Friday, 2 February 2018

Ford Zodiac Mkiii

1917 FZ - mot a date, but the registration number of our Ford Zodiac Mk iii, which was our family car from the mid '60s until the mid '70s.  It was silver grey and was a big car - it could easily take 6 or even 7 people, with 3 on the full width bench front seat.  The inside was finished in red leatherette, I remember.



I'd forgotten a lot of the details until I saw this print:



Check out the size of the steering wheel - huge by today's standards.  The chromed inner wheel was of course the horn.  The speedo was a red ribbon affair which expanded and contracted just under the numbers in the centre of the dash as appropriate.  Thinking about it now it was pretty good at giving the driver feedback, in fact probably better than the needle-types most cars use nowadays.  The large lever on the left of the column was the gear stick, on the right was the indicator stalk.  The parking brake lever pulled out from the dashboard - you can see it towards the bottom left of the print, bisected by the horn.

My dad ran the car for years and years - it was sometime in our teens when eventually it was replaced and I remember dad selling it for £20.  It had taken us all (grandparents included) the length and breadth of Ireland more than once and even to France and Switzerland without a hiccup in 1972.  It didn't owe us anything.  Us teenage lads were sad to see it go - had it just been parked up and left to rot it was the sort of car we could have honed our mechanic-ing skills on in a few years time.  Perhaps that's what dad was afraid of...

4 comments:

  1. It's funny what qualified as a big car in different places around the world.

    My dad had a big Ford when I was small. It seated six in total comfort and you could hide five dead bodies in the trunk. Here's an article with lots of pics of a car like Dad's:

    http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics/car-show-classic-1966-ford-galaxie-500-look-ma-no-cruise-o-matic/

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    1. You've driven on the roads in Ireland, right Jim? :) Believe me, the Zodiac was big for those days!

      The Galaxie's interior looks very similar to how I remember the Zodiac. Great era for car design, if not for the planet's resources.

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  2. That's a fine-looking car, and it reminds me of how bland and rounded most cars are these days. A friend of mine told me that many cars look the same because of the strict design regulations imposed by governemnts. I guess that means things that affect wind drag, emissions, and so on.

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    1. I don't know if it's due to the design regs Marcus or the fact that these days all automotive design teams use computer-aided software to hone their initial sketches. Either way you are right - a lot of cars on the roads these have a certain homogeneous look about them, which is a great shame when you think back to the iconic cars of yesteryear. Man I sound old sometimes!

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