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The Zephyrs

Our first car, purchased for the princely sum of 320 Pounds ($640) in 1966, was a 1954 Ford Zephyr Mk 1. Our family had Zephyrs for many years, starting with a near new 1954 model, in 1955. As a 5 year old back then, I can still remember being taken to school in that car. I learned to drive in the 1961 Mk 2 that came along later, then later the family's first car with automatic transmission was a Zephyr Mk 3. It had a Borg-Warner 3-speed unit, that sucked quite a bit of the performance, so we missed out on the brilliant 4-speed manual box that Ford had copied from Mercedes, or so the rumours went.



The first of many (above), good old AO8874. With its inline six cylinder of 2262cc and rated at 68 BHP, we thought it was quite the thing. The earlier 'flat-dashboard' models were prone to rear axle failures, although most were changed under warranty in the early 1950's. One of the things that sticks in the memory was the vacuum powered wipers, which would go flatout on decelerating, and actually stop-dead if the driver put his foot to the floor. This tended to be when overtaking in the rain, where vision ahead is a bit critical. Even the later Mk2 still had these, and it wasn't until the Mk3 that they changed to electric wipers, with two speeds no less.

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