The Ford Popular, often referred to as the “Ford Pop,” holds a special place in automotive history as one of Ford’s most iconic models. Produced from 1953 to 1962, this budget-friendly car became an instant hit among British drivers, offering an affordable mode of transportation during a time of post-war economic recovery. Known for its simplicity, reliability, and affordability, the original Ford Popular also boasted an impressive engine capacity for its time.
Introduced as the successor to the Ford Anglia, the original Ford Popular featured a robust engine that offered both power and efficiency. The engine in question was the Ford Sidevalve E494A, a 1,172 cubic centimeters (cc) four-cylinder unit that generated 30 horsepower. With a relatively high compression ratio of 6.8:1, this engine was capable of delivering a top speed of around 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) while achieving a respectable fuel economy for the era.
In terms of design, the Ford Sidevalve engine was known for its simplicity and reliability. It employed a side-valve configuration, hence the name, which meant that the intake and exhaust valves were located on the side of the engine block rather than the cylinder head. Though it lacked the sophistication and performance of more advanced engines, the Sidevalve engine was favored for its ease of maintenance and durable construction.
The Ford Popular’s engine was mated to a three-speed manual transmission, which featured synchromesh on the top two gears. This transmission setup provided reliable and smooth gear changes, enhancing the overall driving experience.
Despite its relatively modest engine capacity, the Ford Popular gained popularity due to its affordability and practicality. With a starting price of just £390, it appealed to a broad range of customers, from families to young drivers. Its simple and robust design also made it a popular choice among mechanics who appreciated working on a car with easily accessible components.
The Ford Popular’s engine capacity of 1,172 cc might seem small by today’s standards, but it was more than sufficient for everyday commuting and occasional long-distance journeys. It offered a reliable and efficient powertrain that perfectly suited the needs of its intended market.
In conclusion, the original Ford Popular was equipped with a 1,172 cc Ford Sidevalve engine, generating 30 horsepower. This engine capacity, while modest, allowed for a respectable top speed and fuel economy. The Ford Popular’s success can be attributed to its affordability, reliability, and practicality, making it an enduring classic in the history of automotive engineering.