William Clay Ford, Sr. passed away earlier this month, now Ford has announced that the name and design legacy of Henry Ford's grandson will live on in the form of scholarships for the next generation of minds conceiving the future of transport. For the next 20 years, the $1 Million William Clay Ford Automotive Design Scholarship will award $10,000 each year to five college sophomores and juniors working toward degrees in automotive design.

During Ford's 57 years with the company, he oversaw the design of the Lincoln Continental Mark II and was the first chairman of the company's design committee, a position he held for 32 years until his retirement.

We'll get more details on the scholarship "in the coming months." In the meantime, the press release below has more information.
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Ford Fund Announces $1 Million William Clay Ford Automotive Design Scholarship

• Scholarship commemorates the design legacy of William Clay Ford, former chairman of Ford Motor Company's design committee
• Ford Fund commits $50,000 per year during the next 20 years, giving five automotive design students each $10,000 per year
• Mr. Ford oversaw design of the iconic Lincoln Continental Mark II, considered by many one of the greatest cars ever built


DEARBORN, Mich., April 14, 2014 – Ford Motor Company Fund will award $1 million in automotive design scholarships during the next 20 years to commemorate the late William Clay Ford's contributions to the design legacy of Ford Motor Company.

Throughout his 57 years as an employee and board member, Mr. Ford was instrumental in setting the company's design direction, overseeing development of a number of classic vehicles, including the iconic Lincoln Continental Mark II. He served as chairman of the design committee at Ford for 32 years.

"Design was Mr. Ford's passion, and his creative vision transformed vehicle design at Ford," said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "We are honoring William Clay Ford's legacy by encouraging and supporting the next generation of innovative automotive designers through this scholarship."

The grant will be paid at the rate of $50,000 per year during the next 20 years, awarding five $10,000 scholarships annually to outstanding college sophomores or juniors pursuing a degree in automotive design. Details of the program will be announced in the coming months.

William Clay Ford's role in design
On July 17, 1952, Mr. Ford was appointed manager of special product operations in charge of a group of engineers and designers engaged in advanced planning of the Lincoln Continental Mark II. The Continental Mark II was the successor to the classic Lincoln Continental developed under the direction of Mr. Ford's father, Edsel Ford, and introduced in 1939. The Continental Mark II is considered to be among the greatest cars ever built.

Mr. Ford told the Henry Ford Museum he wanted to closely follow the designs of the original Lincoln Continental. That included matching the ratio of window glass to sheet metal, re-creating the intimate feel of the interior controls, as well as mounting the spare tire in an impression in the sheet metal of the trunk, recalling the original Continental's outside-mounted spare.

"I wanted the spare tire in the back. That was the trademark of a Continental," Mr. Ford said. "We took most of the basic proportions of that car and tried to keep those same proportions in the Mark II, and I think we did pretty well at it."

When the design committee of the company's policy and strategy committee was formed in 1957, Mr. Ford became its first chairman, a post he held until he retired from Ford Motor Company in 1989. Mr. Ford was appointed vice president, product design, in 1973.

In addition, he received an honorary doctor of science degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., in 1981.

More information on Mr. Ford and his legacy can be found here.

Ford Fund support of art and design
Ford Motor Company Fund is an established supporter of the arts, as well as design and arts education. Longtime partnerships include the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibits (Washington, D.C.), Detroit Institute of Arts, College for Creative Studies (Detroit) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena). At the high school level, Ford Fund is a founding sponsor of Henry Ford Academy (Dearborn), Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School for Art and Design (San Antonio) and Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (Detroit).

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About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60 years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, 25,000 Ford employees and dealers work on projects each year that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      Susan
      • 9 Months Ago
      What an amazing hood on that car, almost as if they left space for a V12 or even V16?
      tbird57w
      • 9 Months Ago
      sigh! 1956-1957 what great years for FORD! the 1957 FORD outsold the 1957 chevrolet the Lincoln Continental Mark II cost $10,000 with air conditioning, and was handcrafted like no other Ford product since..elvis, sinatra, and Ike were among the select few who could afford to buy one. the 1957 Thunderbird became the undisputable best designed Tbird of them all and one of the fastest in 1957 Mercury Turpike Cruiser was the most futuristic looking car of them all the ford hardtop convertible sunliner had no equal-a tour d'force of engineering at the time lincoln hung in there against cadillac and imperial. good luck ford-maybe you can recapture those golden moments of 1956-57 when nobody was doing it better. they have their work cut out for them.
      Shawn
      • 9 Months Ago
      Ford should take that money and send all of the Lincoln's "automotive designers" back to school.
      Ace Convoy
      • 9 Months Ago
      What about those of us studying general industrial design cause they don't wanna be a one hit wonder, but gunning for a job in vehicle design ?
      GFB
      • 9 Months Ago
      Ford needs engineers, not designers. Actually, Ford needs new management as current management is ignoring investment in the future. There are NO new Ford chassis platforms on the horizon while every other car company, it seems, have introduced new, lightweight modular architecture. If I'm not mistaken, when the next-gen Taurus debuts on a modified version of the old Mondeo platform, all Ford cars, except the Mustang, will be based on platforms engineered originally by Ford of Europe over a decade ago.