Ford Zephyr

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Ford Zephyr / Zodiac
Production period: 1951-1972
Class : upper middle class
Body versions : Sedan , station wagon , pickup , convertible
Previous model: Ford pilot
Successor: Ford Consul / Granada

The Ford Zephyr was a passenger car produced by the Ford Motor Company in Great Britain and Australia .

The Zephyr and its luxury version, Ford Zodiac , which was offered from 1955, were the largest passenger cars in the range of the British Ford company for twenty years. In 1972 they were replaced by the Consul and Granada models.

Ford also used the Zephyr name in the United States , from 1936 to 1942 for the twelve-cylinder Lincoln Zephyr and from 1977 to 1983 for the Mercury Zephyr , an upscale version of the Ford Fairmont . In 2006 the later Lincoln MKZ was initially sold under the name Lincoln Zephyr.

Zephyr and Zodiac Mk I (1951–1956)

Mark I.
Ford Zephyr Mk I.

Ford Zephyr Mk I.

Production period: 1951-1956
Body versions : Sedan , station wagon , convertible
Engines: Gasoline engine :
2.3 liters
Length: 4369 mm
Width: 1626 mm
Height: 1524 mm
Wheelbase : 2717 mm
Empty weight : 1118 kg

The Zephyr Mk I, an upper mid-range sedan, was produced from 1951 to 1956. Ford used the same platform for Zephyr and Consul I. The Zephyr was a bit longer and had a longer wheelbase, otherwise the body is the same. It is designed to be self-supporting. A total of 148,629 sedans and 4,048 convertibles were produced. The Zephyr is powered by a 2262 cm³ 6-cylinder engine with a four-way bearing crankshaft, side camshaft and parallel hanging valves. The power is transmitted via a hydraulically operated single-disk dry clutch, a three-speed gearbox with a gearshift lever on the steering wheel, the two upper gears of which are synchronized, and an undivided cardan shaft to the rear axle with a hypoid drive . The rigid rear axle is suspended from semi-elliptical leaf springs and hydraulic lever shock absorbers. The front wheels are individually suspended on MacPherson struts, wishbones and stabilizer, the Consul is the first production car with this design. The steering gear is a roller steering system. There are drum brakes on all wheels, Duplex at the front, which are hydraulically operated.

From 1954 the more luxurious variant was built as the Zodiac (on the market from 1955). The engine had a higher compression. 22,634 sedans of the Zodiac Mk I were produced.

Zephyr and Zodiac Mk II (1956–1961)

Mark II
Ford Zodiac Mk II

Ford Zodiac Mk II

Production period: 1956-1961
Body versions : Sedan , station wagon , pickup , convertible
Engines: Gasoline engine :
2.6 liters (66 kW)
Length: 4550 mm
Width: 1750 mm
Height: 1550 mm
Wheelbase : 2717 mm
Empty weight : 1250-1340 kg

The Mk II model (internal type designation 206E ) was produced from 1956 to 1961. Zephyr and Zodiac now got a new family look together with the Consul II.

The Zephyr and Zodiac Mk II together produced 294,506 sedans and 6,911 convertibles.

Zephyr and Zodiac Mk III (1962–1966)

Mark III
Ford Zephyr 4 Mk III

Ford Zephyr 4 Mk III

Production period: 1962-1966
Body versions : Limousine , station wagon
Petrol engines : 1.7–2.6 liters
(50–81 kW)
Length: 4590 mm
Width: 1760 mm
Height: 1450 mm
Wheelbase : 2720 ​​mm
Empty weight : 1252-1350 kg

The Mk III series rolled off the assembly line from 1962 to 1966. The 4.6 m long car with a relatively long engine still offered plenty of space in the interior for six people (2 benches) and numerous luggage racks. The Zephyr model was now available with a 1.7 liter four-cylinder engine (often referred to as the Zephyr 4 ) or with a 6-cylinder engine with 2553 cc ( Zephyr 6 ). The Zodiac had the same 6-cylinder engine, was better equipped and had a modified front with four headlights.

The new six-cylinder engine was short-stroke and the intake and (double) exhaust system also indicated a sporty engine. It made 81 KW (110 PS (DIN) / 114 PS (SAE)), but was only equipped with one carburetor. The maximum speed was - depending on the source - 160–164 km / h. There was a choice of a fully synchronized four-speed gearbox with steering wheel gearshift , on request with overdrive or an automatic gearbox. In contrast to the Zephyr models, the Zodiac had disc brakes on the front wheels. In the Zephyr 6, the engine had an output of 72 kW (98 PS (DIN) / 102 PS (SAE)) and the top speed was 145 km / h. The Zephyr 4 had the four-cylinder engine already known from the Consul II , which was now brought to an output of 50 KW (68 PS (DIN)) and enabled a top speed of 125 km / h.

The Zephyr 4 produced 106,810 vehicles, the Zephyr 6 105,256 vehicles and the Zodiac Mk III 77,323 sedans.

Ford Zephyr Mk III rear view

Zephyr and Zodiac Mk IV (1966–1972)

Mark IV
Ford Zephyr Mk IV (1970)

Ford Zephyr Mk IV (1970)

Production period: 1966-1972
Body versions : Limousine , station wagon
Petrol engines : 2.0-3.0 liters
(61-94 kW)
Length: 4700 mm
Width: 1810 mm
Height: 1480 mm
Wheelbase : 2920 mm
Empty weight : 1250-1442 kg

From 1966 a completely new model of the Zephyr / Zodiac came on the market. With the V-engines and the rear independent wheel suspension, this car is technically similar to the later Consul / Granada. The top model was named Ford Executive.

The Zephyr Mk IV was again available as a 4- and 6-cylinder (1996 and 2495 cc); the Zodiac got its own 6-cylinder engine with 2994 cm³.

102,417 Zephyr and 48,846 Zodiac were built. In 1972 the series was replaced by the Consul / Granada series.


  • Automobil Revue , catalog numbers 1965, 1969 (dates and prices)
  • Die Auto-Modelle , issue 1961/62 (dates and prices)

Individual evidence

  2. New British intermediate car series . In: Motor Vehicle Technology 11/1962, pp. 469–471

Web links

Commons : Ford Zephyr  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files