Cohort Outtake: Ford Transit Diesel Mark 1 Caravanette – Dinky Toy Camper

When I first saw this photo posted at the Cohort by Simon White, I did a double take: Is that a toy, or for real?

Well, it’s quite real, meaning not a toy. But it sure does evoke a nice scale model. Needless to say, this is a vintage rig; probably from the 70s, or about as old as my Chinook. The mark 1 Transit was built from 1965 through 1978. It’s identifiable as a diesel because of its extended nose.

The original Transit was designed to use Ford’s ultra-short V4 engines, but the inline Perkins or later “York” Ford diesel engines wouldn’t fit, so an extend nose was fitted. That longer nose was also used on the Australian Transits to accommodate their Falcon inline six. And it was also used to house the Essex 3.0 V6 used in some “high performance” police vans and ambulances. The hot rod of vans.