Concept Car of the Week: Mercury D-528 (1955)


The Mercury D-528 was the product of Ford’s Special Projects studio and foreshadowed the sedans of the 1960s. Car Design News looks at the backstory 

The 1949 Ford sedan was a new direction for the Blue Oval, a streamlined, slab-sided or ‘ponton’ car that tucked its wheels under the body. Nicknamed the ‘shoebox’, it was a huge departure from the inverted-bathtub shape that had dominated car design for more than a decade. Though a bit plain in its basic form, it was nevertheless a clean design, with judiciously placed brightwork, a large glasshouse, and tiny little tailfins sprouting from the rear.

Many design ideas displayed in the Shoebox Ford had been circulating around Detroit for some time, and had been incubating in secret design studios throughout the Second World War (The War Department forbade any design, engineering, or manufacturing of civilian cars during the conflict). It was well known that the future would be sleek and fender-less with generous canopy-like glasshouses and aeronautical styling cues. Smaller marques such as Kaiser-Frazer, Studebaker, and Crosley began producing cars right after the war that had these characteristics.

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