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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Bullitt – 1968 Ford Mustang GT

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There were two Mustangs prepared for the movie Bullitt, the ‘hero’ car and the stunt car. The hero Bullitt Mustang sold earlier this year for US$3.4 million and the new owner has confirmed the car will not be restored. In its current state, it bears the scars from filming the famous car chase scenes in 1968 and decades of daily use. The car was purchased 1974 and became a daily driver for several years, eventually being hidden away until 2018. The stunt car was discovered in Mexico in 2017, unfortunately I haven’t sleuthed out it’s full story yet.

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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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Ford Anglia Super 123E

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Drove to Auckland and back in one of these when I was 17. Me, my mate and his girlfriend. It wasn’t awkward. I’d have happily ditched the girlfriend and done a roadie with my mate, but she owned the car. She would have happily ditched me for a weekend away with the boyf. Well, I needed a ride and thought it best to let it go. We went to see a band play at Western Springs stadium. I say stadium, more a paddock with a flat-bed truck at one end, but then it was New Zealand 1977. Can’t tell you who the band was, if I did I’d have to kill you. Forty years on, it still makes me blush – but just quietly, they were quite good. Anyway, the girlfriend’s grey Zed-Back was a trooper, didn’t miss a beat. Topped 60mph on the Mangaweka hill … with the clutch in. Different story coming home but it was all the same to me, sitting in the back seat, knees around my ears, supping quietly on a lukewarm can of beer.

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