Ford Zephyr


Ford Zephyr

Infobox Automobile
name = Ford Zephyr


manufacturer = Ford of Britain
production = 1950–1972
successor = Ford Consul
Ford Granada
predecessor = Ford Pilot
class = Full-size
4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
designer =
:"For other Ford related cars called Zephyr, see Mercury Zephyr, Lincoln-Zephyr, and Lincoln Zephyr"

The Ford Zephyr is a car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in the United Kingdom. Between 1950 and 1962, it was sold as a more powerful saloon to complement the four cylinder Ford Consul. The Zephyr and its luxury variant, the Zephyr Zodiac which appeared in 1955, were the largest passenger cars in the British Ford range from 1950 to 1971 before being replaced by a larger Ford Consul and Granada.

History

The Mark I Ford Consul and Zephyr models were first displayed at the Earls Court motor show in 1950. Production began with the Consul on January 1 1951. The Mark I model ran until 1956. From April 1956 the Mark II Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac went on sale and were known as the Three Graces. The Mark II range was a big seller and finished its run in 1962 when from April that year the Mark III Zephyr 4, Zephyr 6 and Zodiac went on sale; the Consul name was dropped, the car's place in the Ford UK line-up being filled by the first four cylinder Ford Zephyr. While the Mark II Zephyr and Zodiacs had shared the same body (although the Consul had a shortened front and tail), the new Zodiac and Zephyrs launched in 1962 shared few body panels. With the Mark III, Ford finally sorted out problems that had beset previous models (Mark I axles and Mark II gearboxes were particular weaknesses) and the Mark III proved to be the most popular and durable of the range (it is said that possibly no other UK-based car had undergone as much pre-production testing). The model sold at a rate equal or better than the Mark II both in the UK and overseas, but was in production for a shorter period of time. During the last months of production, an up-market Executive version was added to the Mark III range, and examples of these are today highly sought after. The Mk III range was discontinued in Jan 1966 (many believe prematurely given the cars' success) and the completely new Zephyr / Zodiac Mark IV range was released in April 1966. This car was somewhat ahead of its time with a design that resembled one of the later Consul/Granada range with V-engines and independent rear suspension, but the research and development of the model was very rushed and this unfortunately reflected in the car's durability.

Although the Ford Zephyr never saw American production, cars were imported into the US and the name itself has appeared on other American Ford-related cars: the Mercury Zephyr was an upscale version of the Ford Fairmont, and the Lincoln Zephyr began its second production run in 2006 (the first was from 1936 to 1942).

Mark I

Zephyr Six (or "Zephyr Mark I")

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zephyr Six


production = 1951-1956
148,629 saloons and 4048 convertibles made.
engine = 2262 cc straight-6 ohv
length = Auto in|172|0
width = Auto in|64|0
height = Auto in|60|0
weight = Auto lb|2464|0
wheelbase = Auto in|107|0 cite book |last=Culshaw |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=Horrobin |title=Complete Catalogue of British Cars |year=1974 |publisher=Macmillan |location=London |isbn=0-333-16689-2]
track = Auto in|50|0
related = Ford Consul I
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
2-door convertible (conversion)
;Model number EOTA

The first of the Zephyr range was a lengthened version of the Consul with a six cylinder 2262 cc engine producing convert|68|bhp|abbr=on. Suspension was by coil springs at the front and a live axle with half elliptic springs at the rear. The car could reach just over convert|80|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on and 23 mpg.

The Ford Zephyr Six was available with 4-door saloon, estate and 2-door convertible bodies. The convertible version was made by Carbodies and had a power-operated hood; the estate car was by Abbotts of Farnham and was sold as the Farnham.

The car was a success in the market place but also in competition. In 1953 a Ford Zephyr 6 driven by Maurice Gatsonides won the Monte Carlo rally, pushing a Jaguar Mark VII into second place in the process. (Gatsonides' own achievements as a rally driver have subsequently been overshadowed by the intrusive use made by state agencies of his "Gatso" speed cameras.)

A saloon tested by The Motor magazine in 1951 had a top speed of convert|79.8|mph|km/h|abbr=on and could accelerate from 0-convert|60|mph|km/h|abbr=on in 20.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of convert|23.7|mpgimp|L/100 km mpgus was recorded. The test car cost £842 including taxes but was fitted with optional leather trim, heater and radio (the basic car cost £842). cite journal | authorlink = Unsigned |title = The Ford Zephyr Six Saloon| journal =The Motor| volume = | pages = | date = October 3 1951]

Zephyr Zodiac (or "Zodiac Mark I")

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zephyr Zodiac


production = 1954-1956
22,634 made.
engine = 2262 cc straight-6
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
related =
;Model number EOTTA

The Zephyr Zodiac (or Zodiac Mark I) was an upmarket version of the Zephyr launched at the London Motor Show in autumn 1953. It had two-tone paint, leather trim, heater, windscreen washers, whitewall tyres, spot lights, etc. The engine had a higher compression ratio - 7.5:1 instead of 6.8:1 - giving an increased power output of convert|71|bhp|abbr=on. There are no official records of Zodiac convertibles being produced but there were a few estate cars. Along with the Zephyr, the Zephyr Zodiac was one of the first cars to use MacPherson strut front suspension.

