The Ford Times was a publication produced between 1943 and 1993 by the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan. An entertaining potpourri of travel articles, automotive tips, and gadget news (plus recipes from America’s great inns on the road), the Ford Times was also noteworthy for its illustrations. Artwork commissioned by art director Arthur Lougee appeared alongside the 5 or 6 feature articles contained in every issue.
A lead story about Montauk, N.Y., in the July issue of 1958, was enhanced by illustrations painted by Frank Zimmer, who also wrote the copy. Zimmer’s watercolors are sassy and dynamic, capturing with great verve the very essence of wind and water that are synonymous with The End. The familiar Montauk hotspots are depicted by Zimmer’s brush: the Lighthouse, the Tower building perched against hills with Second House Road in the distance. The artist’s use of color is inspired; the Montauk Manor in autumn is particularly beautiful with its hues of tan, pink, and gold.
Zimmer was in town during 1958, when the Tower, “a lonely skyscraper,” was vacant. He considered the Manor and other Carl Fisher buildings “relics from the past.” However, he could see that Montauk was experiencing a renaissance. Even though Montauk didn’t develop into Carl Fisher’s vision as a resort for the well-heeled traveler, the place was developing on a scale that would make it accessible to “a lot of average people” he wrote on page 25.
Zimmer recognized “a new spirit in Montauk. There are modest houses going up on hills near the fishing and the breeze. Surf clubs, motels, restaurants, and shops have sprung up to take care of the summer crowds, especially the weekend tide of fishermen. The new Montauk is a long way from the fancy Fisher plan but it has become a fishing capital just as Fisher hoped it would.”