Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. Larry Wood of Mattel sent me a treasure trove of slides from the late ’40s in an ancient brown metal box with a built-in slide viewer. The slides were for the most part in excellent condition with good color; some were incased in glass protectors. Many Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury design proposals are unsigned, but probably most of them were by designer Joe Oros. A few are signed Engel. So set your way-back machine to around 1947 and buckle up.

Larry Wood went to ACS with Tina Oros, and would like to contact her in order to get the box of slides to whomever should have them. Please contact Deans Garage if you have information regarding Tina Oros.

Joe Oros in mentioned in two previous Dean’s Garage posts: George Krispinsky—Ford, AMC and Chrysler Designer, and Hatching the 1955 Thunderbird.


  1. Wonderful artwork and history!


    Very interesting work, very well thought out design themes. He really was consistent, the themes are very well executed and have a nice look of completion. Typical of the times but somehow closer to being possible. If you look at the front and side you can almost imagine what the back of the car will be like.

    I would like to know the story behind the 1950 Ford scale models.
    A lot of interesting work, a real treasure.

    Dick Ruzzin

    Dick Ruzzin

  3. Marty Martino

    Last nite,after a hard day of work on the Bortz owned ,’03 Mercury Mesanger concept, I got a beer And checked emails. Wow! This post had me on the edge of my seat for the rest of the evening as I studied each photo.
    At a time when stodgy ’46/8 Fords were new ,these wonderful Renderings were projecting Ford motor company’s lift off into the space age with some styling details used as far ahead as ten years !
    I.e. Mercurys famouse “cruiser skirts” etc.
    Many thanks to Mr Oros and Dean’s garage for the fabulous entertainment !
    Marty Martino

  4. john manoogian

    Thanks for these wonderful photos. What a great body of work. It was also my understanding that Mr. Oros was a principal in the design of the original Mustang.

  5. steve sicklick

    thank you to Larry Wood and Dean’s garage for sharing these images. Just great!

  6. Mark W Gregory

    Thank you so much for this wonderful trip through design history. Joe Oros was obviously a very talented designer. I always look forward to visiting your site to be taken back in time when there was truly original unique design in automobiles.

  7. Jason Houston

    Fascinating. I’ve been following Ford car styling since before 1953, so I’m quite familiar with most. But some of these exercises really reveal what the intended target was and when it would land. THANKS a million for posting these!

  8. Ken Pickering

    I noticed many grille “spinners” in these renderings. Of course, this was a paramount design feature on the front of the ’49 Ford. There was a story going around GM Styling in the early 50’s that Ford had pirated away some modelers away from the Pontiac Studio. Rumor was they called back to the studio and said not to do the spinner on the Pontiac front design as we have “stolen” that and are now going to use it on the ’49 Ford.

    Ken Pickering

  9. e55

    Amazing designs. These pics are a window into our civilization’s past. Thank you for posting. I might add that, for entirely different reasons, I find the last picture to be very interesting; its composition is quite intriguing…

  10. John Sanderson

    There is some definite 61-63 T Bird rear end inspiration going on there!

    Great stuff, nice presentation, almost like a portfolio. Never saw any kind of presentation set up like that before…

  11. DAL

    What an absolute TREASURE!

  12. edmond

    Thank you for sharing these pictures. The Oros44 picture look to show a styling proposal for the fwd light car called “Scout” or “Pacer” which ford envisionned to launch on the postwar market . I had already seen these light car claymockup’s picture.

  13. jerry senior

    boy this brings back memories, my mom was joe oros secretary for many years until his retirement. joe was instrumental in getting me hired at 18 years of age at ford styling. they paid for my college education. I was a designer for 38 years. it was like getting paid for having fun………

  14. Phillip E. Payne

    I first met Joe Oros just prior to graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Art (which was also his alma mater). He offered me a job with Ford and got me started in automotive styling that kept me employed full time for the next 40 years.

    Joe was patient and gracious with me as a youngster getting started. I enjoyed him immensely and admired his talent as a designer and administrator. Over the years, even after being hired away from Ford, my appreciation for him has grown. He was always fair and had high moral standards that he measured himself by every day.

    He had his quirks, such as his arms swing seemed never in sync with his legs, or when he really disliked a design he’d sometimes say, “The Hell on it,” but over all he was a remarkable likeable gentle talented man.

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