I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to pester Ford’s archive department for interesting bits of weirdness that may be lurking in their voluminous stacks of records. One of the things I asked the dedicated archivists to look out for would be any rear-engined Ford experiments, and they came up with something really interesting and strange for me to share with all of you, fellow lovers of strange things. Even better, this one has some pretty unexpected Volkswagen Beetle overtones, too, but with a much, much weirder layout.
Of the big three American automakers, Ford may have shown the least interest in rear-engine designs. GM had their Corvairs, Chrysler had all those Simcas they made overseas, but Ford didn’t really mess with back porch engines, even in their European divisions.
But that doesn’t mean they didn’t do some interesting experiments! In the 1930s, streamlined, rear-engine designs were something like electric cars are today—the general consensus was that rear-engined streamliners represented the future, somehow, and lots of people and companies were developing them, or at least experimenting, Ford included.