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Ford Forty-Nine concept was retrofuturism at its finest

The '49 Ford saved the Blue Oval from financial ruin, and this early-2000s revival could've spiced up showroom and its balance sheet, too.

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Chris Paukert

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2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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This stunning Ford Forty-Nine concept debuted at the 2001 Detroit Auto Show.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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This streamlined homage to the Blue Oval's hugely successful '49 Ford came in for rave reviews, and calls to put it into production.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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Powered by a 3.9-liter, 32-valve V8 backed by a five-speed automatic transmission, the engine shared the same displacement as the 239-cubic-inch flathead in the original '49 Ford.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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Check out that roofline.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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The Forty-Nine featured a stripped-down but classy interior. If it had lived to see production, this area would've likely had to change a lot, including the fitment of headrests.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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Back in the early 2000s, there were murmurs this car could make production, possibly in four-door guise to court a larger audience.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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At the time, Ford's mainstay four-door sedan was the already ancient Crown Victoria, a model best known for serving duty as a police car and taxi.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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Surely this would've looked fantastic in your rearview mirror.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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The Forty-Nine debuted during the height of the so-called "retrofuturism" craze, which also produced production cars like the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Plymouth Prowler and Ford Thunderbird.

2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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Speaking of Thunderbirds...

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We're still a little miffed that this model never made it to dealerships. Missed opportunity, Dearborn.

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Keep clicking or scrolling for more images of the 2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept.

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2001 Ford Forty-Nine concept
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