Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ranting Stan's Sunday Drive: Ford Classic

If there was one car that was guaranteed to catch a young boy's eye in the sixties it was the Ford Classic.

The Classic seemed to me to exude the glamour of the US from it's attractive streamlined front graced with five stars and twin headlamps through to the graceful fins at the rear. The Classic was a real head turner. If anything, it represented the emergence of Britain from the austerity of the fifties into the bright new world of the nineteen sixties.

But it was largely unloved by the British people. Even though it was, in essence, nothing more than a stretched out Anglia - which had proven very popular with the British public - the Classic failed to capture the imagination of British car buyers and was only in production for three short years.

Consequently you saw very few on British roads even when they were relatively new and the sight of a Classic today is as rare as hen's teeth. That's a shame, as I think they were one of the most visually appealing mainstream cars from that time. Mind you, it's Ford's fault - when you go around naming something you make as "Classic" you better make damn sure it really is.


TheFatBigot said...

A splendid choice, Mr Stan. I never knew anyone who had a Classic but would see them from time to time and they always caught the eye.

Dredging my addled brain for memories of those days I think there was one thing more than any other that made them stand out - four headlights. So few cars had them.

I wonder whether one reason it didn't sell is that it was pitched at the Anglia market which was not yet sufficiently wealthy to move up to a larger car. By the time the Cortina arrived - and one can see its origins in the Classic - it was Anglia man who bought it because those few years made all the difference to his spending power.

Stan said...

You could well be right, FB. The Anglia was still quite new and fresh when the Classic arrived and Anglia man wasn't ready to trade in his quick, lively, spacious, economical and fairly new Anglia for a Classic just yet. Four headlamps just wasn't enough incentive for him.

I'm not sure about this either, but wasn't it around the time that the Cortina was introduced that there were changes to the tax system which meant the "company car" became popular?