Ford Transit History

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One of the best-selling work vans on the market, the Ford Transit, has a history going back to the 1950s. Today, it remains a very popular vehicle in the U.S., but it was an amazing success in Great Britain. It has been the best-selling van in the United Kingdom for over 4 decades.

The First Generation

Although the first official generation didn’t release until 1965, in the 50s Ford released the Taunus Transit of Ford Cologne in Germany. The prototype had a 1.3L engine that was changed to a 1.5L in 1955. The main draw of the Transit was space as it beat the competitors in cargo room, and it quickly grew in popularity in the UK.

The model had American styling, with a broad body and squarish shell. It was durable and versatile, offering minibusses, crew-cabs, pick-ups, and panel vans with a choice of gas or diesel engines. The model remained relatively unchanged for 12 years, then in 1978, Ford revised the Transit, giving it a new front end and a more contemporary interior. The engine was replaced with a Pinto engine from the Cortina. In the 80s the engine then became the popular Essex V6 engine, and the first fast transit van was born, complete with an available automatic transmission.

Generation Two

In the late 80s, the Transit received another facelift. The windshield was more slanted to the top, and the body became a simple box shape. The short wheelbase models received an independent front suspension system, with the accessibility and visibility also being improved. The engines didn’t change until it was decided to drop a modern 2.9L fuel-injected Cologne engine into the van.

About 9 years later, the Transit was made more comfortable, but other features were still solid, so why change after 30 years of success. The comforts included adding air-conditioning, airbags, central locking, electric mirrors, and electric windows. The more comfortable Transit began to gain popularity as a convenient and practical van for private use. It wasn’t just for work anymore.

The Third Generation

Sharp styling common to Ford’s cars like the Focus marked a body design approvement and Ford presentation options for front or rear-wheel drive vans. Buyers now had a choice between more space and a low load height, or greater load-carrying and a greater towing capacity.

The popularity continued for the Transit and in 2005, the five millionth Transit rolled out of production. In 2006 more features were added and a more ergonomic and comfortable interior was designed. It was at this time, sportier vans were released with large alloys and racing stripes for Ford fans. The new TDCi engines were also equipped on these models so that economy and emissions would improve as well.

Generation Four

The more modern commercial vehicle remained popular, and a double cab Transit model was added to the line to increase passenger space to 7 passengers and to allow up to 10.6 cubic meters of flexible load space. More choices were added to design configurations as well, like long, extended, and medium wheelbases. There were also options for varying heights on the models.

Today you have several options to choose from like the Transit Connect, Transit Courier, Full-size Transit, Transit Custom, and Tourneo Custom. So, if you are looking for a new work van in Metairie, New Orleans, or Kenner, stop by Premier Clearance Center Metairie.

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