It's rare for us to see the extensive design process that goes into creating a car. Recently, Ted Ryan from the Ford Archives tweeted an image showing a row of possible emblem designs for the 1958 F-Series. The Motor1.com team was fascinated, and we reached out to him to find out if there were more photos like this. He responded with something even better than we expected.
This 69-image gallery (below) offers a glimpse into the Ford Design Studio from what Ryan believes is the spring or summer of 1956. In addition to the F-Series badge proposals, there are a lot more design ideas. The pictures give you a taste of the creativity in the room while devising the appearance of this era of Ford models.
Gallery: Ford Design Studio 1956 Archive Photos
The Ford F-Series is an American automotive icon and a perennial bestseller for decades. A lot of thought goes into designing the truck, even when it comes to just the badge on the fender. The image on the left in the comparison below shows eight possibilities for the 1958 F-100 emblem, and they have radically different looks, ranging from angular to more rounded shapes.
The picture on the right shows a badge in position on the '58 F-100. It's intriguing to note that the badge's design in this photo isn't one of the ideas on the left, suggesting there are even more proposals we aren't seeing.
The whole gallery is worth checking out, but there are a few more images particularly worth highlighting. The 1957 Ford F-Series was a new generation of the truck. The updated look was more chiseled in comparison to the previous, rounder design. The photos below captured multiple proposals for the pickup's grille design.
All of the ideas share the long slit above and below the grille. The big difference is the shape of the slots in the middle. Some of the proposals have more squared-off looks. Others have an oval shape. One of them even tops for smaller, stacked inlets.
Classic truck fans should check out the bounty of other F-Series images in the gallery, but we also want to highlight drawings of a very different vehicle: the second-gen Ford Thunderbird. Three of the drawings show it with the angular roofline from the production version. This model has the nickname Square Bird because of the boxy shape in comparison to the original.
However, check out the sketch on the left. That car has a rounder shape for the roof that gives the second-gen T-Bird a radically different look. It makes you realize that for every vehicle that you see on the road, there are so many styling concepts that never go past the drawing board.
These images come from Ford's Styling Neg collection. Nearly every day someone snapped pictures of all of the work in the design studio. The Ford Archives has been cataloging them and recently scanned a batch of 10,000 negatives (including these).