History of the Ford Transit Van from 1965 to 2019
The Ford Transit is a common sight on UK roads, being the best-selling light commercial vehicle for +50 years. Read the history of Ford Vans.
July 04, 2019
A title that the Ford Transit is reluctant to part with, the commercial has seen many transformations and unique one-off editions. The first Transit had a very basic design when launched in 1965 lasting over twenty years until the diesel and V6 engines were introduced. The new engines influenced a ‘pig snout’ nose design and a more contemporary look. The iconic van cost just £560 when first unveiled to the nation’s builders, plumbers and electricians and has sold more than eight million vehicles worldwide.
The van’s versatility is the primary reason for its continuous success. From transporting band’s equipment to venues, groceries to people’s doors and all of your belongings to a new home, the van is much more than just a work tool. Over the decades the Transit van has seen a number of facelifts to improve aerodynamic performance and to accommodate the modern worker. The Ford Transit has become ‘the backbone of Britain’, a mobile work station and more importantly an essential staple to business owners and self-employed tradesmen. The Transit has also seen many makeovers from milk floats, mini-buses, police vans and even ice cream vans!
The clichéd ‘white van man’ term stems from the notorious white Transit. The colour was chosen to keep drivers cooler long before air conditioning was a standard feature. Long gone are the days where the MK1 and MK2 came with very little features. Today the Transit offers a choice of four models in its line-up; Courier, Connect, Custom and the original Transit. Contributing over £120 billion to the UK economy and with 600,000 vans being built globally every year, the Transit shows no signs of declining anytime soon. Here’s to the next fifty years!