Friday, 21 August 2015 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
The 60s saw many famous British vehicles take prime position in motoring history, although very few are still as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. But the Ford Transit is just as relevant, sure it has moved with the times introducing technological innovations and various other modifications, but its function remains the same.
“From house moves to moving people, the Ford Transit is an essential tool to get the job done. It has become a mobile office or workshop for some – and loved by us all.” Mark Ovenden, chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain.
This August is Ford Transit’s 50th birthday and to mark the special occasion the CV show showcased a gold Transit van, which is now touring the country. This is a variation on the ‘white van man’ stereotype the van helped to create.
In 1965 the first Ford Transit Van came off the production line and it was instantly a best seller. From the name to the colour (white- so not to attract heat) the van had been designed for the working man. Although during the 1970s the Transit took a different name as Britain’s most wanted van! Popular amongst robbers for its size and speed the van was the preferred choice for bank raids.
But it wasn’t long before the Ford Transit was known once again for its reliability and practicality. The Transit proved to be a favourite amongst couriers, removal men and labourers. And soon become a bestselling commercial vehicle.
Today Ford Transit is in high demand and is part of a line of transit models including; Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier. There have almost been 8 million Transit and Transit Custom vans built throughout the 50 years, and if all of these vans were placed end-to-end they would circle the globe!
In March 2015 Ford’s UK commercial vehicle sales were at a record high. And it’s not just the UK that loves this van which now serves 118 consumer markets across 6 continents. We now look forward to seeing what the next 50 years will bring for this iconic van.