We were late to the The Cars You Always Promised Yourself party, reviewing it earlier in 2020, and pronouncing, ‘there is lots of inside information… definitely enough to make this a book worth buying for those interested in more than just the halo models.’
Steve Saxty’s follow-up – is more of the same, only better… here’s what we think about his inside story of the development of some of the most interesting secret Fords.
Secret Fords, by Steve Saxty
As readers of AROnline, you’re already highly engaged in the inside world of vehicle development, and how cars evolve from the Designer’s sketchpad to the production line. You might think that you know the Ford story well, but this new book by Steve Saxty shows great insight into this subject – and you can thank his position as an insider for his ability to deliver a compelling collection of design sketches, clay models and fascinating might-have-beens.
Did you know that the Ford Capri could have re-emerged in the early 1980s as a Sierra-inspired coupe (above) designed by Ghia? Or that there were seriously-considered proposals for a coupe version of the Ford Escort? But there are lots of alternative proposals of vehicles that made it into production – check out some of the Sierra alternatives that didn’t make it into production, for a brilliant view of Ford’s indecision over how to replace the Cortina and Taunus.
The book pulls the covers off an astounding, scarcely believable array of one-offs, prototypes and cancelled cars that were kept secret. They are revealed in previously private photographs and extraordinarily rare design sketches. Ford gave the author – a former Ford Product Designer – first-time access to its most confidential archives and more than 50 former Ford Designers and Engineers opened up their long-concealed files.
Not only do you get access to these photos, but they’re placed in context by the author’s inside access into the subject – as well as the input from the Designers and Engineers involved in these projects, such as Patrick Le Quement and Richard Parry-Jones.
This is not a cheap book, but it’s a quality item that stands up alongside the the best volumes for more revered marques such as Aston Martin and Ferrari. Running to more than 300 pages and featuring countless images on glossy paper, it’s a book that you’ll keep coming back to. My own favourite is the section about the Ford Sierra, and the development of the XR4i sporting version.
You’ll note that this is Volume One – 1970-1988 – which suggests that we’re subsequently going to get a Volume Two. If it’s as much of a doorstopper of a volume as this one, then it’s going to be a become the definitive work of all things Ford.
You can order your copy from Steve Saxty’s own website.
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