The history of the Ford Zephyr II


In 1956 the Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac were all restyled to a new family look. The 6-cylinder cars' engines were enlarged to 2,553 cc (156 cu in), with power output correspondingly raised to 86 bhp (64 kW). The wheelbase was increased by 3 inches (76 mm) to 107 inches (2,700 mm) and the width increased to 69 inches (1,800 mm). The weight distribution and turning circle were also improved. Top speed increased to 88 mph (142 km/h) and the fuel consumption was also improved at 28 mpg-imp (10 L/100 km; 23 mpg-US).
The Zodiac and Zephyr were also offered in two body styles these being the "Highline" and "Lowline", depending on the year of manufacture the difference being 1.75 in (44 mm) being cut from the height of the roof panel. The "Highline" variant featured a hemispherical instrument cluster, whereas the "Lowline" had a more rectangular panel.
As well as a 3-speed manual gearbox there was an optional overdrive and from 1956 a Borg Warner DG automatic transmission. At first drum brakes were fitted all round (with a larger lining area of 147 sq in/950 cm2) but front discs became optional in 1960 and standard from mid 1961.
A two-door convertible version was offered with power-operated bonnet. Owing to the structural weaknesses inherent in the construction of convertibles very few convertibles are known to survive: probably only 20-25 examples.
A convertible with overdrive tested by The Motor magazine in 1961 had a top speed of 88.3 mph (142.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 17.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 24.5 miles per imperial gallon (11.5 L/100 km; 20.4 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1193 including taxes.
Despite strong sales for the Mk I Consul/Zephyr Ford introduced a facelift version, the Mk II, in 1956. The Mk II cars were larger than the Mk I model and so offered even more interior space than before. The body was all new and looked very transatlantic, similar in fact to many of the cars in the then current US Ford range.
The Zephyr used a larger 2553cc six cylinder engine and had improved performance, an automatic gearbox was also available for the first time on a UK built Ford. In 1959 the Mk II received some styling changes which included a lower roof line, these post-59 cars are now referred to as the "Low-Line" Mk II.  Later cars around 1961 until production ended in 1962) had front disc brakes as standard. 
Production finished in 1962 with the arrival of the Mk III Zephyr.

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