Ford Zephyr: Middle Management Classic


the middle-management-focused mini slice of faux Detroit steel from Ford still arrests

We spotted this amazingly clean Ford Zephyr this week.

The car is sat behind a high fence on the estate in East London where I grew up with my family in the late sixties. And this car, dating from a little earlier than the year of my birth, brought back strangely comforting memories.

The Zephyr looks striking enough from the perspective of 2016, if a little smaller than you remember these cars to be.

When the car rolled off the production line in Dagenham some time in the early to mid sixties, it must have looked like an emissary from another world.


This particular car is, I think, a Zephyr 6 Mark III (please correct us if we’re wrong). It would have come, in this case, with a 2.5 litre engine – and would have been a kind of up-market version of the Cortina or the Consul with which it shared many component parts.

All that chrome, and those fins set the car apart from the more restrained lines of the Cortina – and obvious Detroit-led styling cues meant that this car was aspirational and aimed and the burgeoning middle class, middle management of the era.

ford gb 1962 zephyr6

The spot got us looking for images of the Ford Zephyr in the round. And the more you assess those lines, curves and bevels, the more you admire whoever it was who dreamt up such an evolution of the everyman classic.

We’re fans of the Granada as well – the beefy seventies middle manager that replaced it –

but for period panache and a nostalgic ache of a British boom time, there’s little to match the Zephyr.

ford gb 1962 zephyr4


One Response to “Ford Zephyr: Middle Management Classic”

  1. Simon Duval Smith

    The green car pictured behind the fence is a Zephyr 4 Mark 111, Ford model number 211E, the lowest model in the range, with the 1,703 cc (104 cu in) straight-4 cylinder engine. The 211E had a full-width radiator grille, the 2,553 cc (156 cu in) six-cylinder Zephyr 6 Mark 11, 213E, had the divided grille and the Zodiac had the perforated, American-Ford style full-width grille, with the 2,553 cc engine.