As one of the most common vans on our roads,the Transit van is not only an icon, but a household name here in the UK.
The Ford Transit van has a legacy that runs back to 1965. With a heritage going back this far, we’re going to delve into its past and take a closer look into the history of the Transit van and how far it has come…
Where it all started
First introduced in Germany, the Transit van finally arrived in the UK in 1965. Production began at Ford’s Langley plant, and then moved on to the Hawker Hurricane site in Southampton.
Before long, the Transit van hit off helping transport billions of goods around the UK, and it is now the third biggest-selling Ford in the UK, falling short behind its counterparts Fiesta and Focus.
In 1972, it was dubbed ‘Britain’s most wanted van!’ with 95% of bank raids using Transit vans as they could match the performance of a car but had the advantage of space for 1.75 tonnes in the back to fill with – in this case – money!
What it did differently
The once old, narrow and slow van was replaced by something far more spacious and fast, and was actually good to drive, too! A front-engine configuration gave it ample space in the back and things have improved even more since then.
Today, you can now choose between long and short-wheelbases in either a double cab, panel or minibus style. With more than 500 configurations available, Ford prides itself on being able to provide a Transit for every occasion.
Throughout the years, there have been several different Transit models that have been introduced to the market.
The MK1 Transit 1965-1978
- American styling and a wide body
- Petrol or diesel option
- Simpler to care for, easier to drive
- Various body styles available
The MK2 Transit 1978-1986
- Updated interior and new front
- Pinto engine
- 1984: diesel engine and minor trim changes
- Automatic transition
The MK3 Transit 1986-1991
- Widescreen window to match angle of slanted bonnet and for increased visibility
- Short-wheelbase versions had an independent front suspension system
- Increased load space
The MK4 Transit 1991-1994
- More rounded front headlights
- Independent front suspension available across whole range
- Long-wheelbase available as single-wheel rear axle
- Turbocharged diesel engine available.
The MK5 Transit 1994-2003
- New dashboard and front-end styling
- Updated engine
- Introduction of features such as air conditioning, central locking, electric windows, mirrors and central locking.
The MK6 Transit 2000-2006
- Front or rear wheel drive
- Choice between more space in the back or towing and load carrying options
- Styling that mirrored cars like the Focus.
The MK7 Transit 2006 – present
- Interior developed for a more comfortable experience
- TDCi engines improved economy and emissions
- Introduction of the Sport Van – sports style trim, alloy wheels, racing strips etc.
The Transit Custom: 2012 – present
- One-tonne vehicle
- Falls between the Transit Connect and the regular Transit
- Design based on Ford’s car range
- Interior mimics Fiesta and Mondeo
If you’re looking to hire a van, then Caversham Vehicle Hire are the people to call. We hire vehicles at affordable rates and have a wide range to choose from, including the Ford Transit van. Simply call us today for more details.
Image Credits: All images from Wikipedia.