How the Taunus Transit became

ER Classics Desktop 2022

In 1951, Germany was very busy forgetting about World War II. And that happened extremely successfully. The world fire was extinguished. It could be built again. So the Cologne Ford Werke AG launched the FK series of commercial vehicles, FK stands for Ford Cologne, with vehicles of different sizes (FK2000 with 2 tons payload, FK3000 with 3 tons payload, FK3500 with 3,5 tons payload, etc.) series was the successor to the 'Rhein' and 'Ruhr' trucks. In 1953, the FK series was completed with the FK1000 / FK1250 light van (1 ton / 1,25 ton payload), in competition with the Volkswagen Type 2 VW Bus, the DKW Type F89L Schnellaster or the Vidal & Sohn Tempo Matador.

The predecessors of the Transits

Predecessor to the British and German-built Transit, the first production Ford to bear the 'Transit' logo was thus a van built at Ford's Cologne plant. It was introduced in 1953 as FK1000 (weighing 1000 kg) with a 1,2-liter four-in-line engine from the then Taunus. And it turned out to be a resounding success. In 1955 the cylinder capacity was increased to 1,5 liters. From 1961 this vehicle was called the Ford Taunus Transit. And that Transit got to the point where its type name simply became the common name for vans and sober pickups in certain countries. Production of this model ceased in 1965.

The first generation Ford Transit was called Ford Taunus Transit

It was initially only available in Western Europe and Australia. There he became the Alfa and Omega for countless small entrepreneurs as a working donkey. Dairy farmers and small contractors drove the early round-nosed free-range animals with absolute disregard for the maximum payload.

They had to work like Greek donkeys

Most of the Taunuses / Transits were seen and used as tools. And where they already received care, TLC was lacking. In their later life they often had to make do with a lot of beating and little eating. Add to that the fact that at the time the factories simply did not pay attention to rust prevention and you understand why there are many more Ferrari GTOs left than - early - Transits.

Of course there are always exceptions that confirm the rule

Sometimes a neat copy turns up. That is from a Ford with a history as a fire truck or ambulance. In the former fire trucks, the occupational water has often been a source of rust and rot. But it often happens that a tired van or carrier is lovingly restored. Technically, these workers are more or less at the level of a brick. Technical components can still be found or overhauled / repaired. Finding original sheet metal is a thing and trinkets for the interior are no longer to be found.

Entrance Jan Tinga, the man you know from his advertisements in AMK

If you call his telephone number, you will get 'the boss himself' on the line. And then everything will be fine. Jan transports classics throughout Europe, especially for rally purposes. But en route he is not deterred by the narrowest roads and so he finds the best classics crawling and stealthily. But treasures are also found in the Netherlands.

The Taunus in the photos has been wonderfully reborn. And its asking price is significantly lower than that of a Ferrari GTO.

Also read:
- Ford Transit - the first generation
- Ford Taunus Transit
- A Transit that did not become a camper or food truck
- Peugeot J9: Convert a van
- An Alien Bus


Give a reaction
  1. My first car experience. It was 1959 and my father bought a new Taunus van. I was four and loved it. My father was a contractor and has owned several, including a double cab pickup. We could use as a passenger car for the family, but also for business. Was not a success, The milkman had a VW van, but because the engine was in the back, you could hardly lose anything.
    No, then the Taunus van, I still remember that we drove with 8 people, including 8 bicycles and a complete household as luggage to our holiday address in Twente, a trip around the world, it never ended! Dad behind the wheel, mom in the passenger seat, big brother on the hood between the seats and I in a fishing seat for my mom. In the back a brother and a sister, a friend and a cousin on a homemade sofa. Why safety? Why safety belts or child seats? We all survived without accidents. It wasn't until 1966 that things went so well that my father could afford a luxury car, a Taunus 17M. That was enormous progress, but the good memories of the Taunus vans remain. Too bad you don't see them anymore, at the time there were a lot of driving around.

  2. When I was 15 I learned to drive a Transit MK1.
    As a Saturday job, I was allowed to clean the fleet of a local roofer with other colleagues. Put cars in the cleaning line and also ready to load for Monday. Parking in the back of the sheds with trailers and all. And it all went very well too. Driving experience for a lifetime. I have indelibly beautiful memories of it. The high seating position was very convenient and those Transits were kind of indestructible. They could take a lot. Real, very loyal work donkeys.

  3. The FK 1000 / FK1250 Taunus Transit is certainly an underrated type against Volkswagen T1. The FK Transit were available with 1200 side valve from the 12m world globe from 1955 a 1500 OHV from the 15m globe and from 1957 also a 1700 engine from the 17m p2

  4. @Peter.
    I understood that the Buchanka recently got a “new” engine to be able to be sold new in the EU. So then it is completely environmentally again.

    • The Buchanka with 2700 cc engine is a lot better to do than my MK1 Transit with 1700 cc 72 hp (and 1500 cc) for a weight of more than 2000 kg (Ford)
      With a cruising speed of 80 km / h you were constantly passed by trucks. Top was 115, but faster than 80 was only good for a short while, so almost impossible to do in daily traffic.
      The UAZ Buchanka is still worth considering buying new for me.
      The Buchanka looks a lot like the first Transit in terms of body series, not a Ford but very useful in current traffic and also with a large cuddly factor.

    • The Buchanka (that is its nickname, "sandwich") is indeed for sale new in the Netherlands and also dates from the post-war period, but the essential difference is that the UAZ is not only a nostalgic van, but also a fully-fledged off-road vehicle with ditto ground clearance and considerable roadworthy mass. A very nice car of course and not expensive to purchase.

  5. This first series Transit strongly resembles the Russian UAZ Buchanka from the same period, which by the way is still for sale new in unaltered form and is imported to Zutphen.
    I had a Transit MK1 (the successor model). These Fords are absolutely underrated, but certainly as beautiful and good as the totally overrated VW bus.

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