The Taunus 12M P4 was built from 1962 to mid-1966. Design history is eventful. Ford Germany was just working on a new concept to succeed the P1 model. And in Dearborn, the Ford management became restless, because European imports - especially the Beetle - made it difficult for the big Americans. Ford invented the Cardinal, which was to become the global car of the concern. The German NPX-C5 project was scrapped by order of Fords' headquarters. The Cardinal became an American-German production. Until Lee Iacocca ended the project in 1962. At least for America, because people did see opportunities for the old continent.
When the smaller car market collapsed in America, it flourished in Europe as never before. In the meantime, the very outdated Taunus P1 really needed to be replaced. The US-German preliminary work for the Cardinal was completed in a few months with special tests, which simply took place in public. Ford Germany put in a lot of effort to quickly prepare the new smaller mid-sized car for Europe for its market debut. That largely worked, the Taunus 12M P4 was officially born in September 1962, and was first subjected to early improvements.
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Continuous developments, new versions
Because no, it wasn't ready yet. But it soon became apparent that Iacocca had seen it right in Europe. Within a year, in Germany, for example, the Taunus P4's market share had doubled compared to its predecessor. Various body styles, more engines and trim levels soon appeared. And the Taunus P4 was always called 12M (or 12M TS), never 15m. And that while 1.2 and 1.5 liter engines were available, which were without exception coupled to a manual and synchronized four-speed gearbox (with steering gear). The engines were V4 power sources, which made their debut for Ford in Europe and in the run-up caused the necessary headaches in terms of development and engine running. In addition, the 12M P4 was the first front-wheel drive vehicle to be manufactured by Ford.
Also interesting: Ford Taunus 15M RS
Record drive in 1963
And the name was in record spheres in November 1963, because it equaled the moon-earth distance on the Miramas circuit. Unternehmen Mistral was called the record drive and that was good for countless records and nearly 360.000 kilometers traveled by the Ford test pilots. The 12m test drove a good portion of those miles heavily battered, but could easily have survived for a while.
Always improved and successful
The Taunus 12M P4 got better and better, especially in the area of the front suspension necessary adjustments have been made. It gave the car more stable handling. Furthermore, the Taunus was sharpened regularly. The finish was getting better, there was a more potent 1.5 engine and from 1964 Ford also mounted disc brakes. Other improvements have been made to the ventilation system, among other things, and an automatic choke has been fitted. And modern anti-rust measures were taken from the opening of the Genk factory. In addition, the 12M P4 was the very first Ford car to be launched in Genk. The 12m P4 was largely built in Belgium, and became successful. In July 1966 the counter stopped at 680.274 copies. He was succeeded by the Ford 12M and 15M of the P6 generation (which was not called a Taunus).
Fokke's Taunus 12M P4
Fokke Jansma from Wijnjewoude has a very late copy of the P4, a four-door version with the 1.498 cc engine. It is a car from the mature series, the year of construction is 1966. This Taunus was sold after the production stop by Renes in Zeist and returned there years later. It was used as a show object for a long time. Fokke Jansma bought the car a while ago, and we noticed it during Eelde Classics. We immediately saw that the Hellblue Taunus was in an excellent condition and did not hesitate to contact Jansma again.
For example, we made a report about this beautiful Taunus and the complete development history of the 12M P4. The Fokke Jansma car is a picture. It is always well preserved and maintained. The original tectyl traces are still visible. The most important intervention that has been done is to renew the braking system. But the original and beautiful condition (both inside and out) predominates to a large extent. Moreover, this Taunus breathes everything in the XNUMXs.
A little different
The Taunus 12m P4. It is a curious mix of American design philosophy and German craftsmanship. And Jansma's car tells the success of the past. For his time he was a little bit different with that far forward V4 engine, the heater system against the bulkhead and the front-wheel drive. And the relatively large dimensions (and the construction of front-wheel drive) and ditto luggage space made this Ford product an ideal family car. And those who spend an afternoon in and around the Taunus can imagine why the 12m P4 was a success for Ford Germany. We certainly do.