Ford Consul EOTA (1951–1956)The 1500 cc four-cylinder Consul was first shown at the 1950 London Motor Show. It was the start of Ford of Britain's successful attack on the family saloon car market. With stablemate Zephyr, it was the first British Ford with modern unibody construction. The Zephyr Six replaced the larger-engined Ford Pilot, V-8 Pilot which had been made in only small numbers. The Consul was given the Ford code of EOTA. Most cars were four-door saloons with body design by George Walker of the parent United States Ford Motor Company, but a few estate cars were made by the coachbuilder Abbott Coachbuilders, Abbott. From 1953, a convertible conversion by Carbodies became available. Having lost most of its strength with its roof, the unibody was reinforced by welding in a large X-frame to the floor pan. Unlike the more expensive Zephyr, the hood (convertible top) had to be put up and down manually. It was also the first car they built with up-to-date technology. The new 1508 cc engine had overhead valves, and hydraulic clutch operation was used, which in 1950 was an unusual feature. However, a three-speed gearbox, with synchromesh only on second and top, was retained. The Consul was also the first British production car to use the now-common MacPherson strut independent front suspension (vehicle), suspension. The bench front seat was trimmed in PVC, and the handbrake was operated by an umbrella-style pull lever under the facia (dash). The windscreen wipers used the antiquated vacuum system, but it came from a vacuum pump linked to the camshaft-driven fuel pump instead of the induction manifold as on Ford's earlier applications of this arrangement. Clearly keen to keep things positive, a 1950 road test by the British ''Autocar (magazine), Autocar'' magazine reported that the wipers were "free from the disadvantage of early suction-driven wipers that dried up at wide throttle opening ... and spare[d] the battery". The initial dashboard was a flat, symmetrical panel with interchangeable instrument cluster and glovebox, but from September 1952, a redesigned asymmetrical dashboard was fitted, and the instruments, consisting of speedometer, ammeter, and fuel gauge, were positioned in a housing above the steering column, with a full-width parcel shelf on which an optional radio could be placed. A car tested by The Motor (magazine), ''The Motor'' in 1953 had a top speed of and could accelerate from 0- in 28 seconds. A fuel consumption of was recorded. The test car cost £732 including taxes.
Ford Consul Mark II (1956–1962)In 1956, a new Consul appeared with the Ford code of 204E. The car was still the four-cylinder submodel of the Zephyr range, with which it shared the same basic body shell. Compared with the original, it had a longer wheelbase, larger 1703 cc, engine, and a complete restyle, borrowing cues from the 1956 models of America's Thunderbird and Fairlane. One thing not updated was the windscreen wipers, which were still vacuum-operated. The roof profile was lowered in 1959 on the Mark II 'lowline' version, which also had redesigned rear lights and much of the external bright work in stainless steel. Front disc brakes with vacuum servo appeared as an option in 1960 and were made standard in 1961 (four-wheel drum brakes only, in Australia). The name became the Consul 375 in mid-1961. The convertible version made by Carbodies continued. A De Luxe version with contrasting roof colour and higher equipment specification was added in 1957. The Australian market had factory-built versions of the coupé utility (pick up) and estate car (station wagon), as well as a locally engineered version of the saloon. They were also imported by Ford of Canada as a companion to the Falcon. A Consul Mark II tested by ''The Motor'' in 1956 had a top speed of and could accelerate from 0- in 23.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of was recorded. The test car cost £781 including taxes. A 1960 Ford Consul Mark II was the taxi in which American singer Eddie Cochran died, and not, as many have stated, a London hackney cab.
Ford Consul (Granada Mark I based) (1972–1975)The Ford Consul name was revived in April 1972 for the lower-priced, lower-specification variants of the newly introduced Ford Granada (Europe), Ford Granada.Granada Mk1 & Mk2 History, www.ford-granadaguild.org.uk
In popular cultureA white Mk. II Consul convertible appears on the cover of the 1979 album ''Don't Give a Monkey's...'' by Chas & Dave. A lowline Mk. II Consul appears on the cover of the 1994 single Petrol (song), Petrol by Ash (band), Ash. A brown Mk. III Consul 3.0L GT is the main car featured in the first three series of the Sweeney (1974 - 1978 Euston Films).
See also* Ford Consul Capri for the Ford Consul Capri * Ford Consul Classic for the Ford Consul Classic * Ford Corsair for the Ford Consul Corsair * Ford Cortina for the Ford Consul Cortina
Further reading*A-Z of cars 1945–1970. Sedgwick and Gillies. Bayview books. 1986. . *Ford Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac. Graham Robson. Crowood Press. 2007. *