Historic Ford estate to show off more of Edsel’s design and legacy with new exhibit

Like his father, Edsel Ford was a visionary whose design aesthetic was one of elegance, ingenuity and forward thinking.

Edsel’s legacy and his expertise in vehicle design will be on display both short term and long term with some special exhibits at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House. This weekend, the public will have a chance to see Edsel’s 1939 Lincoln Continental prototype as part of the annual Father’s Day EyesOn Design car show at the legendary estate in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Going forward, the Ford House is creating an exhibit to highlight Edsel’s work and inspiration. The exhibit, called “Driven By Design,” will highlight the ’39 Lincoln as well as the 1932 Ford Model 18 Speedster and 1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster.

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Driven By Design will be the first exhibit for the new Ford House visitors’ center which will open in spring 2020, officials said Tuesday during a special event to highlight both occasions.

“We added the 1939 Lincoln Continental prototype to our collection in 2018, and this exhibit will be the first time in history these three vehicles will be in the same room, let alone at Ford House,” said Mark Heppner, president and CEO of Ford House. “Driven By Design will celebrate Edsel Ford’s role in elevating design in automotive styling and will capture his design influence at Ford Motor Company.”

The Driven By Design exhibit will provide visitors with a deeper understanding of Edsel Ford’s passion for design. The exhibition of the 1939 Lincoln Continental prototype, the 1932 Ford Model 18 Speedster, and 1934 Ford Model 40 Special Speedster will explore the evolution of automobile design throughout the years, as well as the impact of the design partnership between Edsel and E.T. “Bob” Gregorie – Ford’s chief designer.

Visitors will have an up-close look at the Lincoln prototype and the two Speedsters, letting them see the beauty and details in the styling of these historic vehicles. A hands-on activity will let guests explore the creative process behind designing cars, including the colors, fabrics and textures.

The visitor center exhibits were designed by Luci Creative, and both buildings were designed by architectural firm SmithGroup and constructed by Frank Rewold & Son Inc.

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is located at 1100 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores.