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Ford Transit MK1 – beginning of Vanolution

Ford Transit MK1 – the first generation of the Ford Transit van was produced unchanged for 12 years. Which gives it the first place among the longest-produced generation of the Transit model. Ford Transit MK1 (called Mark I) or Ford Transit of the first generation was produced in the years 1965 - 1978. Some argue that the first-generation Ford Transit was produced even for twenty years. This is because they treat the Ford Transit MK2 as a facelift of the Ford Transit MK1. This is because it was not until 1986, after the production of the model MK2, that Ford developed a completely new VE6 platform for the Ford Transit.

Ford Transit MK1 Dormobile
(fot: cubeofcars.com/?p=147)

The first generation Ford Transit was originally assembled in Ford factories in Berkshire in England, but the demand for this model exceeded the possibilities of the plant so that, production was moved to Southampton. Later generations of the Ford Transit van were also produced at the Southampton factory until 2013, when Ford moved most of its production to Turkey.

Ford Transit Mark I was also produced in several other factories located in various locations around the world. On the Dutch market, Ford Transit was produced on the local market from the mid-1970s until the end of 1981. Transit MK1 was also produced in Belgium, Turkey, Australia, South Africa, as well as New Zealand and South Korea.

The first generation of Ford Transit is the result of cooperation between the Ford branch in the UK and the Ford division in Germany (Ford Thames 400 + Ford Taunus Transit = Ford Transit MK1). This cooperation resulted in the launch of an extremely versatile utility vehicle, the Ford Transit. The first Transit was a revolution in the world of light commercial vehicles. Modeled on American cars with a large front grille and overhangs protruding above the car edge, it offered a much larger cargo space than its European competitors. The wide range of body version and extremely successful gasoline engines quickly made Ford Transit the best-selling vans in Europe.

Ford Transit MK1 LWB V4
(fot: bespoketraders.com/1968-ford-transit-mk1-lwb-v4-9995/)

Initially, the Ford Transit Mark I offered on the British market was with a 1.7-liter and 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Thanks to the engine in the V4 system, the size of the engine was shortened, which made it possible to conceal a new drive unit under the front hood. The innovation that Ford introduced with the new units was the use of an alternator, while its main competitors from the British market still offered only dynamo. The Ford Transit MK1 was also available with a 43 HP (32 kW) diesel engine and the Perkins. Interestingly, this engine was too long to be placed under the hood of Ford Transit MK1, so it was decided to extend the front of the vehicle. This engine proved to be not very dynamic and not very popular, so in 1972 Ford decided to replace this unit with its York model. In Europe, while the first generation of the Ford Transit had several engine versions coming directly or indirectly from the Ford Taunus Transit, they were units with a capacity of 1.3, 1.5 and 1.7 liters, as well as Essex 2.0. Thanks to the long front of the Ford Transit, it was possible to equip it with a 3.0 Ford Essex V6 engine. Van with an engine capacity of 3 liters has quickly become the leading choice vehicle in the uniformed services.

Ford Transit 1978
(fot: flickr.com/photos/photiste/33332329348)

Curiosity:

In 1972, the Metropolitan Police even mentioned the performance of the Ford Transit MK1: "Ford Transits are used in 95 per cent of bank raids. With the performance of a car, and space for 1.75 tonnes of loot, the Transit is proving to be the perfect getaway vehicle...', describing it as 'Britain's most wanted van".

Taunus V4 Taunus V4 Taunus V4 ESSEX V4 ESSEX V4 Perkins I4 York I4 ESSEX V6 I6 (Australia)
Capacity 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.7 2.0 1.8 2.4 3.0 3.3
Power (HP) 50 60 65 74 93 43 62 138 120

<- Return to History of Ford Taunus Read on Ford Transit MK2 ->
 
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