Chase Morsey, Jr.
Chase Morsey, a longtime Ford executive and original Ford Mustang Fairlane Committee member, died Feb. 25 at age 96.
Morsey was born Dec. 11, 1919 in St. Louis and joined Ford in 1947 as a trainee. As an inexperienced young buck, he convinced Henry Ford II to cancel plans to discontinue production of the V-8 engine in all Ford cars and have the six-cylinder the only available engine starting with the newly designed 1949 model year cars. The decision to keep the V-8 sold an additional 200,000 ’49 Fords. This led the way for designing the new body style ’52 Ford with an optional V-8.
Morsey was part of the Ford Competitive Analysis Dept. in the early ‘50s and his team was sent to Arizona to climb fences at the GM facility with cameras strapped to their necks to spy on the new designs of the competition. He was the head of market research for the Fairlane Committee, which is credited with creation of the Ford Mustang. It was his research that showed the demographic group called “baby boomers” was just reaching car buying age in the early 1960s. The results of that research would have a profound effect not only on Ford, but on the whole industry’s thinking during the ‘60s decade targeting baby boomer marketing. It was his successful marketing program that launched the new Ford Mustang to the public in 1964.
Later in the ‘60s, he worked for RCA as the Chief Financial officer. After leaving RCA, Morsey owned a renowned Ford dealership in Phoenixand founded Morsey Oil Co. He wrote and published the book “The Man Who Saved The V-8” in 2013. In his retirement years he lived in Bel Air, Calif.