Ford Taunus 12 M was once the benchmark in the midsize class. About a decade remained the Cologne Bestsellers closest rival of Opel Rekord and VW Beetle – even as a chic convertible and station wagon
After damaligem Ford understanding this meant: The design of the limousine for the economic miracle has been defined in America, but the interior with German “comfort of world class” provided, as Ford for the press launch of the first Taunus explained 12 M 60 years ago. Unlike the elderly competition from pre-war years as Opel Olympia and Beetle Cologne sat smooth surface forms, large windows and plenty of room for five passengers and luggage and small wheels in favor of low center of gravity and less problematic handling.
Only the engine Ancient of
Also the front suspension was an innovation in the German middle class. Only the engine was a very old friend from hump-Taunus and Eifel. Confident called the Cologne its new because even 12 M, which was the “M” for masterpiece and the “12″ explains the displacement of 1.2-liters.
A feat that even became a European export success, then, despite the Consolidated competition from Ford UK and Ford France. This was made possible also an exceptionally large family of models from convertible, station wagon, van and pickup truck. Overall, Ford built in Cologne, more than 560 000 units of the series with the internal code G13/G4B, around 330 000 with a 1.5-liter engine and called Taunus 15 M. Only after a time unusually long production period of eleven years The duo made from 12 M and 15 M to the front-wheel drive Taunus “P4″ place, which was in 1962 similarly revolutionary as once a globe-Taunus.
First Ford unibody
Under the internal name “Project 1″ in 1949, the development of the first Ford sedan was initiated with unibody and pontoon. This should not only a modern successor to be found will be set for the time-honored “hump-Taunus” of pre-war years, but also the basis for a successful export to the neighboring European countries. After all, there were already modern family cars like Peugeot 203 or Fiat 1400 in the wings, while in this country alone with the Borgward Hansa 1500 trends continued. But above all, should the new Ford rival from Rüsselsheim Wolfsburg and take market share.
Design development of the project 1 was carried out with international support. The American Ford headquarters was before the line, Ford France realized this by prototyping the coachbuilder Chausson and Ford Germany took over the finishing touch. This included the new logo with the prominent initials “FC” for Ford’s Cologne, the “masterpiece” in the model name 12 M and the distinctive globe. Never before has an American subsidiary in Europe had made so confidently to an alleged autonomy.
Politics, the press and public were enthusiastic about the new Taunus. NRW Economics Minister Artur Sträter it did not miss, on 4 January 1952 to drive the first globe-Taunus from tape, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer sent a greeting and the motor trade press celebrated the Ford as a technical milestone. After these early praise was great Ford dealers welcomed a record number of up to 8000 guests in its premiere showrooms.
Best conditions for an unprecedented success story, you might say. But on the wild party followed the cat. Short-time work due to lack of orders, Ford even more in January 1952, and almost all other German car manufacturers followed a little later. In the early years of economic development of the population still lacked sufficient income to purchase a relatively expensive vehicle of the lower middle class. Only seven percent of new registrations in 1952 accounted for workers.It is the gradual increase in income and continuously falling prices for new vehicles could climb the sales figures up. Ford could start again provisionally the tapes for the hump-Taunus and offered this as an entry model below 5500 mark, while the new 12 M cost at least 7535 Mark.
saving model has been well received
Ride properly in the paragraph of the masterpiece came in 1953. First, Ford introduced an economy version without “M”, the Ford was 12, with the lean features and fixed seats be had for 6185 marks. Then there was a whole bunch of body styles, presented in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Perhaps the only real defense against the almost simultaneously launched new star from Rüsselsheim, the first Opel Rekord. The courage to then new models included a fashionably chic two-tone sedan, a station wagon was more spacious than the slightly later following Rekord, a van with substantial 570 kg payload and a convertible, which transformed the suburban mayors to joyful lifestyle mobile. This, however, prices of luxury, then claimed the four-seater convertible around 9000 mark. Nevertheless, the Ford was even open as a service vehicle at police in action.
Teeth of the Taunus was the model year 1955. On the one brought him a planned facelift fashionable chrome bars in the grille similar to the “Dollar Grin” American types. On the other hand became the only 28 kW / 38 hp payable 1.2-liter four-cylinder compared to the competition from the new 1.5-liter sedans as Opel Rekord, Borgward Isabella or Peugeot 403 behind. So had to accept Ford a decline in market share of around ten to eight percent.
Wanted to catch the Cologne this backlog by 40 kW / 55 hp payable 15 M. Visually, the new Taunus differed little from the first, however, was weaker 12 M. it it a little later in a luxuriously decked version, with the waiting time could be bridged to the introduction of the larger middle class row 17 M. Novel colored metallic paints on nitro-cellulose base, the Cologne sedans were now shining like jewels. Important for most buyers: With a top speed of 128 km / h was one of 15 M of the fastest mid-size sedan, only Borgward’s Isabella was the Ford show the beautiful back
The last lap of the Taunus was launched in 1959. The 15 M had been discontinued in favor of the larger 17 M and 12 M was made fresh for a new decade of increasing prosperity. The 12 M was still “as the middle class dream car”, as the press commented. Finally, the average monthly salary of the Germans was only 700 marks. Because people are happy already has a three-color new Taunus-12-M-Class with a flatter roof, a larger rear C-pillars and intricate, even if the globe was offered a wide Taunus tape. Nearly a quarter of a million units could be rejuvenated by the long-running sold until 1962. = Along with the 17 M enough vehicles for nearly 15 percent market share in Germany.