 4-dr sedan and 4-dr wagon. Probably all on the same chassis. Chevy didn’t try to compete against all of them then. Would they have? Should they have?

      Looking at the history of the Corvette and sports cars in America, I’m actually surprised that Ford didn’t beat GM to market with something like the 2-seat Thunderbird. Glad they waited and made GM take a second look at the Corvette and improve it enough to blow the Thunderbird out of the sports car market. Of course that gave us the Shelby Cobra.

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