The Ford Custom From Destination Moon
Produced from 1949 to 1951, the Ford Custom was part of the new, post-war generation of cars. While it was produced by Ford America, the vehicle was also produced in Canada and Australia, and sold overseas in a variety of locations. In Destination Moon, the Ford Custom is the car that Tintin, Captain Haddock, and Frank Wolff drive in to the launch site where they will depart to the moon. While there is no doubt that they drive in a Ford Custom, it is difficult to determine whether it’s a regular Ford Custom, or the Ford Custom Deluxe, as the differences between the two are very slight, with the most obvious difference – the chrome detailing in the deluxe – being almost impossible to see in the comics.
Destination Moon was among the three two-volume story arcs that Hergé wrote, with the other two being The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure, and The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoner's of the Sun. Of the many Tintin stories that Hergé wrote, it is easy to see the sheer amount of research that was poured into this story. He consulted with his friend, Bernard Heuvelmans, in order to accurately depict rockets and atomic research facilities; researched articles and books about space travel to the moon, and spoke with experts on the topic in order to learn more, all to make the story as accurate as possible.
Destination Moon has long been regarded as one of the best Tintin stories, and while the Ford Custom has barely any metaphorical screen time in the comic, (only appearing for seven panels!) the detail that Hergé displayed in its appearance only illustrates just the kind of creator that he was. He was someone that focused on the little things, no matter how insignificant, and that attention to detail is why Tintin became the successful comic book series that stands the test of time, even today.