Ford Consul

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Ford Consul
Ford Consul II convertible, date unknown
ManufacturerFord of Britain
Production1951–1962; 1972–1975
PredecessorFord Pilot
SuccessorFord Cortina
ManualsService Manual

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

Between 1951 and 1962 the Consul was the stablemate of the more powerful Ford Zephyr. It was replaced in 1962 by a new 4-cylinder Zephyr, and the new Ford Cortina. 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 Ford Classic and the Mk I Cortina were originally named the 'Ford Consul Classic' and the 'Ford Consul Cortina'.

Ford Consul (1951–1956)

Ford Consul
Ford Consul MkI
227,732 produced.[1]
Body style(s)4-door saloon, estate car, convertible.
Engine(s)1.5 L Straight-4
Wheelbase100 in (2540 mm)[2]
Length164 in (4166 mm)[2]
Width64 in (1626 mm)[2]

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 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) [3] engine had overhead valves and hydraulic brakes were used but a three-speed gearbox with synchromesh 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 a pull lever under the fascia. 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 Template:Convert/foutmig (Template:Convert/L/100 km mpgus) was recorded. The test car cost £732 including taxes.[3]

Ford Consul II (1956–1962)

Ford Consul II
Ford Consul II saloon
371,585 fixed roof and 9398 convertibles produced[1]
Body style(s)4-door saloon, estate car, factory-built estate car and pick-up (Australia only), convertible.
Engine(s)1.7 L Straight-4
Wheelbase104 in (2642 mm)[2]
Length172 in (4369 mm)[2]
Width69 in (1753 mm)[2]
Height60 in (1524 mm)[4]
ManualsService Manual

In 1956 a new Consul appeared with the Ford code of 204E. Compared with the original it had a longer wheelbase, larger 1703 cc, 59 bhp (44 kW) engine and a complete restyle. 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 Template:Convert/foutmig (Template:Convert/L/100 km mpgus) was recorded. The test car cost £781 including taxes. [4]

Ford Consul (Granada) (1972–1975)

Ford Consul (Granada)
Body style(s)4-door saloon, estate car.
Engine(s)2.0 L Essex V4
2.5 L Essex V6
Wheelbase107 in (2718 mm)
Length180 in (4572 mm)
Width70 in (1778 mm)
ManualsService Manual
Main article: Ford Granada (Europe)

The Consul name was revived for the small engined Granada with either 1996 cc Essex V4 or 2495 cc Essex V6 power units. The name was dropped in late 1975 and all the cars became Granadas.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sedgwick, M. (1986). A-Z of Cars 1945-1970. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Ford Consul Road Test". The Motor. March 25 1953. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Ford Consul Mk II Saloon". The Motor. May 23 1956. 
  • 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