A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1955 had a top speed of convert|80|mph|km/h|abbr=on and could accelerate from 0-convert|60|mph|km/h|abbr=on in 20.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of convert|22.2|mpgimp|L/100 km mpgus was recorded. The test car cost £851 including taxes. cite journal | authorlink = Unsigned |title = The Ford Zephyr Zodiac| journal =The Motor| volume = | pages = | date = June 8 1955]

Mark II

Zephyr Mark II

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zephyr Mark II


production = 1956-1962
294,506 (including the Zodiac Mark II) and 6911 Convertibles made.
engine = 2553 cc straight-6 ohv
length = Auto in|178.5|0
width = Auto in|67|0
height =
weight = Auto lb|2576|0
wheelbase = Auto in|107|0 cite book |last=Culshaw |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=Horrobin |title=Complete Catalogue of British Cars |year=1974 |publisher=Macmillan |location=London |isbn=0-333-16689-2]
track = Auto in|53|0
related = Ford Consul II
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
2-door convertible (conversion)
5-door estate (factory) (Australia)
2-door pick-up (Australia)
;Model number 206E

In 1956 the Consul, Zephyr, and Zodiac were all restyled to a new family look. The 6-cylinder cars had a their engines enlarged to 2553 cc, with power output correspondingly raised to convert|86|bhp|abbr=on . The wheelbase was increased by convert|3|in|mm to convert|107|in|mm and the width increased to convert|69|in|mm. The weight distribution and turning circle were also improved. Top speed increased to convert|88|mi/h|km/h|abbr=on and the economy was also better at convert|28|mpgimp|L/100 km mpgus|abbr=on.

The Zodiac and Zephyr were also offered in two body styles these being the "Highline" and "Lowline", depending on the year of manufacture — the difference being Auto in|1.75|0 being cut from the height of the roof panel. The two models shared various slightly differing components, but are generally interchangeable between the two. The "Highline" variant featured a hemispherical instrument cluster, whereas the "Lowline" had a more rectangular panel. A locally-engineered version of each of these models was introduced to Australia.

As well as a 3-speed manual gearbox there was an optional overdrive and from 1956 (1959 in Australia) a Borg Warner DG automatic transmission. At first drum brakes were fitted all round (with a larger lining area of 147 sq in) but front discs became optional in 1960 and standard from mid 1961 (in Australia only 4-wheel drum brakes were available; some dealers fitted servo-assistance from 1961).

A two-door convertible version was offered, and a pick-up and factory-built estate were sold on the Australian market. Owing to the structural weaknesses inherent in the construction of convertibles very few convertibles are known to survive: probably only 20-25 examples.

Zodiac Mark II

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zodiac Mark II


production = 1956-1962
294,506 (including the Zodiac Mark II) and 6911 Convertibles made.
engine = 2553 cc straight-6
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
2-door convertible (conversion)
related =
;Model number 206E

The Mark II Zodiac was slightly altered to distinguish it from the lesser variants, having more elaborate tail-end styling and at the front a different grille. The auxiliary lamps and wing mirrors were deleted from the Zodiac range but it retained two-tone paint, whitewall tyres, chrome wheel-trim embellishers and gold plated badges.

A car tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1956 had a top speed of convert|87.9|mph|km/h|abbr=on and could accelerate from 0-convert|60|mph|km/h|abbr=on in 17.1 seconds. A fuel consumption of convert|21.5|mpgimp|L/100 km mpgus was recorded. The test car cost £968 including taxes. cite journal | authorlink = Unsigned |title = The Ford Zodiac Mk.II| journal =The Motor| volume = | pages = | date = May 2 1956]

Abbott Estates

Mark III

Zephyr 4 Mark III

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zephyr 4 Mark III


production = 1962-1966
106,810 made.
engine = 1703 cc straight-4
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate "(conversion)"
length = Auto in|180.75|0
" (saloon & estate)"
width = Auto in|69.25|0
height = Auto in|57.25|0 " (saloon)"
Auto in|57.75|0 " (estate)"
wheelbase = Auto in|107|0
weight = Auto lb|2576|0 "(Saloon)"
Auto lb|2912|0 "(estate)"
fuel_capacity = Convert|12.5|impgal|L usgal|0|abbr=on
related = Ford Zephyr 6 Mark III
designer = Roy Brown
;Model 211E

Rather than call the smaller-engined model the Consul as before, Ford UK called it a Zephyr 4 — the 4 to indicate that it had the four cylinder 1703 cc engine from old Consul. A four-speed manual geabox, now with synchromesh on all ratios, was standard, with overdrive or automatic transmission available as options.

