Join us for a film presentation on the bigger, roomier Ford DeLuxe line for 1938, which includes a tour of Greenfield Village, Henry Ford’s historical theme park. Great Ford lore, check it out.
Although the original audio track has apparently been lost, we are grateful to the Internet Archive for preserving and sharing this awesome Ford promotional film introducing the 1938 DeLuxe line. It’s a lovely little production that includes scenes from Greenfield Village, Henry Ford’s beloved historical theme park in Dearborn. The white frame building decorated with Greek columns at the start of our reel is the Eagle Tavern, an 1831 stagecoach inn originally constructed in Clinton, Michigan.
Ford’s DeLuxe line received roomier and more modern bodywork for 1938, as the existing slantback and trunkback styles were replaced by a new sedan body with a fully integrated trunk compartment. This basic sedan package would then be carried on through the 1940 model year. However, the old slantback and trunkback styles would be continued on the Ford Standard line for one more season. The classic, marine-inspired nose of the ’38 is instantly recognizable as the work of chief Ford stylist Bob Gregorie, working in collaboration with his constant design partner, Edsel Ford.
The emphasis on comfort and luxury in the ’38 Ford DeLuxe line—and in our film—is a reflection on the improving state of the American economy as the nation slowly lifted itself out of the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the nasty recession of 1937-1938 put a serious dent in auto sales across the industry, and Ford sales fell nearly 50 percent. That didn’t prevent the company from offering a handsome and comfortable product, as we see here. Enjoy the film.