Founded in the USA in 1903, the UK offshoot of Ford began their operations in 1911.

The earliest UK Fords were actually produced in the US, shipped in kit from to the first UK Ford plant, based in Trafford Park, near Manchester where they were assembled.

Having succesfully tested the waters, Ford UK decided that the time was right to move into production, opening a huge manufacturing unit in Dagenham, Essex.

The Dagenham plant remained Ford-UK's only private-car assembly plant until 1963. From that point, a second assembly plant, at Halewood (on the outskirts of Liverpool), was added to cope with demand.

By the Thirties, Ford's market share had proliferated, with the Dagenham plant churning out tens of thousands of side valve-engined 8hp and I0hp cars annually, as well as a limited number of V8 machines.

Ford's first car specifically designed for the UK and Europe was the Model Y, introduced in 1932.

The Model Y enjoyed great success, particularly in the UK.

For some years after the end of World War Two, Ford seemed reluctant to update their designs, and the company plodded along with side-valve engines powering a range of cars with a decidedly pre-war look, the Anglia / Prefect, and the V8 engined Pilot.

Eventually, Ford UK began to shake off the cobwebs and launched their first all-new post-war model range - the Consul/Zephyr family of 1950.

These models were the first Ford-UK models to use an overhead-valve engine, independent front suspension and unit construction bodywork.

Three years later, this range was followed by the new-style Anglia/Prefect 100E range, still fitted with side valve engines.

Although the financial gap between this and the Popular was too great for many would-be buyers, what it did was to encourage the motorcyclist to buy a second-hand car.

In 1956 Ford introduced improved versions of their larger models (the Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac.

The large sized family saloons sat on a longer wheelbase, powered by larger engines and with their improved weight distribution made for a considerably better ride than their predecessors.

To complete the picture for the Fifties, the latest big Fords were also available in estate car and convertible forms.

By the end of the decade, Ford UK was well on their way to becoming the leading car manufacturer in the United Kingdom.

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