Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Van Tale-In': The Ford Transit Has a Longer History Than You Realized

Van Tale-In': The Ford Transit Has a Longer History Than You Realized

-

We have lamented the passing of the venerable Ford E-series—a vehicle that’s ingrained in the fabric of automotive America, one that was offered with a 6.8-liter V-10 to the very end. Its replacement? The ultra-efficient Transit, nothing more than a soulless breadbox. But is it? Actually, no.

-

The Transit, in fact, has a rich history of a full half-century, and we have assembled some of the more notable pictures from its long production run. They include some ridiculously cool one-offs.

-

Its name, actually, is derived from the German-market Taunus Transit van, a last-minute change. Originally, it was supposed to be called V-series.

-

The first Transit, a rear-wheel-drive van, was launched in 1965 with a basic design that carried on for more than twenty years. The box shape was fitted with a different nose for the diesel engine and high-performance V-6 engines. In Germany, they were affectionately called “Schweineschnauze,” or “pig snout.”

-

In 1978, Ford gave the van a massive facelift, with a far more contemporary look. Another facelift came in 1984. Engine size grew up to 4.1 liters in Australia, a high-performance market until recently.

-

The first complete redesign came in 1986, and it saw the Transit adopt a more aerodynamic style. A fitting companion to forward-looking passenger cars like the Ford Sierra and Scorpio, it remained on a rear-wheel-drive platform.

-

Fourteen years later, for 2000, the Transit was redesigned yet again—and for the first time, the rear-wheel-drive model was complemented with a front-wheel-drive derivative. Space-efficient and highly modern, it remained remarkably successful. The 2006 facelift awkwardly mirrored the Volkswagen Crafter van, a derivative of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Our favorite Transit of this era is the rear-wheel-drive version with the 200-hp 3.2-liter Duratorq diesel—a capable drifter, as it turns out.

-

In 2012, the front-wheel-drive Transit was replaced by the Transit Custom; the rear-wheel-drive models received a larger replacement in 2014, the “real” Transit, which serves up a modern-day interpretation of the first diesel’s “pig snout.” That’s the model sold in the U.S., where it replaced the E-series. Ford also offers the technologically unrelated Transit Connect, which is based on the C-Max passenger car. Europe gets the even smaller Transit Courier, which shares its architecture with the Fiesta.

-

Check out the gallery and you’ll understand why Europeans are as fond of their Transits as Americans are of the E-series. From now on, a joint heritage will be forged.

-

1972 Ford Transits

-

The “pig snout” diesel model breaking an endurance record at the Monza racetrack in Italy. Over 10,000 miles, average speed was a remarkable 73.684 mph.

-

 

-

1971 Ford Transit Can

-

This promotional Transit, built in 1977, featured disco lighting and a cocktail bar.

-

 

-

1982 Ford Transit 4x4

-

In 1982, the facelifted Transit was launched with an optional 4×4 system.

-

 

-

1985 Ford Transit Supervan 2

-

The Transit Supervan II breaking the world towing record—at 170 mph.

-

 

-

1995 Ford Transit Supervan III

-

With a Cosworth-built 3.5-liter engine cranking out 650 horsepower, Transit craziness reached a zenith.

-

 

-

2000 Ford Transit World Rally

-

How about rallying in a Transit? Built in 2000, this one does zero to 62 mph in less than eight seconds.

-

 

-

2008 Ford Transit Jumbo

-

200 horsepower from a 3.2-liter turbo-diesel and rear-wheel drive: a tail-happy Transit for the masses.

-

 

-

2014 Ford Transit

-

Fresh off the assembly line, today’s U.S.-built Transit replaced the venerable Ford E-series.

-

 

-

Ford Transit Cour, Transit Connect, Transit Custom, and Transit

-

The entire Transit lineup in Europe: Transit Courier, Transit Connect, Transit Custom, and Transit. In the U.S., we get number two and number four.

-

Van Tale-In': The Ford Transit Has a Longer History Than You Realized

-

 

-

The Transit Supervan I, built in 1971, was based on a Ford GT40 and could reach 150 mph.

-

 

-

Ford Transit Supervan

-

174 mph: The Transit Supervan II, based on a Ford C100 racing car. That was in 1985.

-

 

-

2000 Ford Transit

-

Be not afraid: a German Transit police van, post-2000.

-

 

-

2000 Ford Transit

-

Industrial design at its finest: The 2000 Transit, for the first time with front-wheel drive.

-

 

-

1986 Ford Transit

-

The 1986 Transit represented a leap forward in design.

-

 

-

1996 Ford Transit, 1985 Ford Transit, and 1975 Ford Transit

-

Three generations: A 1994 model next to a mid-’80s Transit and an early 1970s diesel, both of which still share the same basic design.

-

 

-

Ford Transits

-

Gasoline and diesel models from 1975.

-

 

-

1964 Ford Transit

-

A Transit prototype in 1964.

-

 

-

1965 Ford Transit

-

The first Transit in its natural habitat.

-

 

-

2007 Ford Transit XXL

-

In 2007, Ford created a limo. It was never officially offered.

-

 

-

Ford Transit Custom

-

Europe’s current Transit Custom is based on the front-wheel-drive version of the predecessor. It is not offered in the U.S.

-

 

-

Ford Transit Connect

-

The Transit Connect is a smaller addition to the Transit family but actually related to the C-Max.

-

 

-

Ford Transit Courier

-

Tiny: The Fiesta-based Transit Courier, which is not sold in the U.S.

-

 

-

Ford Transit

-

Do you recognize the “pig snout”? The new Transit relates to the first-gen diesel.

-

 

-

FORD Transit

-

The flexible platform allows for vastly different body variants. Here’s a pickup version of the current Transit.

-

Ford-Transit-Vans-REEL

-
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...