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Ford Zephyr/Zodiac

Ford Zephyr/Zodiac Published: 17th Jun 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Zephyr/Zodiac
Ford Zephyr/Zodiac
Ford Zephyr/Zodiac
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WHY SHOULD I GET ONE?

Few saloons epitomise that glam era of motoring than Ford’s Zephyr and Zodiac. Launched in 1950 as the slab styled Mk1, but this Ford is perhaps best known, and loved, in its finned 50’s Mk2 guise (shown). The Mk3 of the early 60s saw the Zephyr and Zodiac split stylewise before the odd looking MkIV barge took over in 1966, seeing the range out until the sophisticated Granada provided a new direction for Ford. All offer lot of six-seater metal for the money and go very nicely indeed plus being a Ford, are easier than most to own. Prices, on all bar the MkIV, are fast-rising so best (especially the cabrios) be quick if you want one.

 

WHAT CAN I GET?

With a range spanning some 22 years across four guises, there’s a wide choice available of not only saloons but also stylish and practical estates plus – in Mk1 and Mk2 forms – rare and fast-appreciating, classy two-door convertibles. Aside from the six-cylinder (2.2 or 2.6-litre) Zephyrs and Zodiacs, there’s also the lower ranking yet if, anything, more exclusive Consul, powered by a 1508cc (Mk1) or 1703cc engine (this unit also powering the entry model Zephyr 4.

It’s generally accepted that Mk2s and Mk3s are the best while the MkIV has been slated for the past half a century for its unbalanced looks and even more unbalanced handling and roadholding. However, the MkIV did feature poky V6 power and a very plush Executive variant. Top Mk1 and Mk2 saloons easily reach five figures and rag tops bust the 20 grand barrier with ease but MkIVs can still be had for £4000.

 

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO DRIVE?

All are best suited for classic cruising, letting those lusty six-cylinder engines do all the work in top gear than for haring around in. Only when the Mk3 surfaced did four-speeds figure – with a floor change for the Zodiac.

Handling is what you’d expect but fairly predictable, which is more than you can say about the MkIV which needs treating with respect, especially in the wet, until you become familiar with its foibles – modern radials help, to be fair. Available in 2.5 or 3-litre sizes, the V6 grunt is far nicer than the rough V4 that was more designed for the Transit van. Overdrive was available from the Mk2 onwards depending upon model, as was an automatic. As you’d expect, the Consul is appreciably slower but they cruise near the legal limit well enough.

 

WHAT ARE THEY LIKE TO LIVE WITH?

It’s a Ford! Although having said that, parts supply isn’t as plentiful as with other blue oval classics but all you need is out there. Orthodox in design and a DIY doyen, save for the rear disc brakes on the MkIV. A fave with younger enthusiasts, it’s becoming harder to source totally standard Mk1-Mk3s at reasonable prices, but on the other hand there’s some modernised cars out there providing the best of both worlds.

 

VERDICT

Zephyrs and Zodiacs prove you don’t need a Mk2 Jag to drive and arrive in style or comfort. Estates and convertibles are lovely period pieces and don’t turn your nose up at a good MkIV as they offer great value, and their time, we predict, will come.



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