1940 Lincoln Continental Zephyr convertible. Photo taken at the 2011 Eyes on Design show at the Eleanor and Edsel Ford estate outside of Detroit. Edsel Ford had a major role in the development and styling of the ’39-’41 Continentals. It was Edsel who brought Bob Gregorie, FoMoCo’s first stylist, to Ford and the Continental was also Edsel’s idea, so the setting for this photo is appropriate. Actually, Edsel Ford, along with Harley Earl and Andrew Johnson can be said to have been the inventors of automotive styling. Though Edsel was not an artist himself, he collected and commissioned fine art (like the famous Rivera Murals at the Detroit Institute of the Arts) and had a collector’s eye and great taste. For what it’s worth, Earl couldn’t draw either, but was said to have had a great talent at waving his hand to express to his staff what he wanted.
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