Uwe Bahnsen, former Ford of Europe styling chief, dies at 83

Article by Anita Panait, on August 12, 2013

Ford of Europe’s former styling boss who helped shape the carmaker’s aerodynamic design movement in the early 1980s has died. Hamburg native, Uwe Bahnsen, died on July 30, 2013, at the age of 83. Bahnsen was responsible for overseeing the design of the 1982 Ford Sierra and the 1985 Scorpio. Both vehicles were marketed in the United States under the short-lived Merkur brand.

The vehicles’ "aero" look was reflected in the first-generation Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. The 1982 Ford Sierra and the 1985 Scorpio were considered controversial at the time, but were eventually regarded as milestones. Bahnsen was also credited with helping Ford create several key models during his 28 years at the Detroit-based carmaker.

Bahnsen started his career by helping chief designer Wes Dahlberg with the 1960 Taunus P3, which was famous in Germany as the "Bathtub." He was also responsible for leading the styling work on the 1973 Capri II and the 1975 Escort II, both designed for Europe. Bahnsen retired from Ford in 1986. He then joined the Art Center of Design's European branch in Vevey, Switzerland. He was its director until 1995.

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