Designing and engineering vehicles for Ford in the States, Mr. Brown had been transferred to Ford’s British arm from Dearborn shortly after designing the Edsel. Yes, Roy Brown Jr. designed the Mk 1 Cortina – then moved back to the States where he eventually spent just shy of 40 years in retirement. There is a ton more to this story – from the life and times of an automotive designer in 1950s America to the drama around the fall of the Edsel to the artistic resurgence in England and the success there. What a phenomenal career. From a design perspective the Edsel was a triumph – from a marketing perspective the Cortina was as well.

1958 Edsel Pacer 2-Door hardtop © Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden. Licensed under Creative Commons Licence 3.0.

There certainly is a radical difference in design language used between the Edsel and the Cortina – but if you look at the other cars Mr. Brown designed it is clear he was versatile with form and function. It seems he drove an Edsel late in life; I wonder if he had a Cortina.