Mk1 History

The Ford Mk1 CZZOC

The Club was formed in the mid 1970s and started life with just a handful of enthusiasts driving from London to Brighton. From these early beginnings the Club has become a well established and well organised authority on Mk1 Consuls Zephyrs and Zodiacs and is run by several volunteer Club officers.

The Club exists for all who would like to keep these significant, trend settings vehicles on the road, whether standard or modified. We have members from all over the globe including America, New Zealand, Australia and Africa. All members are kept in touch by our quarterly magazine ‘Five Stars’. The Club has several members who do not actually own a Mk1 – they just enjoy looking and want to be part of the Club.

The Club holds twice yearly gatherings at Newton Longville Hall, Buckinghamshire in the UK and makes appearances at selected classic car shows throughout the year.

There is also technical advice available to members together with listings of available parts from our recommended spares suppliers.

If you are interested in joining the owners club,

Please follow the instructions on our Join the Club page.

The Mk 1

Technically, the Mk1 didn’t exist – it didn’t become known as the Mk1 until the Mk2 arrived in February 1956, until then they were simply Ford Consuls, Ford Zephyrs and Ford Zodiacs (or Zephyr Zodiacs). The cars also had a convertible option for the Consul and the Zephyr, an estate version for the Consul and the Zephyr, along with a super rare variant – the utility or “Ute”, which was produced for the export market.


The Mk1 Consul

The first Consul arrived on January 2nd 1951, costing around £700 and heralded a revolution in motor manufacturing. The body was monocoque, i.e. it had no separate chassis and MacPherson front suspension struts were used for the first time on a British car.

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The Consul had a 1508cc 4 cylinder engine which developed 48bhp harnessed to a 3 speed column change gearbox. Top speed was in the low 70s. Later on, a Carbodies convertible and Abott bodied estate version followed.


The Mk1 Zephyr

February 1951 saw the first of the Zephyr range costing £608 with its six cylinder 2262cc engine which boosted performance to in excess of 60bhp and a top speed of 80mph. The Raymond-Mays conversion with twin S.U. carburettors claimed an excess of 100bhp and 95mph.

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There was later a power-convertible version by Carbodies as well as an Abbott-bodied estate and export versions were available as flat bodied trucks or “Utes”.

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The Mk1 Zephyr Zodiac

The Zodiac (Zephyr Zodiac) didn’t arrive until late 1953 and cost £851. This top of the range Mk 1 embodied two tone livery, whitewall tyres, chrome wheel trims, wing mirrors as standard, windscreen washers, gold plated lettering, spot lamp/s, fog-lamps and reversing lamps.

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Inside luxuries included two tone leather seats and panelling, clock, cigarette lighter and a vanity mirror. The engine in its standard form was rated by Ford at 72bhp with a maximum speed of 82mph.


Important Dates…

October 1950 – four cylinder Consul and six cylinder Zephyr Six introduced known as the flat dash.

January and February 1951 – production starts, mainly Consuls, half of which are sold overseas.

September 1952 – flat dash replaced with new design housing instruments in separate dash pod (which mimics Zephyr grille). Maurice Gastonides wins the over 1500cc class in the Monte Carlo rally in a standard Zephyr.

October 1953 – high specification Zephyr Zodiac launched with two tone body colours, whitewall tyres, a plush interior complete with two tone leather, and a slightly hotter engine. Consuls and Zephyr Sixes receive restyled brightwork, interior and equipment tweaks.

November 1954 – cylinder block casting changed to incorporate new flywheel and cover plate.

August 1955 – Borg Warner overdrive option on six cylinder cars.

February 1956 – production ends.

Specifications:

Mk1specifications