Colin Neale

Colin Neale
Dear Classic Lover

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Brit Colin Neale was once head of the Ford Motor Company's design department and died in 2016 at the age of 89. Neale has never received much glamor during his life. Despite the fact that he has designed many more car models than Bertone, Zagato and Pinifarina, for example, to name a few and who were already world famous by life. There are actually so many that it will not be possible to mention them all. 

Colin Neale was born into an artistic family, a family involved in designing things. For example, his father drew various parts for bombers, while his older brother Eric also designed cars in Great Britain. Colin Neale worked for Briggs Motor Bodies, which was taken over by Ford in the 1950s - complete with (almost) all employees. He was immediately appointed head of the design department.

Ford Consul Classic

His first job was the Ford Consul Classic, as well as the Zephyr and Zodiac MkII. His great boss Henry Ford II was so impressed by the Consul Capri that he gave his daughter, who is studying in Paris, one of the prototypes. The Ford Anglia was also designed by him. In 1961 he left Ford to work at Chrysler. Not after he signed the rear of the Lincoln Continental for that year for Ford.

Beautiful and functional designs

His designs were attractive and functional. He did not like 'fins' that were very popular in those years ... Without knowing it, he was one of the founders of the Ford Mustang ... At Chrysler he designed for all models - including Plymouth, Dodge, SeSoto etc. the interior. He was far ahead of his time, as he fitted the Chrysler 300X - a 'concept car' in 1966 -, self-rolling safety belts, a steering column and wheel that 'folded' in a collision, television (!) the passengers in the back, but also a plastic card with which the engine could be started remotely! That car was presented at all kinds of shows for three years and then, unfortunately, disposed of as Old Iron.

Long career

In 1977 he said goodbye to Chrysler but continued to live in the United States where he became an independent designer until his 80e remained active. Although as 84 year old Tesla he still tried to sell some of his patents ...

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