﹒Low-mileage Deluxe model ﹒V6 engine ﹒Imposing condition both inside and out
The Ford Zephyr, Zodiac and Executive were the very last of the British ‘Z cars'. They were made famous by a Police TV show, but by 1966 it was to become the final evolution of these British built Fords. As an all-new design, it used very confident bold styling. Adopting detailing from the American school of car design, it was notable for its long bonnet, which lent the car the name of 'Aircraft Carrier'. The idea was to create impact and drama to the flagship Ford, which tallied up with the power promised under that colossal bonnet. Ford used the car to showcase the dynamic mechanical appeal to the Ford range too, with the combination of all-round disc brakes and independent suspension with a series of new V4 and the preferred V6 engines, which gave the series of cars huge showroom appeal.
The timeline of the 'Z cars' is fairly detailed and needlessly complicated, but each model was named according to trim and engine size. The Zephyr was lower down in the Z car pecking order but still would have signified a fairly high status in the company car park, especially with the V6 engine and the Deluxe trim.
Distinguishable by its full-length grill and single headlamps, the Ford Zephyr 6 Deluxe Mark IV was well furnished for a car of its era. Ford tended to use more modern materials such as hard-wearing vinyl rather than the traditional wood and leather finish, to help provide an alternative to the usual ‘pipe and slippers' tradition of interior design. Known for their relaxing drive and ample accommodation and space, they were also noted for their comfort. The ‘Essex’ 2495cc V6 was no slouch either and formed the basis of several competition engines and outlived the car by two decades.
Soon after the launch of the Zephyr/Zodiac/Executive series of cars, Ford started rationalising their European operations as there were several distinct design divisions catering for both the UK and European markets. The development costs of producing unique designs for the same sector was obviously not cost-effective, so starting with the Capri, Ford started to uniform their designs and platforms for Europe. This heralded the end of the uniquely created UK market Fords but opened up a hugely successful range of new cars. This included the Granada which came to replace the 'Z cars' in 1972.
This 1970 Ford Zephyr 6 Mark IV was originally sold in England, having been sold with a private plate (RPR 396) by its first owner who then replaced it with a Capri in 1976. The Zephyr remained on the mainland until 1986 when it was thought to be have been sold to an owner in Northern Ireland, where it has remained ever since. It has acquired a remarkably low number of miles since then and has been subject to a lavish regime of care and attention. Prior to the current owner buying the car, it was subject to a full respray and a new clutch. One of the key points includes a full set of new tyres, with recent work on the owners' inventory also including new brake pipes and a new battery. The car has also recently seen a full service and has had the brakes serviced. Visual improvements include the installation of a brand-new carpet. The car has seen just 7 custodians over its 50 year lifetime and has been with the current owner for just over a year.
The low mileage of 68,600 can be backed up by all of the MOT certificates which have been retained by the current owner, as well as many of the original road tax discs which can often be used as a measure of fastidious ownership. The car was MOT,d up until 2019 but due to current restrictions it is without a valid MOT, but it’s unlikely to require a significant amount of work. The vehicle is currently on SORN.
This example can instantly be recognised as the high spec Deluxe model, by the use of separate reclining front seats - many Zephyrs were fitted with the cheaper option bench seats. Also specific to the deluxe is the floor-mounted 4-speed gearbox, centre console unit and specific upholstery. The overall interior presentation of the interior is excellent, the vinyl seats have no signs of wear or unsightly rips. The door cards, trim and furnishings in good condition.
The dashboard shows no major signs of age, with no splits or cracks on the facia. The car comes fitted with front seat lap belts.
Finished in metallic fern green, the car is in completely original spec close to as it left the dealership in 1970, down to the original hubcaps and the unique front badge specific to the Deluxe. The condition of the bodywork is very good, with no major issues, although there is a small rust bubble in the paint on the front of the nearside wing. The body panels and doors are all straight and show no signs of poor repair, with the panel gaps all equal and true. The exterior chrome trim still retains its lustre and contrasts well against the paint finish. The rubber and glass trim is all in good un-cracked condition, with just some expected signs of age evident.
When the new Ford Zephyr 6 Mark IV hosted an impressive array of standard features, including all-round disc brakes, power-assisted steering, all-round independent suspension. All these features are in full working order and have been well maintained. The exhaust has had some repairs done but is rust and leak-free. The underside of the car is in very good condition, with no signs of major corrosion. Inner wings and sills appear to be solid. Structurally the engine bay, suspension turrets and boot areas are demonstrably solid and again show no signs of major corrosion. The engine is said to run well with no excessive smoke on start-up. The tyres are well within the legal limits.
The Ford Zephyr 6 Mark IV is a hard car to categorise, as it falls into a period of classic Fords that still offer a huge amount of appeal but lack the image of the earlier cars or the panache of the ‘70s designs. This is where those who appreciate its V6 power and sheer imposing presence could be swayed by something a little more exclusive. This Zephyrs excellent overall original condition and deluxe spec marks it out as one of the better examples on the market and would make an excellent roomy and quiet cruiser to enjoy.
The Zephyr 6 may well appeal to those who in their youth have memories of the comfortable ride, generous interior space or the roar of the V6 engine. Nostalgia always plays a part in these things, but in the real world, it is a powerful 1970’s Ford with excellent cruising ability. If you’re looking for a comfortable quiet and well-made car with a cherished background for a sensible price, then this should be a consideration.
** The photos in this listing have been provided to us by the seller **
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