1951 Ford Consul

Highlights


∙Largely original, early example of the model. 

∙‘Blank canvas’ for new owner to complete to their taste. 

∙Recent respray in original Ford colour 


The Background


The Ford Consul was manufactured by Ford in the UK from 1951 to 1962. (The name was later revived for a model produced by Ford in both Britain and Germany from 1972 to 1975.) Between 1951 and 1962, the Consul was the four-cylinder base model of the three-model Ford Zephyr range, comprising Consul, Zephyr, and Zephyr Zodiac. Most cars were four-door saloons, with a body designed by George Walker of the parent company in the USA, but a few estate cars were made by coachbuilder Abbott. 

The Consul and Zephyr models were launched at the Earls Court Motor show in October 1950, with the first customer cars arriving in January 1951.  The car cost around £700, and heralded a revolution in motor manufacturing, with a monocoque or unitary construction - having no separate chassis. MacPherson front suspension struts were used for the first time on a British car, and road testers of the period praised the car for its combination of smooth ride and good handling. Early models are known as the ‘flat dash’, as in 1952 the dash was re-styled to include a separate instrument pod.

In common with many historic Fords, the MkI Consul and Zephyr models remain popular with classic car enthusiasts to this day.

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The History


847 YUK was made in 1951, marking it out as a very early example of the model. The current owner understands that the car spent much of its life in Australia, and the DVLA website suggests that the car was first registered in the UK in August 2002. The vendor has owned the car for approximately two years and the car has been extensively restored – although, at the time of our visit, much of the work to finish this is incomplete. The vendor assures us that he will finish all necessary work prior to collection by the new owner. 

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The Exterior


The car has recently (June 2021) been repainted in Winchester Blue, an original Ford colour. The owner assures us that this was a bare-metal professional job and the car appears to be cosmetically good. Its reputed long spell in Australia has clearly prevented it falling prey to the rust which has seen off so many of these early models. However, at the time of our visit, the newly re-chromed bumpers had not been returned, and the owner has yet to refit the badges, the front numberplate and ‘torpedo’ bonnet ornament. The quarter-light window on the front nearside is missing, but again the owner says he has this and will install it before collection.  The ‘trafficator’ indicators are to be refitted before sale.  All four wheels are in good condition and the tyres have plenty of wear left in them, although as the car has been standing for a while some are in need of reinflation. The front grille and badge are in excellent condition. All four door handles show evidence of ‘pitting’, which is common in brightwork on cars of this age.

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The Interior


Again there is clearly work to be done on the interior, and the vendor assures us that all of this will be completed before the car goes to its new home. The door panels are all intact and original, but all but one have yet to be refitted. Similarly, the owner is awaiting delivery of new door seals. The window mechanism on the rear offside door is awaiting repair. The heater control awaits refitting and there is no radio or blanking plate in the dash aperture. The carpets are clearly a recent addition, and are in excellent condition. The owner assures us that he will finish refitting the roof lining prior to sale. The spare wheel and boot mat are not in the boot, but the owner has these and other items in storage and ready to be returned to the car when reassembly is complete. Some of the dashboard trim also awaits refitting, as is clear from the photographs, and the vendor will refit the original sun visor.

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The Mechanicals


At the time of our visit and photography session, the car was not in running order, as the owner is awaiting the delivery of a new accelerator pedal. As the car has been the subject to a major restoration, the owner has not driven it for a while and the car will need to be fully reassembled before it can be test-driven. However, the engine bay appears to be clean and tidy and all parts look to be in good condition. The chassis plate is not currently attached but the owner has this with other items in storage.  

The Paperwork


The car is currently subject to a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). As an historic vehicle it is exempt from both tax and MoT. At the time of writing the owner was not able to provide any additional paperwork.

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The Appeal


Many examples of the MkI Consul/Zephyr range have been ‘bodged’ or customised, while this early model appears to have been largely unmolested prior to its recent restoration work. Consequently, it offers the new owner the chance to return the car to something approaching its original look and feel. While the photographs show the car in its current condition, the owner assures us that he will be working hard to resolve many of the outstanding issues prior to collection. These are popular cars with classic enthusiasts, and as a result there is widespread support for owners from clubs and specialists, and parts are widely available.        


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1952
  • Make Ford
  • Model consul
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 77,077 Miles
  • Engine size 1508
  • Location Surrey
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
8 bids from 4 bidders
  • joseph.•••• £5,000 17/08/21
  • Olly34 £4,000 17/08/21
  • joseph.•••• £3,300 17/08/21
  • neil-si•••• £3,150 17/08/21
  • joseph.•••• £3,000 17/08/21
  • neil-si•••• £2,500 17/08/21
  • neil-si•••• £2,200 17/08/21
  • ca6371c•••• £2,000 11/08/21

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