"The Human Bridge' depicts the development of the revolutionary '49 Ford

(July 12, 2016) The 1949 Ford is considered the first "modern car" from Ford. Its development started in 1946 according to a 1949 promotional film from Ford, "The Human Bridge," depicting the building of the car from start to finish.

With the exception of the drivetrain, the car was revolutionary from its design to its suspension, the first all-new automobile design introduced by the Big Three after World War II. This was an all-new car in every way, with a modern ladder frame nsupporting a coil spring suspension in front and longitudinal semi-elliptical springs in back. The engine was moved forward to make more room in the passenger compartment and the antiquated "torque tube" was replaced by a modern drive shaft.

While the film depicts a smooth road from the car's inception to its completion, history has revealed a tumultuous time at Ford with a power struggle between the aging Henry Ford and his son, Edsel.

The bottom line is that the all-new 1949 Ford was a big hit for the struggling auto company at a time when it needed a big hit. It can perhaps be considered the most important car the company has ever built.

The 12-and-a-half minute promotional film is not only interesting because it shows the development of the car, but also how cars were designed and built before the computer age. It's worth 12 minutes of your time. Sit back and enjoy.

Sources: Wikipedia, How Stuff Works