1952 Ford Vedette Pickup
From the The Automobile Magazine 'Oily Rag' Reserve Collection; running well two years ago; needs wiring and a few jobs
Originally conceived by Edsel Ford and Eugene ‘Bob’ Gregoire as a ‘light’ Ford model, the Vedette was designed entirely in Detroit but internal politics decreed that it would adversely affect sales of other larger Fords on the American market so it ended up getting made by the Blue Oval’s French subsidiary instead, Ford SAF.
Introduced at the 1948 Mondial de L’Automobile in Paris, the Vedette was powered by the Poissy-made 2158cc Aquilon sidevalve V8 as used in pre-war Matford cars. Available in several different body styles (four-door saloon; two-door landaulet; coupé; convertible; five-door Abeille estate), it was the only French car with a V8 and never really grabbed the attention of the buying public.
To complicate matters, the Poissy factory did not have all the necessary tooling so many vital components had to be made by subcontractors which meant production was somewhat erratic. The Vedette was finally knocked on the head in 1954 when Ford managed to get shot of their French connection by selling the factory to Simca.
According to correspondence on file from The Early Ford V8 Club, this Ford Vedette Pickup Truck Type 49 2E was built in 1952. An original French registration document shows that it was owned by a garage proprietor named Henri Lecouffe of Genech, Prefecture du Nord, in 1955. Other correspondence suggests that he had owned the vehicle from new when it was still a car, getting it professionally converted into a pickup in 1955 and keeping it for many years thereafter.
It was acquired for the Oily Rag Collection in early 2015 at which point it had been in storage for decades although the engine still turned, the mileage was low and the structure was solid – thus ticking all the right boxes for the collection.
Brought to the UK from Lille and registered here as WXG 993, it has been treated to some light recommissioning to get it running with invoices showing attention to the brakes and steering plus a rebuilt Zenith carburettor, refurbished fuel pump, new battery and new Michelin tyres all-round. The front seats and door cards have been removed but are still present in the rear cargo area. It will require electrical work before it goes back on the road.
The history file also includes a V5C, what looks like an original owner’s manual in French, some period Vedette sales brochures, magazine articles, a French book on the Vedette and Comète range, Vedette Club literature and some useful technical information about the model including wiring diagrams.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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