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Eugene T. Gregorie

(1908—2002)


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(1908–2002)

Gregorie was a highly significant designer at the Ford Motor Company in the period immediately following the end of production of the celebrated, functional rather than aesthetic, Model T automobile and was particularly noted for his work on Lincoln automobiles. After leaving school he took up an apprenticeship with a marine design company and forged an early career in yacht design. After the Wall Street Crash, with a consequently lean time in the yacht design business, he became increasingly involved in car body design, including work for General Motors. He was first employed as a draughtsman at Ford in 1931 and was involved with the design of Lincoln automobiles at the luxury end of the Ford range. From 1935 to 1938 Gregorie had a key role in Ford's Styling Department (established in 1931) where he first made an impact through his introduction of number of changes to the Lincoln Zephyr, moving the engine from the rear to the front to produce a clean, streamlined design. The highly coordinated overall design, including detailing such as the integration of the headlights into the bodywork, reflected Gregorie's complete involvement in the design process from conception through to production as well as his background in yacht design. He went on to work on the Mark I Lincoln Continental that was launched in 1939 and remained in production until 1948, apart from a brief hiatus in the Second World. The Continental was selected by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, for its 1951 Eight Automobiles exhibition, thereby confirming its standing as a significant and critically successful piece of design. Gregorie had developed a productive working relationship with Edsel Ford, the company's president from 1918, and left Ford following the latter's death 1943. He returned to the company for a further two rather difficult years before moving to Florida in 1946 where, once again, he took up yacht design.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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