Ford Model Y
|Ford Model Y|
|Manufacturer||Ford of Britain
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door saloon 4-door saloon
|Engine||0.9 L Straight-4|
|Wheelbase||78 in (1,981 mm)|
|Length||141 in (3,581 mm)|
|Width||55 in (1,397 mm)|
|Height||64 in (1,626 mm)|
|Curb weight||1,540 lb (700 kg)|
The car was also produced in France (where it was known as the Ford 6 CV, despite actually falling within the 5CV French car tax band) from 1932 to 1934, and in Germany as the Ford Köln from 1933 to 1936.
Smaller numbers were assembled in Australia (where a coupé version was also produced), Japan, Latvia (branded as the Ford Junior) and in Spain (branded as the Ford Forito). Plans to build it in the U.S. were scrubbed when a cost accounting showed that it would only be slightly cheaper to build than the Ford Model B.
The car was powered by a 933 cc, 8 (RAC)hp Ford Sidevalve engine. The little Ford was available in two and four-door versions. In June 1935 a reduced specification two-door model was the only closed-body car ever to sell in Britain for just £100, a price it held until July 1937.
The suspension was by the traditional Ford transverse leaf springs front and rear and the engine drove the rear wheels through a three-speed gearbox which, right from the start, featured synchromesh between the top two ratios. The maximum speed was just under 60 mph (95 km/h) and fuel consumption was 32 miles per imperial gallon (8.8 L/100 km; 27 mpg-US).
For the first 14 months the original model with a short radiator grille was produced, this is known as the "short rad". After this in October 1933 the "long rad" model, with its longer radiator grille and front bumper with the characteristic dip was produced. By gradually improving production efficiency and by simplifying the body design the cost of a "Popular" Model Y was reduced to £100, making it the cheapest true 4-seater saloon ever, although most customers were persuaded to pay extra for a less austere version. Both 4-door (Fordor) and 2-door (Tudor) saloons were produced and these could be had either with a fixed roof, or the slightly more expensive sliding "sun" roof.
Additional body version
Also offered was an attractive 5 cwt van, which proved very popular with small businesses.
Ford did not produce an open-top car because it was thought that the chassis was too flexible, but several specialist coach builders produced a range of Model Y tourers.
Market reaction in Britain
Although of American design, the Model Y took the British market by storm, and when it was first introduced it made a major dent in the sales figures of Austin, Morris, Singer, and Hillman. It went on to take more than 50 per cent of the 8(RAC)HP sales.
Some 175,000 Model Ys were produced worldwide (153,117 in England, 11,121 in Germany) and the 'Y' and 'C' Register has knowledge of approximately 1250 survivors.
Ford Model C:a successor in Germany but not in Britain
In Britain the larger and faster 10(RAC)hp Model C never sold in such great numbers as the Model Y although there was a very attractive factory-produced tourer. In 1935 the styling was enhanced with some small modifications and the model was designated the CX.
In Germany the position was reversed. The locally produced Ford Model C was branded as the Ford Eifel, and remained in production for four years after the manufacturer had given up on the locally produced Type Y, the Ford Köln. The Ford Köln was outcompeted by the Opel 1.0/1.2 litre, and only 11,121 Kölns were produced, while a more respectable 62,495 Ford Eifels were manufactured between 1935 and 1940.
- "Henry's Old Pop: comparison [of Ford Y] with Youthful Escort". Autocar 130 (3806)): 45–47. 23 January 1969.
- Georgano, Nick (1968). The Complete Encyclopaedia of Motorcars 1885-1968. London: George Rainbird Ltd for Ebury Press Limited. p. 228.
- "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1934 (salon 1933) (Paris: Histoire & collections). Nr. 22: pages 41. 2002.
- "[Ford of Britain] Milestones". Autocar 128 (3766): 117–119. 18 April 1968.
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