Saturday, October 22, 2011
Van Of The Day: October 22, 2011
Today's car of the day is Corgi's 1986 Ford Transit.
The Ford Transit is a range of panel vans, minibuses, and pickup trucks, produced by the Ford Motor Company in Europe.
The Transit has been the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Europe for 40 years, and in some countries the term "Transit" has passed into common usage as a generic term applying to any light commercial van in the Transit's size bracket.
Although the Transit name has been in use by Ford since 1953, the first definitive Transit platform was launched in 1965. Since then, six million Transits have been produced across three basic platforms (first debuting in 1965, 1986 and 2001, respectively), with several "facelift" versions of each. The six millionth van was built in March 2010.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ford Transit
Matchbox and Corgi both did this generation of Transit. The Matchbox is the nicer casting of the two, but props are given to the Corgi for doing the Royal Mail version seen here. I love postal vehicles so this was a must have!
The second generation Transit platform appeared in January 1986 and was notable for its all-new bodyshell which was of "one-box" design (i.e. the windscreen and bonnet are at the same angle), and the front suspension was changed to a fully independent configuration on SWB versions. The engine range was carried over largely unchanged from the last of the 1978-85 generation models, although in 1989 the high performance 3.0 V6 petrol was replaced by the Cologne 2.9 EFI V6. A subtle facelift in 1992 saw the fully independent front suspension adopted across the range, whilst a redesigned floor plan allowed the use of single, rather than paired, rear wheels on the LWB derivative, further increasing payload—these models are identifiable by the slightly more rounded front headlamps.
This generation of Transit was used by Jeremy Clarkson in Top Gear's Man With Van Challenge, finishing second (vs a tiny Suzuki Super Carry and huge LDV Convoy). This involved buying a van for under £1000, and several tests representing (stereo)typical van use: a quarter-mile drag race (cross-city speed); loading, carrying, and disgorging a load of furniture (space, access); tailgating (visibility, control); replacing a "damaged" door (maintenance); a police chase (handling), etc. The Transit upheld its reputation for agility by performing particularly well in the final chase, "resisting arrest" much longer than the slow LDV and unstable Suzuki, which overturned at the first curve.