1961 Ford Zodiac
Unfinished restoration with much work done, super interior and nice paint; boxed parts inside the car and photos of work done
The Zodiac name was first seen on a Ford at the 1953 Earls Court Motor Show. From day one it denoted the top of the range model – above its siblings, the Consul and Zephyr. The trio were completely restyled in 1956, and the much bigger glass area, tail fins and the optional two-tone paint schemes had a heavy American influence.
The newcomers were quite a bit larger than their predecessors, with the wheelbase increased by 3 inches to 107 inches and the overall width stretched to 69 inches. With bench seats front and rear, these Fords would comfortably seat up to six adults and had boots to match. The six cylinder in-line engines of the Zephyr and Zodiac were increased in capacity to 2553cc to give an output of 86bhp. This was sufficient to allow a 0-60mph time of 17.9 seconds and a top speed of almost 90mph – lively performance for a largish family car of the period.
The engine was either paired with a three-speed, column-change manual gearbox (for which overdrive was an option) or a Borg Warner automatic unit. Suspension was independent at the front with MacPherson struts and coil springs and a live axle at the rear suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs.
Braking was initially by drums all round, but front discs became optional in 1960 and standard the following year. The Mark II reigned for six years, during which time 294,506 Zephyrs and Zodiacs were produced.
Dating from May 1961 this trip down nostalgia lane Zodiac MkII was the subject of a photographically documented restoration some ten years ago after being acquired by the current keeper in 2011. More recently the car has been the subject of a glass-out re-spray in black over white which presents well along with the shiny brightwork too.
Mechanically the car is believed to be standard, the torquey 2.6-litre straight-six engine mated to a column shift, three-speed manual transmission.
There are various boxes with this lot, as pictured containing an array of parts required to finish the car, and as we understand should be relatively complete, but please satisfy yourselves of this. We note the front driver and passenger windows are not presently fitted so please be aware when transporting the car home in potentially wet weather. We also note that the column shift requires some adjustment to the selectors.
The history file for TSY 101 includes the V5C, sundry bills and aforementioned photographic record.
Surviving Zodiac MKII Saloons are few and far between these days which is a shame given what stylish yet practical classics they are, imbued with a dose of transatlantic American hey-day glamour.
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