Wednesday, 10 September 2008

And now for something completely different

Top to bottom
Zodiac, Zephyr, Consul, Anglia, Prefect, Popular

I’ll leave the “McSame/Pistol Packin’ Momma” ticket alone for now, lest anyone should suspect that I detest their politics!

There were very few car owners in the working class area of Bristol where I grew up.

My parents never owned a car, and I was the first of my siblings to own a car (which I bought when I was 23 years old).

For reasons I do not understand or explain, as a non car owning boy and early teenager, I thought that Ford (of Britain) cars were the very finest.

In 1960 (when I was sixteen years old) Ford produced cars under six model names.

They were the “Popular”, “Prefect” and “Anglia” (names which Ford had used since before World War II), and then the “Consul”, “Zephyr” and “Zodiac”. My dream car was the Ford “Consul”.

The very first car I owned was a Ford “Estate Car” (which is what we British called what the Americans know as a “Station Wagon”). I am not certain, but I seem to remember that it was a Ford “Escort” (based on the Anglia).

Ford of Britain was very reluctant to innovate (shades of Henry Ford!), and all Fords of that time (1960) had three speed gear boxes, and pneumatically operated windscreen wipers. Ford relied on the trusted and true, banking on the loyalty of its customer base.

The Company was slow to accept that the times were changing; that car ownership in Britain would become widespread; and that customers would expect and demand cars that were more exciting, and well engineered.

These days Ford of Europe is one of the leaders in small to medium sized cars in the United Kingdom. Their line is technically sophisticated and mostly fuel efficient. The same is true of “Vauxhall”, a subsidiary of General Motors

Some of us wonder why Ford and GM cannot manufacture and sell their European lines in these United States.

I’ll most likely never buy another Ford, but those were my dream cars of 1960

1 comment:

  1. It was a white Ford Anglia 105E Estate( the predessor to the Escort) with a 997cc 4 cylinder over head valve engine,4 on the floor, all round drum brakes with no power steering or servo on the brakes.All models were 2 door only. I know b/c the saloon version was also my 1st car. The Escort was launched in about 1965/66