The Ford Transit Bullnose that caught our eye


Owning anything for 40 years would make it part of you

The Transit “Bullnose”. A rare sight and, if rumours are to be believed, not an intentional design feature.

The distinctive, if not yet iconic, extended nose was merely an engineering solution. One made due to unforeseen complications with the packaging of a diesel engine into an already-sorted design.

All old Transits are now rare, and cool, but to have a bullnose sets you apart even more. This one’s recently been working hard in Finland and caught our eye when doing our usual metaphorical flick through the classifieds. It even has a phone handset on the dash, Jason at the dealership advised it is for the CB radio, which gets you extra retro cool points. He said this particular vehicle was originally used for building roads, but managed to survive the hard labour.

We originally found the truck because it’s on a British classic car sales site and the wording of the ad is clearly targeted at people from the UK wanting to check it out, despite it being left hand drive. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it turn up in the UK as there’s a lot of love for old Ford. This one’s not only a recently restored example with pics to prove it, with just a few thousand miles on the clock since getting a nice refreshing bit of TLC, but it’s also a vehicle that’s been in the same hands since 1977. That’s four decades ago now. And that’s worth a lot.

Bullnose interior

This pickup version was bought and registered in 1976 and so knows barely anything else other than the current owner’s ways and mannerisms, but there’s something incredibly reassuring about ‘Forever’ vehicle like this. We’ve been looking at similar long-ownership cars over on the Adrian Flux blog too – we’ll feature that blog on Influx at some point, too, but for now let’s imagine the connection you’d have with a Transit Bullnose you’d owned for four decades.

You must have a oneness with a vehicle owned for that long. The roads you know so well, it knows well. The people (and whatever else you carry) know it well. The people in your town know it – for a start it’s rather vibrant in this yellow paintjob. The local mechanics perhaps know it well too…

Aficionados of Ford and Transit will remember it at shows, if that’s your thing – and probably remind you that you have a Bullnose version at every meeting.

The journeys you’ve made in it – along with the associated memories – mean part of you still lives in it after you sell it, I’m sure. Maybe, just maybe, it’s best not to try and guess why it’s suddenly up for sale after 40 years…

back of Bullnose

The ad goes on to say that whilst the UK is in the EU it makes life easier, and so to get hold of what must be a rapidly appreciating classic vehicle you can do so for a lot less than you might think, with the asking price under £6k plus a bit for shipping to the UK. We’re currently trying to find our cheque books but our better halves have hidden them after seeing us eyeing up this truck.

If any of you decide this might be the vehicle for you – either as a fun addition to the family, a genuine disel commercial workhorse, or simply to keep an eye on and watch the value (potentially) go up, then let us know, because we’ll want to come and have a play – and we don’t want to have to wait four decades before you think about letting us have it. The truck’s for sale here, if you’re interested, and if you’ve read this far you probably are. If that link doesn’t work it’s probably because it’s been sold to some lucky lugger.

They say a man’s best friend is a dog. But maybe for this truck’s four-decade-long owner it’s a Bullnose, rather than bulldog.

Bullnose diesel

pics via Car and Classic / Koskin