Nostalgia for times gone by prevailed on the Ford stand at this year’s Detroit Show. Apart from the GT coupè, a remake of the GT40 that is about to go into production, there were other models bearing historic names on display. They included the new Mustang, as well as the Shelby Cobra and Bronco concept cars. Why so much “heritage design”? We asked J Mays, Ford’s Design Vice President. “Because Ford is one of the few companies that can. We have some of the greatest cars of the past one hundred years to our credit. And the ability to use our history to our own advantage gives us a great competitive edge”.

The new Mustang went into production this year. Who is it meant for?
“We want to attract two kinds of clients: the under-30s and the over 30s”, laughs Mays. “Joking apart, I mean that the Mustang can continue to have broad market appeal because everybody loves it”!

The Shelby Cobra, on the other hand, is a new Ford product with a more modern look.
“The Cobra”, says Mays, “is by far the most futuristic of the three. We wanted it to make a distinctly modern statement, while also being a tribute to Carol Shelby. So we took key elements from the original, like the big front aperture, the broad wings and the air intakes on the sides, but applied them to new proportions”.

What’s the intended role of Ford’s third concept car the Bronco SUV?
“For us this is an important model, because it marks our return to the origins of the sport utility vehicle, to a time when such vehicles were practical workhorses not status symbols. Our new Bronco retains the original design’s short wheelbase, straight sides and boxy shape. At the same time, it previews the face of all the next Ford models”.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 145

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