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Ford Pilot E71A
Ford V8 Pilot.jpg
Ford V8 Pilot saloon
ManufacturerFord UK
Also calledFord V8 Pilot [1]
AssemblyUnited Kingdom
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size / Large family car (D)
Body style4-door saloon
4-door estate car
2-door pick-up
2-door coupe utility [3]
Engine2.2 L V-8
3.6 L V-8
Wheelbase108.25 in (2,750 mm)[4]
Length175 in (4,445 mm)
Width69.5 in (1,765 mm)
Curb weight3,200 lb (1,500 kg)
PredecessorFord Model 62 [5]
SuccessorFord Zephyr

The Ford Pilot Model E71A is a medium-sized car that was built by Ford UK from August 1947 to 1951.[6] It was effectively replaced in 1951 with the launch of Ford UK's Zephyr Six and Consul models, though V8 Pilots were still offered for sale, being gradually withdrawn during that year. In its production run 22,155 cars were made.

Engine and running gear

The Pilot was the first large post-War British Ford. It was based on the pre-War 22 bhp (16 kW) Model 62 chassis, and was initially offered in 1946 with the 2227 cc side-valve V8 60 engine from the 1939 model.[6] That engine proved inadequate for the vehicle size and was quickly replaced by the E71A Dagenham 'Enfo' (English Ford) 30hp engine. Dagenham cast its own version of the US 1937 Model 78, 21 stud, 30 indicated hp, 221 cubic inch/3.6 litre block and probably all ancillaries, most of which had Enfo part numbers. The E71A engine had a number of differences from the 1937 US engine. The block had one frost plug at the rear on each side, just below the heads, the heads had the firing order cast in, the crankshaft had a long snout, allowing for the fitting of double pulley fan belts for trucks, and big end bearings were flanged 1/4 shells (4 per journal). The sump was also different, because it had a pear-shaped locating hole to accommodate the Lucas starter. Exhaust manifolds had a flowing design, which was an improvement on US versions.

The E71 30hp 3622 cc engine developed 81 bhp (60 kW), with a stroke of 3 34 inches (95 mm) and a bore of 3 116 inches (78 mm), and was fed by a single Solex carburettor. The engine, with twin-sheave belt pulleys, was also used in Thames trucks.

The gearbox had three forward ratios and one reverse, and gears were changed by a gear lever on the steering column. Steering used a form of worm and roller mechanism called a Marles steering box, which had an "hour-glass cam and a double roller".[7] The car was considered old-fashioned even when new, but its front brakes were hydraulically operated.[6] The rear brakes were cable-operated.

The Pilot was built with 6-volt Lucas electrics, including the starter & generator. A twin exhaust system was standard, providing a quality sound.

The wide stud pattern 16 inches (410 mm) wheels were the same as on 1936 to 1939 US cars. The front and rear brake drums were ENFO-made but had the same dimensions as the 1936 US Model 68.

Most Pilots were four-door saloons, based on the 1935 USA Model 48, but Estate (Shooting Brake (Woody)) and pick-up versions were built, the latter for export only. The chromed brass front windscreen could be opened for ventilation, pivoted about a top hinge. Leather upholstery was standard, and the trim on all interior window frames and the dashboard was made of Bakelite plastic. Trafficator-type indicators were standard, and a hydraulic four-jack system was optional. Production ended in 1951 when Ford replaced the Pilot with the Zephyr.

Like other Fords of its era, the Pilot had vacuum-driven wipers powered from the engine manifold, with a vacuum reservoir tank to improve performance under load, whereas wipers on US cars without the reservoir tended to work much more slowly or even stop under full throttle or under load. The car was reputed to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 21 seconds, have a top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h), and return 18 miles per imperial gallon (16 L/100 km; 15 mpg‑US).

WAR PRODUCTION of the E71A Engine. as quoted in 'The Illustrated History Of Ford Trucks & PSVs by Michael Allen & Les Geary. Haynes Publication

There is a photo of the 250,000th E71A engine built by Dagenham since hostilities began. (this indicates more were produced after this event)

Australian assembly

Ford V8 Pilot coupe utility. This body style differs from the pick-up in its roofline, side windows and integration of the rear bodywork
Ford V8 Pilot coupe utility. This body style differs from the pick-up in its roofline, side windows and integration of the rear bodywork

Ford Australia introduced the Pilot to Australia in 1949, importing the model in both fully assembled and semi-knocked down form.[2] Initially dearer than the Canadian Ford Custom V8, its price was gradually reduced in relative terms until it was cheaper than the Custom.[2] A coupe utility variant was also produced.[3]

Motor sport

Ken Wharton drove a Ford Pilot to victory in the 1950 Tulip Rally[8] and in the 1950 Lisbon International Rally.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Ford V8 Pilot advertisement, Australian Monthly Motor Manual, March 1950
  2. ^ a b c Darwin, Norm (1986). The History of Ford in Australia. Newstead: Eddie Ford Publications. p. 122. ISBN 978-0959228724.
  3. ^ a b "1949 Ford Pilot Sedan". Restored Cars (37). July–August 2016. pp. 45–47.
  4. ^ Culshaw, David; Horrobin, David (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2.
  5. ^ Geoghegan, Simon. "Ford V8 Pilot". Simon Cars. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Gloor, Roger (2007). Alle Autos der 50er Jahre 1945–1960 (1. ed.). Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-02808-1.
  7. ^ Merritt, Peter (August 1961). "When the worm turns...or the pinion rotates...". Practical Motorist. 7. 84: 1278–1279.
  8. ^ "Ford triumph in the Tulip Rally". The Autocar. 28 April 1950. p. 490.
  9. ^ "Lisbon International Rally, June 1950'". Team Dan. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
This page was last edited on 21 September 2020, at 00:33
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