Tintin and Captain Haddock were received at Klow airport and taken under the protection of the ZEPO, the Syldavian secret police. They were being escorted to a secret place in the mountains in a Dodge Coronet. Their escorts followed them in a green car all the way to the secret location where a programme was underway to send the first humans to moon. The car following them was a 1949 Ford.
The 1949 Ford was the first new Ford to be launched in the USA after World War II as all cars introduced before it were updates of the pre-war models. During the war all production was diverted to the war effort and no new cars were developed between 1942 and 1948. The 1949 Ford ushered in the era of modern streamlined cars as we know them today. They had integrated fenders, and other features which differentiated them from the cars of the 1930s and early 40s. Due to its slab-sided shape, this car was also known as the “Shoe-Box” ford. It cost $72 million and 10 million man-hours to develop the 1949 Ford. A number of revolutionary ideas like providing a head-up display of the speedometer on the windscreen were discussed but trashed in view of the cost.The spinner in the grille was initially opposed by engineering stating hindrance to sir flow, but somehow survived.
In addition to the USA, this car was also assembled in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Ford manufactured a total of 1,118,308 of these cars which was 100,000 more than Chevrolet’s total production. The company made a whopping profit of 117 Million dollars due to these cars in 1949.
These cars were manufactured from 1949 to 1951 and were offered in two trims, Standard and Custom and following body shapes:-
- Tudor (2-door) Sedan.
- Fordor (4-door) Sedan.
- Club Coupe.
- Business Coupe.
The Custom Ford was not offered as a Business Coupe, but in place was also offered as convertible Club Coupe and Station Wagon.In Australia, the car was offered as a Fordor sedan and a 2-door Coupe utility (pickup). The Coupe Utility was made and sold only in Australia.
The standard car was offered in six colours, while the Custom Ford was offered in 10 colours. The wheels of the custom fords were body coloured which was not the case for the standard cars, though body coloured wheels could be ordered at an extra cost. Seats were either Mohair or Broad Cloth, though Custom Convertible had leather seats and Station wagon had leather on driver seat only. All cars could be ordered with vinyl seats for a price.
These cars came with either a 3,923 cc (239 Cu-inch) naturally aspirated Flathead V-8 petrol engine producing 100 BHP at 3,600 rpm or a 3,700 cc (226 Cu-inch) naturally aspirated petrol L-Head inline six cylinder engine producing 95 BHP at 3,300 rpm and 244 N-m (180 lb-ft) of torque. The engine power and torque was transferred to the rear wheel using a modern drive shaft which replaced the antiquated torque-tube which was used by Ford till 1948. The engine speed was reduced before being transferred to the rear axle using a manual three speed gear box. The gear change lever was mounted on the steering wheel column. An automatic overdrive was offered at additional cost. This overdrive used to cut in at speeds above 43 km/h (27 mph) and cut out at speeds of 34 km/h (21 mph).
The car was built as a body on ladder frame. The front suspension was independent comprising swinging link with hydra coil springs and hydraulic double acting tubular shock absorbers. The rear suspension was longitudinal with semi-elliptic leaf springs supporting the semi-floating type rear axle. Stopping power was provided by drum brakes on all four wheels.