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One American Road
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With nearly 325,000 employees and 110 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotiv... more.
Supervisor of the Wartime Tank Program
HISTORY | Mustang before Mustangs. « AUTODESIGN
This takes us back to the early 60s, with Lee Iaccoca as president, Gene Bordinat in charge of design, and the first "personal car" on the market, and the best-selling design ever.
The Design Center's staff had undergone several changes, and by then was headed by Don DeLaRossa and Joe Oros, and supervised by Ford chief stylist and Vice-President Eugene Bordinat. Bordinat liked the designs but Lee Iacocca thought that it was out of place in Ford's marketing scheme because he believed there was no market for a two-seater.
After Walker's departure, and with the rise of Eugene Bordinat who became Ford Vice-President of Styling in 1961, executives and stylists became more aggressive while developing vehicles that were also more practical to manufacture and use, and started to exhibit a more "sporty" personality in their designs to attract a younger, more freely-spending buying public.
Bordinat retained the youthful team that Walker had previously assembled: Elwood Engel, William Boyer, Damon Woods, Joe Oros, John Najjar and David Ash To help the effort and provide a fresh venue for new ideas, Bordinat established the Ford Design Center, into which he moved the designers from the decrepit Triple E building. With these changes, he hoped, better and more aggressive designs could be created that would lead to the development of production vehicles. Better exposure to competitive events and access to expanding markets moved Iacocca to direct Bordinat and his Design Center to start working on a series of styling exercises that would mix a graceful design with established Ford Motor Company mechanical details in a two-place vehicle echoing the original concept of the Thunderbird. The availability of the new compact unibody platforms used in the first-generation Ford Falcon and Mercury Comet (and later the Fairlane and Mustang) provided not only a good foundation for the new set of concept cars that Bordinat envisioned, but also offered a relatively inexpensive way to move the new vehicles into production if the studies were successful. By mid-1962, the Design Center's staff had undergone several changes, and by then was headed by Don DeLaRossa and Joe Oros, and supervised by Ford chief stylist and Vice-President Eugene Bordinat. Bordinat liked the designs but Lee Iacocca thought that it was out of place in Ford's marketing scheme because he believed there was no market for a two-seater. As a side note to the successful X-Car program, and in the context of the enthusiasm then present throughout the Ford Styling Department, Gene Bordinat directed the styling studio to create a second version of the Cougar II for him. Bordinat wanted a dream car of his own, much as Bill Mitchell was then enjoying at General Motors and what Harley Earl had done earlier. Always interested in innovation and good styling, Bordinat's customized X Car was a stunning statement of the kind of nimble, droptop Ford sports car that could be created. Called alternatively the XD Cobra or, more authentically, the Bordinat Cobra, this iridescent honey gold iteration of the Cougar II was a beautiful roadster with a body fashioned from Royalex - a miracle "memory" material that recovered from minor dents. The Bordinat Cobra was based upon the styling of the Cobra II and was also built on a Cobra frame. This was Eugene Bordinat's personal car for a few years, and influenced the design of the Lincoln-Mercury Division's response to the X-Cars. The Bordinat Cobra was also built on a 427 Cobra (coil spring) chassis, #CSX3001, and, like the coupe, required the Ford small block motor to be set back in the frame to clear the low hood line. Although it was in many ways a "dream car," the Bordinat/XD Cobra was never a part Ford's second generation X Car program. Apocryphal evidence and urban legends suggest that Bordinat used the car regularly at least for a year or so.
All Volvo Cars
As the story goes, Kelly attempted to capitalize on work done back in the mid-1960s by Eugene Bordinat, a VP of design at Ford, who rendered a replacement for the Shelby Cobra when AC Cars could no longer provide aluminum bodies.
With the Mustang having already set sales records following its launch in 1964, Ford design chief Gene Bordinat and the Special Vehicles Group decided to try rearranging the pieces for this 1967 Mach 2 concept.