Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Ford Zephyr and Zodiac Mark IV

Was this one of the worst cars that Ford ever produced?

This is one of the first of the Mark IV Ford Zodiacs that I can recall having seen for decades.  About 102,000 of the Zephyr and 49,000 of the Zodiac and Executive were made.  The three-litre model (which I don't think was available in the UK) was quickly adopted by Ford New Zealand which had originally launched the Mk IV Zephyr assembled locally from knock down kits with the 2.5-litre V6.  They had received complaints it was underpowered for a country where towing boats and caravans was common. Ford New Zealand also introduced optional floor shift and bucket seats as an alternative to the standard column shift and bench front seat and a large number of Zephyrs were built in this form, with other modifications, for New Zealand's traffic police.

I'm not short of stories about Ford Zephyrs and Zodiacs but you'll be glad to know that I shall spare you most of them although I did reverse a Mk III into a lamp post in Keswick one day in broad daylight.

When I married in 1970 I did so from a friend's house which was much nearer to the church on the Wirral than my parent's house in Liverpool.  My friend - a larger than life character both physically and mentally (he became a judge) - had a new Ford Execitive Mk IV.  It was not particularly reliable but was very impressive.  To Dvorak's 4th Symphony on the sound system, we eventually managed to get to the church in reasonable time.  Later, at the time of the birth of our first son I had influenza and collapsed at the hospital.  I vaguely remember the same friend carrying me like a child (I was 5'10" and 133 lb (60 kilos) at the time), putting me on the back seat of the Ford, taking me home and putting me to bed.

12 comments:

  1. I have heard of the Zyphyr but I don't think I ever saw one. I wonder if they were produced and sold in Canada?

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    1. The Mk IV was rather similar to the Ford Fairline in North America Red. I don't think the Mk IV ever made its way across The Pond.

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  2. There were some awful cars built in the late sixties and seventies. I'm amazed it's still running.

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    1. For some reason very old cars live on in NZ as though rust didn't exist. Of course no salt is used on roads which helps. Having said that this is the first Mk IV I've ever seen here.

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  3. Your mind takes unexpected trips down Memory Lane sometimes. I enjoy those more than the technical details of the car... :)

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    1. Monica my mind takes all sorts of unexpected trips.

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    1. Memories they certainly are Virginia.

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  5. Ford Zephyrs, Falcons and Zodiacs, and Holden Toranas and Belmonts and Crysler Valiants were THE cars for young men to be seen in when I was a young woman looking at young men. Whereas my parents and grandparents aspired to the Ford Escort, or worst still, the Vauxhall Viva, which we thought very fuddy-duddy... Ah, Hastings in the late 60's ...

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    1. In the UK youngsters aspired to a Ford Escort. It was the car of the boy racers. No self respecting youngster would have been seen dead or alive in a Zephyr or Zodiac. Any one who had a Vauxhall Viva realised very quickly why they shouldn't have bought one.

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  6. Never heard of it before, but now I have! :D

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    1. You've not missed anything worth missing Mersad.

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