(first posted 1/31/2017) It was quite simple in the early seventies. If a family wanted a sporty looking and fairly-priced midsize car that could withstand our In Rust We Trust maritime climate for at least five years, give or take a few years, then the shortlist would contain only one model: a Ford Taunus Coupe.
The first generation of the German Ford Taunus TC (Taunus Cortina) was introduced in 1970. The contemporary third generation of the Ford Cortina from the UK, with its more distinctive coke bottle styling, was never available as a fastback coupe. Of course, at that point Ford of Europe already had the Capri, but that was hardly a family car.
Late September and early October I caught two very fine examples of the Taunus Coupe. Both a GXL with a vinyl top and a V6 engine. The GXL was the highest trim level.
The oldest, the 1972 Taunus Coupe, is equipped with the 2.0 liter Cologne V6 engine.
The rear wheel drive Taunus TC was available as a 2-door or 4-door sedan and as a 5-door wagon, the coupe was clearly the niche model of the series. Engine options throughout the whole range were the 1.3 and 1.6 liter 4-cylinders and the 2.0 and 2.3 liter 6-cylinders, ranging from 55 to 108 DIN-hp.
The standard transmission was a 4-speed manual, a Borg Warner 3-speed automatic was optional at extra cost (yet not in combination with the 1.3 liter engine).
The 1970-1975 Taunus TC and Cortina Mk III were developed under the supervision of Semon Knudsen. Does it show ? The Knudsen-Taunus, that’s how they call this generation in its homeland.
In the summer of 1973 the Taunus got an update, with a new dashboard and a modified suspension with front and rear stabilizers.
And here’s the 1974 Taunus Coupe, with the 2.3 liter Cologne V6 top engine.
The main rival of this Taunus generation was the 1970-1975 Opel Ascona A, which was not offered as a fastback-coupe (note that the Opel Manta A was Opel’s answer to the Ford Capri).
A well-optioned rear end, with a fog lamp and trailer hitch.
And a well-optioned front end too.
The 108 DIN-hp 2.3 liter Cologne V6 (the German Ford employees used to call them Unser Fau Sechs) should get the Taunus to a respectable top speed of 175 km/h (109 mph). Some other numbers: weight 1,070 kg (2,359 lbs), wheelbase 259 cm (102″). A lavish car indeed, for the average Euro family in that era.
A rear window with adjustable louvres. On the inside, just like in your house or office.
The Taunus Coupe didn’t get a successor near the end of 1975, when the production of the second generation of the Taunus TC started. The market for such a family coupe had become just too small, even for a niche model.