Friday 22 January 2016
The Ford Consul is a car that was manufactured by Ford UK from 1951 to 1962. The name was later revived for a model produced by Ford in both Britain and Germany from 1972 to 1975.
Between 1951 and 1962 the Consul was the four-cylinder base model of the three-model Ford Zephyr range, comprising Consul, Zephyr and Zephyr Zodiac. In 1962 the line was restyled, and the Consul was replaced by the Zephyr 4, the mid-range Zephyr model becoming the Zephyr 6 and the top of the range Zephyr Zodiac just being called the Zodiac. At this point Consul became a range of smaller cars in its own right, initially the Consul Classic and Consul Capri, shortly joined by the even smaller Consul Cortina. The Consul Classic and Consul Capri were only made for two years, before being replaced by the Consul Corsair.
The Consul Classic, the Consul Capri (made until 1963) and the Consul Corsair (made from 1963 until 1970) were relatively short-lived, but the Ford Cortina, after losing (along with the Corsair) the "Consul" tag in 1964, went on to become a best-seller. The Consul name was again used by Ford from 1972 to 1975 on a replacement for the Zephyr range, now sharing a body with the more luxurious Ford Granada Mk I. The Capri name by now had also been reintroduced, in 1969.
In 1956 a new Consul appeared with the Ford code of 204E. The car was still the four-cylinder sub-model of the Zephyr range, with which it shared the same basic body shell. Compared with the original it had a longer wheelbase, larger 1703 cc, 59 bhp (44 kW) engine and a complete restyle, borrowing cues from the 1956 models of America's Thunderbird and Fairlane. One thing not updated was the windscreen wipers, which were still vacuum-operated. The roof profile was lowered in 1959 on the Mk2 version, which also had redesigned rear lights and much of the external bright work in stainless steel. Front disc brakes with vacuum servo appeared as an option in 1960 and were made standard in 1961 (4-wheel drum brakes only, in Australia). The name became the Consul 375 in mid-1961.
The convertible version made by Carbodies continued. A De Luxe version with contrasting roof colour and higher equipment specification was added in 1957. The Australian market had factory-built versions of the coupé utility (pick up) and estate car (station wagon), as well as a locally engineered version of the saloon. They were also imported by Ford of Canada as a companion to the Falcon.
A Consul MkII tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1956 had a top speed of 79.3 mph (127.6 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 23.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 22.1 miles per imperial gallon (12.8 L/100 km; 18.4 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £781 including taxes. It was a 1960 Ford Consul MkII that was the taxi that American singer Eddie Cochran died in, and not, as many have stated, a London Hackney Cab.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1340 cc
- horsepower: 54 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 126 km/h