Ford Consul II convertible
|Manufacturer||Ford of Britain|
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 Classic, the Capri (made until 1963) and the 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 reappeared 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.
Ford Consul Mk1 (1951–1956) 
|Body style||4-door saloon, estate car, convertible.|
|Engine||1.5 L Straight-4|
|Wheelbase||100 in (2,540 mm)|
|Length||164 in (4,166 mm)|
|Width||64 in (1,626 mm)|
|Height||61 in (1,500 mm)(convertible)|
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 more expensive 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)  engine had overhead valves, and hydraulic clutch operation was used, which back in 1950 was an unusual feature. However, a three-speed gearbox, with synchromesh only on second and top, was retained. The Consul was also the first British production car to use the now-common MacPherson strut independent front suspension, and was the first British Ford with modern unibody construction.
There was a bench front seat trimmed in PVC, and the handbrake was operated by an umbrella-style pull lever under the facia (dash). The windscreen wipers used the antiquated vacuum system: however, they were now operated from a vacuum pump linked to the camshaft-driven fuel pump rather than to the induction manifold as on Ford's earlier applications of this arrangement. Clearly keen to keep things positive, a 1950 road test by the British Autocar Magazine, reported that the wipers were "free from the disadvantage of early suction driven wipers that dried up at wide throttle opening ... and spare[d] the battery". The instruments, consisting of speedometer, ammeter and fuel gauge, were positioned in a housing above the steering column, and there was 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.
Ford Consul MkII (1956–1962) 
371,585 fixed roof and 9398 convertibles produced
|Body style||4-door saloon, estate car, factory-built estate car and utility (Australia only), convertible.|
|Engine||1.7 L Straight-4|
|Wheelbase||104 in (2,642 mm)|
|Length||172 in (4,369 mm)|
|Width||69 in (1,753 mm)|
|Height||60 in (1,524 mm)|
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 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 pick-up (utility) 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.
Ford Consul (Granada) (1972–1975) 
|Body style||4-door saloon, estate car.|
|Engine||2.0 L Essex V4, later 2.0 Pinto engine
2.5 L Essex V6
|Wheelbase||107 in (2,718 mm)|
|Length||180 in (4,572 mm)|
|Width||70 in (1,778 mm)|
|Height||54 in (1,372 mm)|
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 Ford Taunus V4 engine familiar to drivers of the Ford Taunus 17M.
In the UK a Ford Consul GT was also offered, featuring the 2994 cc Essex V6 engine providing a claimed 138 brake horsepower (103 kW). Because it was less well equipped than the similarly powered Granada, it was approximately 1 long cwt (110 lb; 51 kg) lighter and correspondingly quicker.
- Sedgwick, M. (1986). A-Z of Cars 1945-1970. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7.
- Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2.
- "Second Hand car guide supplement". Practical Motorist. 6 Nbr 68: between pages 768 & 769. date April 1960.
- "The Ford Consul Road Test". The Motor. March 25, 1953.
- "Ford Consul Saloon (road test)". Autocar. October 20, 1950 "One of the unusual features of the new Fords is the hydraulic operation, through the pedal, of the clutch withdrawal. There is a fluid reservoir, accessible under the bonnet (hood), common to the clutch and brake master cylinders.".
- "Ford Consul Saloon (road test)". Autocar. October 20, 1950 "The behaviour of the suspension is observed with particular interest in view of its unusual character, coil springs being used but without the usual double wishbone assembly....while each front wheel and brake assembly is attached to a tubular king-pin forming the cylinder of a direct-acting hydraulic damper.".
- "Ford Consul Saloon (road test)". Autocar. October 20, 1950 .".
- "The Ford Consul Mk II Saloon". The Motor. May 23, 1956.
- "Test VW 412 LS...zum Vergleich .... Ford Consul 1700". Auto Motor u. Sport. Heft 3 1974: Seite 40–48. 2 February 1974.
- Daily Mail Motor Show Review 1972 on 1973 Cars (London: Associated Newspapers Group Ltd): Page 22 (Ford Consul GT). October 1972.
- Granada Group Ltd v Ford Motor Company Ltd  RPC 49 797.
- 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 978-1-86126-943-0
|Ford car timeline, European market, 1960s–1980s — next »|
|Supermini||Fiesta I||Fiesta II|
|Small family car||Anglia 105E / Super Anglia 123E||Escort I||Escort II||Escort III|
|Large family car||Consul II||Cortina I||Cortina II||Cortina III / Taunus TC||Cortina IV / Taunus III||Cortina V / Taunus III||Sierra|
|Taunus G13||Taunus P4||Taunus P6|
|Executive car||Taunus P3||Taunus P5||Taunus P7||Taunus P7.2|
|Granada I||Granada II|
|Zephyr II||Zephyr 4/6 III||Zephyr 4/6 IV|
|Zodiac II||Zodiac III||Zodiac IV|
|Coupé||Consul Capri||OSI||Capri I||Capri II||Capri III|