Ford 17M / Ford 20M P7a. Not loved. Still successful.

Not everyone liked the lines of the first generation Ford P7 models. However, the 20M TS is a much-loved classic today. Photo: Ford
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It is September 1967. In the larger European middle class, the successor to the Ford Taunus P5 makes its market entrance. The larger "M" class of Ford makes its debut in renewed trim. The P7a technically shares the necessary features with its successful predecessor "Taunus P5". However, he will get a completely new monocoque body. And that housing ensures that the first P7 generation never generates the popularity it deserves.

The new German family cruiser is not to the taste of the buying public. The kink in both flanks does not correspond - according to the critic - with the predominantly austere silhouette of Ford's newcomer. The “Hüftschwung”, the hip swing, is often cited as a major cause for the concerns within public opinion. The P7a has a hard time making it forget its predecessor.

Familiar technology, new bodywork

With the newcomer to the large European middle class, Ford - with trusted technology - is taking an advance on the future while preserving the good. An important step for Ford is the standard application of the 12V electrical installation. Familiar V engines find their way into the 1967 newcomer. The P7a will be available with the V4 “Taunus” and V6 “Köln” engines. The entry-level version of the P7a is the 1.5 V4 with 60 HP. Two 1.7 V4 variants are also available. The heavier “Cologne version” - with six V-shaped cylinders, is available in two 2.0 versions. The most powerful two-liter engine (90 HP) forms the basis for the beautiful 20M / TS Hardtop. The latter variant, however, can also be ordered with the 2.3 V6 variant - with a capacity of 108 HP.

Not popular in opinion, but still selling well in its existence of just ten months: The Ford P7a. Image: Ford
Not loved by the public, but sold well in its existence, which lasted only ten months: The Ford P7a. Image: Ford

Four- and six-cylinder variants have their own face

It is striking that the 4 cylinder variants on the front and rear are designed differently than the larger brothers. With the six-cylinder versions, the bonnet has a subtly constructed opening for extra air. The lines of the light units and the grille are also distinctive compared to the V4 versions. Despite the wide choice of body styles and motorization, the P7a should never be in a great public popularity. That's why Ford decides to come up with the "tightened" P7b within a year. In August 1968 - ten months after the introduction - the production of the P7a will be stopped.

Respectable number in ten months

He is therefore unloved among the general public. But despite the dubious image, a number of 155.780-produced copies can be considered respectable in ten months. Certainly if the production number of the incense-smelling successor, the P7b, is taken into account. This is produced up to and including December 1971 567.482 times. He therefore takes three and a half years to reach that number. After this he is followed by the Granada and Consul together with the English Zephyr / Zodiac series. And the "M" episode of Ford comes to an end after 20 years.

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  1. I doubt whether that “huftschwung” was the problem, because arch-rival Opel had that too and their Rekord C / Commodore A sold like hot cakes. Even took away many Ford customers,

    I think it had more to do with the cheap, boring impression the new P7 made.The P3 and the P5 were really recognizable Fords with their oval, soft shapes and integrated bumpers and that was suddenly gone with the P7a, to get to the P7b to return again.

  2. I believe we had this in a 4-door 23M-RS version, much faster than a large BMW or Mercedes. A Ford V6 with 2 small double carburetors, at least we got the rear wheels spinning well into 2nd gear …… Ever wondered why these were never used as a race car? All around KONIs and with the “new” Michelin XAS tires, that thing went like a train-on-rails….

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