The Zephyr was one of the longest running cars in the history of vehicle production and with a twenty two year life span, there were many models made. The market in used Ford Zephyrs therefore remains healthy for one of the UK's most popular brands ever made.
The very first Zephyr rolled of Ford's production line back in 1950 and it became the largest passenger car in the company's British range. Over the years, the Zephyr was re-modelled in four stages until production finally ceased in 1972.
The very first Ford Zephyr was unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1950. It was launched alongside the Ford Consul and the intention was to give the buying public two distinct choices in what were relatively similar cars. Essentially, while the Consul was an economy model, the Zephyr held more power and was considered to be the luxury option.
The Mark One Zephyr ran until 1956 and during that six year period, 148,629 standard saloons were made. In addition, a convertible version was produced of which, 4048 were manufactured. This was a bulky car but it was powered by an effective 2,262 cc straight 6 ohv engine which made it a competent rival for other vehicles in its class.
By the end of 1956, the Mark One model has been restyled to carry what was described as a 'family look'. This Mark Two was still a big car but it had sleeker lines and visually it was far more streamlined.
The new version also ran for six years but production comfortably outstripped the old Mark One and between 1956 and 1962, 294,506 standard vehicles were made alongside 6911 convertibles. The engine had also been upgraded to a 2553 cc model and there was far more choice for buyers.
As well as the basic 4 door saloon, other variants were produced including the two door convertible and a five door estate.
In 1962, the Mark Three Ford Zephyr came along and other than the retention of the name, the new model was largely unrecognisable from its predecessors. Its looks were not dissimilar to that of a late-model Vauxhall Viva as a more aerodynamic and sleeker shape was complemented by a smaller, 1703 cc engine.
The Mark Three version ran for four years and sales were still good with over 100,000 being made. Two versions were available including a four door saloon and a five door estate.
The final Zephyr was the Mark Four which came in during 1966 and ran until production was halted in 1972. Once again, there were marked changes in design with a distinctive wedge shape and a long bonnet which contained a 2.0 litre engine.
In the six years that the Mark four was produced, over 100,000 were made but in 1972, the car was eased out of the Ford range to be replaced by bigger versions of the Cortina and Granada.
In addition, a luxury version of each Mark was made known as the Zephyr Zodiac. The Zodiac brands usually came with cosmetic changes such as two-tone paintwork, white wall tyres and interior trim.
Whichever version you owned, the Zephyr was a real head turner on Britain's streets for over twenty years and the market for used models is always healthy and buoyant.
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