The Ford Transit was launched in 1965 and was an immediate success; Ford made nearly 50,000 examples in the launch year alone and that figure continued to rise throughout the vehicle’s production life. Although extensively revised in 1978 the basic structure remained in production until 1986 by which time over 2 million had been produced in a staggering number of body styles ranging from tippers to ambulances. Petrol engined Transits originally used Ford’s then new compact V4 engine but spotters could tell the initially much less common diesel version by their ‘pugnose’ grille, which was needed to accommodate the longer in-line Perkins diesel.
The October 1970 short wheelbase van offered for sale has been comprehensively restored by Ant Anstead of Evanta Motors working with Ford specialists Classic and Retro in Essex for Series 2 of Channel 4’s ‘For the Love of Cars’. It spent its early life in Malta but was repatriated to the UK some years ago and has been stored awaiting restoration since. This means it has retained its original engine and is a ‘matching numbers’ example.
The structure has been extensively rebuilt to a very high standard and finished off with a bare-metal re-spray in Ford ‘Ermine White’. The 1759cc Perkins 4/108 normally-aspirated diesel engine and 4-speed manual gearbox have also been, refurbished and repainted. The front axle has been updated to the later improved disc brake design, an accepted and popular modification to a van which is otherwise built to completely original standard specification. The axles, suspension and steering components have been powder-coated then reassembled with new bushes and shock absorbers while the brakes have also been rebuilt. The interior has been re-trimmed to original specification in black.
The longer nose on early diesel Transits ensured they could be retrofitted with either V6 petrol or later more efficient diesel engines more easily than the petrol models and most were. Because of this original examples are now extremely scarce; the Transit Van Club has only one other matching numbers Perkins diesel Transit registered. This is an opportunity to acquire an exceptionally rare vehicle in excellent condition that is unlikely to be repeated. It is ready to again work for its living or be used for shows, historic events or period film and TV work. This vehicle comes with a Maltese Logbook and is awaiting a V5 Logbook.