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David Ford - Ford Australia Product Planner | SHANNONS DESIGN TO DRIVEWAY | Ep 2

By Shannons - Published on 23 October 2022

“Meet the man who helped create the legend of the Ford Falcon”

Whilst no relation - but sharing the famous surname and reading his resume, you learn David M Ford was every bit the complete Ford company man.

Although he was not actually a Designer as such, we make an exception in this episode to celebrate the ‘architect’ of so many of the classic Ford models in Australia.

David Ford was a Product Planner – a role that fused the disciplines of engineering and then marketing a car design together. He became responsible for helping to shape and style the likes of the Ford Falcon XR – the first Bathurst Winner for Ford in 1967 with Fred Gibson at the wheel. It was this model that effectively created the Ford Falcon DNA – a formula of big, robust and athletic styling that would continue through the XR – XW model updates. David’s contribution helped influence the next model generations through the XA - XC years with sedans, sports coupes and luxury variants, before adapting the same principles with the XD Falcon.

David Ford is also responsible for his pragmatic, but effective formula for launching Ford’s luxury Fairlane model in Australia. He literally pieced together the pages of existing brochures to create a luxury long wheel-base variant for Australia and forced Holden to play catch up. Simple but effective, David knew how to build a car that looked good, but which the public would also like. 

Such was his confidence of the cars Australians wanted to drive, it was David Ford who stood up to Ford local boss, Bill Bourke to tell him that his idea for a luxury coupe was wrong as there was little demand for such a car. Fortunately for lovers of the Ford Landau, Bourke pushed on regardless and we now have some very collectible Landau luxury coupes.

“Shannons are proud to commission this landmark series to celebrate the rich design heritage of the cars we all know and love. While Shannons plays a key role as Australia’s leading insurer for motoring enthusiasts, we also believe it is very important to preserve our automotive history for future generations” said Mark Behr, Executive Manager, Marketing for Shannons.