The Ford Zephyr and Zodiac are two iconic car models that were produced by Ford in the United Kingdom from 1950 to 1972. During their lengthy production run, both the Zephyr and Zodiac saw many notable design changes and updates that helped to keep them competitive in the rapidly evolving automotive industry.
One of the most significant design changes occurred in the early 1960s when the Zephyr and Zodiac received a complete overhaul, both aesthetically and mechanically. This redesign brought a more modern and streamlined look to the cars, with a lower, wider stance and sleeker body lines. The front end featured a distinctive new grille design, which became a signature element of these models.
In terms of mechanical updates, the new Zephyr and Zodiac featured an improved suspension system with independent front suspension, which greatly enhanced the riding comfort and handling capabilities of the cars. Additionally, the engines were upgraded to more powerful versions, offering better performance and fuel efficiency than their predecessors. These updates helped the Zephyr and Zodiac establish themselves as high-performance executive cars.
In the mid-1960s, the Zephyr and Zodiac underwent another major redesign, this time adopting a more angular and squared-off design language that was in line with the era’s contemporary styling trends. The front fascia was updated with a bold and square grille design, giving the cars a more aggressive look. These design changes were part of Ford’s strategy to appeal to a younger and more modern audience.
Throughout their production run, Ford also introduced various trim levels and special editions of the Zephyr and Zodiac, each with its own unique design features. For example, the Zephyr 6 Executive was a luxurious version aimed at executives, featuring a more upscale interior and additional comfort and convenience features. The Zodiac Executive, on the other hand, had the same luxurious touches but with a more sporty and aggressive appearance.
In 1966, Ford introduced the Mark IV version of the Zodiac. This model featured a completely restyled body and interior, giving it a more luxurious and sophisticated appearance. The Mark IV was larger and more spacious than its predecessors, offering more legroom and comfort for the passengers. The engine options were updated as well, with a V6 engine becoming available alongside the traditional straight-six engine.
Towards the end of their production run in the early 1970s, the Zephyr and Zodiac received further updates to comply with changing safety regulations. These updates included improved braking systems, larger bumpers, and additional safety features such as three-point seatbelts and headrests.
In conclusion, the Ford Zephyr and Zodiac underwent several notable design changes and updates throughout their production run. These updates included exterior restyling, improved mechanical features, and various trim options to cater to different market segments. These changes helped to keep the Zephyr and Zodiac relevant and competitive until their eventual discontinuation in 1972.