Zephyr 6 Mark III

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zephyr 6 Mark III


production = 1962-1966
105,256 made.
engine = 2553 cc straight-6
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
related =
;Model numbers 213E, 214E (right-hand drive and left-hand drive)

The Zephyr / Zodiac Mark III shared some of its mechanical components, as well as the basic chassis design, with the Mark II, but had a stronger overall body construction. The exterior was designed by Canadian Roy Brown who also designed the Edsel and the Cortina, though the rear of the body was inspired by a design proposal by Frua. Unlike the Zephyr 4, the Zephyr 6 had a full width grille including the headlight surrounds: overall body length and width were the same for both Zephyr III versions, however. With the same 2553 cc displacement as before, the Mark III model had higher compression ratio resulting in some convert|20|hp|abbr=on higher output as well as a broader torque range.

Only saloons and estate cars were made, the estate being a conversion by Abbotts of Farnham.

Abbott Estates

Zodiac Mark III

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zodiac Mark III


production = 1962-1966
77,323 made.
engine = 2553 cc straight-6
length = Auto in|182.75|0
width = Auto in|69|0
height = Auto in|56.75|0
wheelbase = Auto in|107|0
weight = Auto lb|2828|0
fuel_capacity = Convert|12|impgal|L usgal|0|abbr=on
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
related =
;Model numbers 213E, 214E

The Zodiac was an upmarket version of the Zephyr 6, but differed considerably from that model by the limousine-type rear doors, sharper roofline and tail, unique grille (four headlights instead of two), exclusive bumper bars, plusher seating, and up-market upholstery, dashboard and interior fittings. The front doors and bonnet panels were shared with the Zephyr 6. The Executive version had extra luxury fittings again.

Mark IV

Zephyr Mark IV

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zephyr Mark IV


production = 1966-1972
102,417 made.
engine = 1996 cc V4
2495 cc V6
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate (conversion)
related =
length = Auto in|185|0
width = Auto in|71.25|0
height = Auto in|58.5|0
wheelbase = Auto in|115|0cite book |last=Cardew|first=Basil |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Daily Express Review of the 1966 Motor Show|year=1966 |publisher=Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd |location=London |id=]
weight = Auto lb|2716|0 (Zephyr 4)
Auto lb|2884|0 (Zephyr 6)
fuel_capacity = Convert|15|impgal|L usgal|0|abbr=on
;Models 3008 / 3010E

A completely new and larger body was made for the Mk IV range and the suspension was independent all round using coil springs. Disc brakes, servo-assisted, were used on all wheels. The engines were new and of V format, the 4 having a 1996 cc V4 and the 6 a 2495 cc V6 unit.

Zodiac and Executive Mark IV

Infobox Automobile generation
name = Ford Zodiac Mark IV


production = 1966-1972
48,846 made.
engine = 2994 cc V6
body_style = 4-door saloon
5-door estate car (conversion)
related =
;Models 3012E / 3022E

The Zodiac Mark IV and "Executive" had four headlights and an uprated 2994 cc V-6 engine.The Zodiac featured an alternator instead of a generator on the Zephyr, an adjustable steering column, a spare wheel in the engine compartment, a heater and "Aeroflow" ventilation, electric window washers, 2-speed wipers, a cigar lighter, rev counter, clock, ammeter and reversing lights as standard.

The "Executive" was an upmarket version and had the highest specification offered by Ford to UK customers in the 1960s. Automatic transmission, power steering and a sunroof were standard equipment. Other standard features included; fully reclining front seats, Walnut fascia, full instrumentation, carpeting throughout, reversing lights, fog lamps, front inertia reel safety belts and a radio. The Executive was distinguishable from other models by exterior trim and name badges on the front and rear.

References

* Allen M. "Consul, Zephyr, Zodiac, Executive/Fords Mark 1 to 4." Motor Racing Publications Ltd, Croydon, 2nd Ed, 1990. ISBN 0-947981-42-X

External links

* [http://www.fivestars.co.uk/ The Mark I Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac Owners Club]


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