Ford Prefect 107E

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This is British Ford at it’s very best (debatable I know, but let’s run with it for now). Even into the 1950s, car styling hadn’t really changed in Britain from the sit-up-and-beg look of the 1930s and 1940s (a tad distracted by the war I guess). Then, in 1953, Ford produced this ‘modern’ shape and it was a revelation. These simple, robust cars sold like hot cakes. They had features like hydraulic brakes and independent front suspensions but in true Ford spirit they were sparse inside – heaters and sun visors were extra. The windscreen wipers weren’t extra but were powered by a cheap-to-make vacuum system with one minor flaw – the faster the cars went, the slower the wipers worked. Bit of an issue in Britain I would have thought? But, despite their simplicity, the new Prefect heralded (that’s a wee Triumph joke there) in a new optimism that an austere Britain was only just starting to feel.

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1966 Ford Thunderbird

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The Ford Thunderbird started production late 1954 for a 1955 launch. Ford executives and designers had been toying with a ‘European’ style model for the Ford line-up for some time. To a degree the Thunderbird was also a response to Chevrolet’s new Corvette, but Ford positioned the T bird, not as a sports car, but a personal luxury car (and in the process, created a new marketing segment). This meant a focus on luxury and comfort over speed and performance. The Thunderbird started life as a two seat convertible and got progressively bigger through the generations until the personal luxury car market collapsed in the late 1970s.

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