Sometimes automakers come up with a timeless model name that can be transferred from generation to generation. One of them is Transit, everybody just knows you’re speaking Ford, no matter where you live. Ford and Transit go together like Volkswagen and Transporter, like Toyota and HiAce, like Fiat and Ducato.
The first generation of the Ford Transit was introduced in 1965, but note there also was the 1961-1965 Ford Taunus Transit; the German forward control van and light truck that originally was introduced in 1953 as the Ford FK 1000/1250-series.
In August 1977, the Transit got a serious update and facelift, generally that modernized model is referred to as the Transit Mk2.
The last refresh of the series followed at the end of 1983, resulting in the Mk2 Phase 2, as seen here. Worth mentioning is that the Phase 2 was offered with Ford’s direct injected, 2.5 liter four-cylinder diesel engine. The new 68 DIN-hp power unit, marketed as the 2.5 DI, became available in early 1984. It was an evolution of the good ol’ 2.4 liter York (indirect injected) diesel engine, as previously used.
Gasoline engine options were the 1.6 and 2.0 liter OHC four-cylinders and the 3.0 liter Essex V6. The latter was the preferred choice for ambulances and police vehicles, not to mention for bank robbers’ getaway vans.
The most common Transit was the panel van, either a 2,690 mm SWB van with a low roof or a 3,000 mm LWB van with a high roof. GVM-ratings from 2,070 to 3,500 kg. All heavy-duty LWB Transits had dual rear wheels.
“There are 32 different potential door options to choose from”. Almost a case of choice overload. Vans with dual rear wheels (bottom right picture) had black, factory wheel arch trims.
The Transit parcel vans, no further explanation needed.
The factory chassis cab options. A chassis cab is a complete, rolling chassis with a cab; the stage of a truck before it gets a cargo bed or any other body.
The chassis cab was also available with a 3,452 mm long wheelbase. That’s the white Transit in the picture, obviously. Most of the time, the final product was a flatbed truck with dropsides. But as I said, anything was possible, from a box truck to a motorhome.
If you wanted to transport people rather than cargo, then you could choose from a bus, a crewbus or a kombi.
Short wheelbase, low roof, somewhere halfway a minivan and a minibus…
…but a commercial vehicle all the way.
Ford Transit, the nose ahead!
In 1986, an all-new generation of the Transit was introduced. With its highly modern looks and a more car-like interior it was a radical change from the past.
You want something similar these days, yet completely up to date? No problem, Ford offers the Tourneo Custom. That’s the FWD Ford Transit Custom people mover.
Now I wonder which Transit variant Jason Shafer would pick up for hauling the family’s movables across the States…