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Ford Consul
Ford Consul II convertible, date unknown
Manufacturer Ford of Britain
Production 1951–1962; 1972–1975
Predecessor Ford Pilot
Successor Ford Cortina

The Ford Consul is a car manufactured by Ford in Britain.

Between 1951 and 1962 the Consul was the four cylinder base model of the three model Ford Zephyr range. Consul, Zephyr and Zephyr Zodiac. In the 1962 restyle it was renamed the Zephyr 4, the mid range model becoming the Zephyr 6 and the top of the range just being called the Zodiac. At this point Consul became a four car range in its own right, the Consul Classic, Consul Capri, Consul Corsair and Consul Cortina. The Classic, Capri and Corsair were relatively short lived but the Ford Cortina, minus the Consul tag, went on to scale dizzy heights. The Consul name reappeared from 1972 to 1975 as a replacement to the Zephyr range and shared a body with the more luxurious Ford Granada Mk I. The Capri name was also reintroduced at a later date.


Ford Consul Mk1 (1951–1956)

Ford Consul
Ford Consul MkI
Production 1951–1956
227,732 produced.[1]
Body style(s) 4-door saloon, estate car, convertible.
Engine(s) 1.5 L Straight-4
Wheelbase 100 in (2540 mm)[2]
Length 164 in (4166 mm)[2]
Width 64 in (1626 mm)[2]
Height 61 in (1,500 mm)[3](convertible)
Fuel capacity 9 imp gal (41 L; 11 US gal)[3]

The Consul was first shown at the 1950 London Motor Show and was the start of Ford of Britain's successful attack on the family saloon car market and replaced the larger-engined V-8 Pilot which had only been made in small numbers. It was given the Ford code of EOTA. Most cars were 4 door saloons with body design by George Walker of the parent United States Ford company but a few estate cars were made by the coachbuilder Abbott. From 1953 a convertible conversion by Carbodies became available. The body was reinforced by welding in a large X-frame to the floor pan. Unlike the larger Zephyr the hood (convertible top) had to be put up and down manually.

It was also the first car they built with up-to-date technology. The new 1508 cc 47 bhp (35 kW) [4] engine had overhead valves and hydraulic brakes were used but a three-speed gearbox, with synchromesh only on second and top, was retained. They were also the first production cars to use the now-common MacPherson strut independent front suspension, and was the first British Ford with modern unibody construction.

There is a bench front seat trimmed in PVC and the handbrake is operated by an umbrella style pull lever under the fascia (dash). The windscreen wipers use the antiquated vacuum system. The instruments, consisting of speedometer, ammeter and fuel gauge, are positioned in a housing above the steering column and there is a full width parcel shelf on which an optional radio could be placed.

A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 72 mph (116 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 28 seconds. A fuel consumption of 26 miles per imperial gallon (11 L/100 km; 22 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £732 including taxes.[4]

Ford Consul MkII (1956–1962)

Ford Consul II
Ford Consul II saloon
Production 1956–1962
371,585 fixed roof and 9398 convertibles produced[1]
Body style(s) 4-door saloon, estate car, factory-built estate car and utility (Australia only), convertible.
Engine(s) 1.7 L Straight-4
Wheelbase 104 in (2642 mm)[2]
Length 172 in (4369 mm)[2]
Width 69 in (1753 mm)[2]
Height 60 in (1524 mm)[5]

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, based on the US, 56 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 re-designed 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 pick-up (utility) and estate car (station wagon) as well as a locally-engineered version of the saloon.

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.[5]

Ford Consul (Granada) (1972–1975)

Ford Consul (Granada)
Ford Consul GT 2.3 V6 yellow r.jpg
Production 1972–1975
Body style(s) 4-door saloon, estate car.
Engine(s) 2.0 L Essex V4, later 2.0 [Pinto engine]
2.5 L Essex V6
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
automatic optional
Wheelbase 107 in (2718 mm)
Length 180 in (4572 mm)
Width 70 in (1778 mm)
Height 54 in (1,372 mm)
Fuel capacity 65 L (17.2 US gal; 14.3 imp gal)[6]

The Consul name was revived for the small engined Granada with 1996 cc Essex V4, later 2.0 Pinto, or 2495 cc Essex V6 power units in the UK. In Germany this Ford Consul was offered with a choice of German built Ford engines, starting with the 1680 cc V-4 unit familiar to drivers of the Ford Taunus 17M.[7]

In the UK a Ford Consul GT was also offered, featuring the 2994 cc Essex V6 engine providing a claimed 138 bhp. Because it was less well equipped than the similarly powered Granada, it was approximately 1 cwt lighter and correspondingly quicker.[6]

The name was dropped in late 1975 and all the cars became Granadas.


  1. ^ a b Sedgwick, M. (1986). A-Z of Cars 1945-1970. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  3. ^ a b "Second Hand car guide supplement". Practical Motorist 6 Nbr 68: between pages 768 & 769. date April 1960. 
  4. ^ a b "The Ford Consul Road Test". The Motor. March 25, 1953. 
  5. ^ a b "The Ford Consul Mk II Saloon". The Motor. May 23, 1956. 
  6. ^ a b Daily Mail Motor Show Review 1972 on 1973 Cars (London: Associated Newspapers Group Ltd): Page 22 (Ford Consul 2-litre). October 1972. 
  7. ^ "Test VW 412 LS...sum Vergleich .... Ford Consul 1700". Auto Motor u. Sport Heft 3 1974: Seite 40–48. date 2 Februar 1974. 
  • A-Z of cars 1945–1970. Sedgwick and Gillies. Bayview books. 1986. ISBN 1-870979-39-7.
  • Ford Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac. Graham Robson. Crowood Press. 2007. ISBN 978-1-86126-9430

External links



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