The German designer, famous for the Colt (Capri) Erika (1980 Escort) and Toni (Sierra) is no longer with us. Though Uwe classically trained at Hamburg’s Academy of Fine Arts, his association with the Ford Motor Company bore his most famous designs. In addition to the Capri, Escort and Sierra, Uwe also created the European market Taunus and the 1985 Scorpio. Despite previewing the Sierra with the Probe III, the famous ‘Jellymould’ still polarised the public with its futuristic shape.
However, he didn’t just create cars; he also created their designers – through nurturing the talent of Patrick Le Quement, among others. Assisting the light commercial department, he oversaw the design of the Ford Cargo truck and 1985 Transit. In total his career at the Blue Oval spanned 28 years culminating as Vice President of Design, leaving a recognisable aerodynamically-styled family of vehicles in production behind him.
After Ford, Uwe became first a Director at Switzerland’s prestigious Art Centre College of Design, leaving 10 years later to become a board member and President at the ICSID (International Council of Societies of Design). A fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts also beckoned. By creating a range of vehicles produced, sold and still adored across the globe, Uwe was definitely ‘one of us’.
Survived by his wife Maureen, Hamburg-born Uwe Bahnsen passed away on 30 July in France, aged 83 years.