Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ford Taunus: The First Generation

As this Wikipedia entry mentions, Ford's German subsidiary introduced "a mid-size car intended to slot into the range between the little Ford Eifel and the company’s big V8 models."  Moreover, "It was the first car developed at Cologne by Ford Germany which previously had built cars originated by Ford businesses in the US or the UK."  Production began at the end of April 1939 and it was first exhibited in June.  Germany invaded Poland on 1 September, so Ford's timing was unfortunate.

Unlike the USA, wartime civilian automobile production was not quickly halted in Germany.  Taunus cars were built as late as February 1942.

Production resumed a few years after the war with a slightly changed version.  Model identifiers for this first generation of Taunus cars were G93A (1939-1942), and G73A (1948-1952).  A redesigned Taunus line appeared in 1952.

Wikipedia asserts that the Taunus was developed in Köln, but styling was adapted from Ford's 1939 De Luxe Tudor models that, in turn, were facelifts of a body introduced for the 1938 model year.


A 1939 Taunus.

Here is a 1939 Ford De Luxe Tudor.  It is larger than the Taunus in virtually all respects, so the Taunus can be considered a shrunken '39 Ford.  Aside from altered proportions and size, salient differences are the Taunus' lack of flat running boards and its use of rear-hinged "suicide" doors.  Oh yes ... and the grille bars are not vertical.

Rear 3/4 view of a '39 Taunus.

This is a postwar Taunus.  Changes I note are new grille bars and the addition of a turn signal wand just aft of the door.

A later postwar Taunus.  It features a different bumper, and more chrome trim on the sides and framing the windshield.  Linking the fenders is something that might be either a sheet metal strip or a partly enclosed running board.


Chris said...

A lot of European manufacturers had trouble translating late pre-war/early post war US shapes into something the right size for their market, but 40s and 50s German Fords are some of the ugliest cars ever made.

emjayay said...

The body of the Taunus is clearly wider in relation to the track than the US Ford. Doesn't show much in front where the body narrows, but look at the rear fenders which are very flat, much more so than any US car of the time. This must have intruded on the width of the back seat, which in prewar designs was still between the rear wheels.