September 24, 2023


Only Automotive

The Ford Mexico – Dean’s Storage

5 min read

The Ford Mexico

By Jim and Cheryl Farrell

Most of us have seen the film “Ford Versus Ferrari.” That film might not be correct in all respects, nevertheless it does present Henry Ford II’s willingness to spend Ford cash to construct vehicles that gained races just like the 24 Hours of LeMans. Fords gained that race from 1966–69, however LeMans was not the primary nor will or not it’s the final time Ford went racing. In 1935, Ford-built race vehicles had been pushed in that yr’s Indianapolis 500—with not superb outcomes. Though Ford’s participation within the Mexican Street Races 17 years later was initiated by Benson Ford, HFII was effectively happy when Lincoln gained its class in that race in 1952, ’53 and ‘54.

Within the Nineteen Fifties, due to publicity about Corvette’s success throughout the Daytona Seaside Pace Week, HFII determined to ship a effectively ready 2-passenger Thunderbird to Daytona Seaside to compete. Throughout a pace run, the Thunderbird hit a bump, took to the air at a reported 135 mph, went the wrong way up, after which slid down the seashore for about 1,500 ft. A lot to HFII’s embarrassment, the wreck was all captured on digicam.

As a result of no one may inform HFII what went mistaken or learn how to repair the issue with the brand new Thunderbird, he contacted Ford engineers and requested them. His engineers had no reply both, however they referred him to Ford’s resident aerodynamics professional, Alex Tremulis, on the Ford Styling Middle.

Tremulis, who was head of the Superior studio on the time, advised Mr. Ford that the issue was apparent—the Thunderbird developed an excessive amount of elevate over the rear finish, and when it hit a bump it went airborne. HFII requested Tremulis learn how to repair the issue. Tremulis advised him it couldn’t be fastened, and the following time the Thunderbird was going that quick it was probably the identical factor would occur if the automotive hit a bump. Tremulis then advised Mr. Ford he wanted a zero-lift automotive to repair the issue. Mr. Ford didn’t actually know what Tremulis was speaking about, however when Tremulis advised him he may design such a automotive, HFII advised him to please accomplish that.

Administration on the Ford Styling Middle was skeptical, and Tremulis was given just one week to design his aerodynamic, zero-lift automotive. So inside the subsequent week, Tremulis, with help from designer Romeyn Hammond and clay modeler Larry Wilson, transformed another person’s already completed 3/8-sized mannequin right into a race automotive Tremulis named the Mexico after the Mexican Street Races.

After the Mexico was completed, Tremulis and Hammond put in a full stomach pan. Most designer and engineers snickered, however Tremulis took the completed 3/8 mannequin with stomach pan to the College of Maryland’s wind tunnel the place, to everybody shock, it was decided to have a drag coefficient of .22 with the stomach pan and double that with out. When Tremulis returned to Dearborn, he advised Mr Ford the consequence, and that he calculated the Mexico must be going 400 mph earlier than it developed elevate issues. Consequently, HFII requested Tremulis to design a full-sized operable Mexico. The operable Mexico Tremulis designed had a tubular body and weighed solely 2,500 lbs, together with a 400-hp Mercury Marauder engine. Tremulis advised HFII the Mexico, as he had designed it with the Marauder engine, had a calculated high pace of 240 mph—quick sufficient to beat the world’s quickest sports activities vehicles.

Within the 1954 Mexican Street Race, Lincoln gained its class for the third yr in a row, and plans had been quickly underway getting ready for the 1955 race. The larger ‘56 Lincoln was speculated to be launched for the 1955 mannequin yr, however due to the necessity for up to date engineering, together with a much bigger engine and brakes, it needed to be delayed for one yr. Consequently, eight inches had been added to the size of the ‘54 Lincoln physique type, principally within the rear finish. With different modifications, that automotive turn into the ‘55 Lincoln. The additional size could have helped it present continuity with the following (1956) Lincoln, however the additional size, totally on the rear of the ‘55 Lincoln, created an excessive amount of elevate, which successfully disqualified it from consideration for future Mexican highway races. That left Ford Motor Co. with two decisions in the event that they wished to take part within the 1955 Mexican Street Race: 1) use Mercurys as an alternative of Lincolns; and/or 2) enter a number of special-build Ford Mexicos in a unique class and attempt to blow the doorways off of each different automotive within the race!

The choice whether or not to arrange and enter Mercurys and/or to construct and enter the Mexico within the 1955 race didn’t have to be made as a result of future Mexican highway races had been cancelled after the 1954 race. (To many bystanders had been being killed or injured).

Many designers and engineers at Ford in that period believed that had there been a Mexican Street Race in 1955, Ford may have constructed Tremulis’ Mexico in time and it will have gained that race. Along with competing within the Mexican Street Races, Ford designers and engineers dreamed of different races (just like the 24 Hours of Le Mans); a 2,500 lb., 400-hp Ford Mexico may have been entered.

After it was determined to not construct the Mexico as an actual race automotive, Tremulis made a 3/8-sized driver to sit down within the Mexico’s drivers seat. The little man appeared similar to Tremulis with a racing helmet. Tremulis and Hammond additionally put in a platform below the Mexico with servos, battery and a radio-controlled electrical motor. Tremulis typically drove the Mexico inside and out of doors the Styling Middle, generally simply to see how far-off it could possibly be managed. Each earlier than and after Tremulis involuntarily left Ford in 1963, the Mexico normally sat on a raised bench close to the door to the Superior studio. Then sooner or later, it was gone. A pal later advised Tremulis that after he left, about 20 of his fashions had been gathered up and moved to the Rouge, the place they had been put below a tarp—and years later had been destroyed.

Pictures: Ford Design 


Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.