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Homepage. This page: A collection of classic Ford Consul Mk1 images all dating to the 1950s.

Ford Consul Mk1 parked amongst some tents.

This Mk1 Consul photo page started out with just one old photo from my own collection. It features a light-coloured English Ford seen here parked inbetween a couple of canvas tents on a field (but where?). For several years this was the only photo I had of this particular Consul, until 2010 when it was joined by a collection of Mk1 images also from the 1950s.
A fifties Ford parked in a field
I'd guess this photograph dates to the early or mid 1950s, and shows a Mk1 Consul parked near a large family tent. Plenty of camping equipment is evident in this picture, so perhaps it was taken shortly after arrival. It looks like 'dad' is fetching something from inside the Consul, whereas 'mum' and children are under the tent awning.
The car is RHD, although the format of the registration plate (G 486 BZ) isn't the norm - in fact it is a military number, of which more later. Note the period roof rack fitted to the car, and a close look with a magnifying glass shows both a RAC and AA badge on the front grille. To the left, with another camping party, is a Fiat Topolino. There is another car in the background behind the Ford, but I can't see enough of it to work out what it is. On the right, high up, is an old motorcycle.

More photos - of the same Consul!

Daniel got in touch during 2010, with news of a cache of old photographs he'd found at a boot sale. He scanned each of the car-related photos, and sent them over for inclusion on the site. Most feature a Mk1 Ford Consul, some shots with it wearing UK plates, others showing it sporting the non-standard plates, presumably for temporary use overseas. Amazingly, these non-UK military plates match the one shown in the photo at the top of the page! Quite how my old photo of a Mk1 Consul turned up in a miscellaneous batch a few years ago, and Daniel's several years later at a sale is anyone's guess!
Firstly then, the photos showing the Consul while on a foreign camping trip. Whether these were taken on the same trip, or on different excursions, isn't known - Daniel mentioned that France and Germany are both mentioned in the notes that accompany them. The first of these photos shows the Ford parked at the roadside, its registration clearly in shot. The family look to have pulled over for a bite to eat. The two children are very young, I'd be surprised if neither of them is still around today yet somehow these photographs have been separated from the family, maybe after a house clearance.
A GB plate is fitted to the rear, as is the roof rack also shown in the first photo.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Mk1 Ford Consul driving overseas
The next photo again shows the Consul parked at the roadside, presumably in France. A Boulangerie (baker's shop) can be seen to the right, while further up the road an advertisement painted on a building promotes General Motors.
The Consul in France
The Consul's owner seems to prefer photographing his car from the rear for some reason, here it is seen parked beneath a row of trees with at least one other car and tent in evidence.
The Consul in France
The sun was shining when this next photo of the Consul was taken. As for the location - south of France?
Ford Consul and its owners
Again the location looks like the southern French coastline. The Ford is parked, still with a deckchair strapped to the roof rack as in the previous photo, while being passed by a splitscreen VW and a Renault 4CV. Off to the left lurks quietly a 2CV. Peter, a regular site visitor, offered the following extra information:
The location is the Route de Anglais, Nice, France. Close to Rue Poincare. The building on the left with the fancy architecture is no longer there. Just in frame on the right, distant, is the dome on top of the Hotel Negresco. Still working on the location of the other, but I think it is also Nice, France.
Ford Consul in Nice, France
Last of the European photos sees the Consul parked in a field, with a tent - virtually identical to the one seen at the head of this page - erected. Can anyone shed more light on the registration number attached to the car?
The classic Ford car on a holiday

Holiday in a converted coach.

In the same album were yet more great photos of the same Ford Consul, albeit now displaying its original UK plates - ULY 49, a London series. The first pair of images shows the family holidaying in the UK. Some, if not all, of the UK photos were taken in the Loch Lomond area of Scotland. Rather than stay in a caravan, or a tent, they've opted instead for a fantastic old motor-coach that has been converted into living accomodation. At the end of their lives, it wasn't unusual for old vehicles such as coaches, buses and railway carriages, to lead a new life tucked away in the corner of fields, converted into holidays chalets. Maybe a coach enthusiast recognises the half-cab coach seen behind the Ford Consul in these two photos?
An old coach converted into a holiday home
A converted coach body
A different location, but the same car again seen on a camping trip with the tent raised, on this occasion ready for use at Loch Lomond.
The Consul in Scotland
And finally, a photo of ULY 49 at a campsite in the UK where the trusty tent is joined by a caravan for company.
Another photo showing the Mk1 Ford Consul
Once again, a big thanks to Daniel for taking time out to scan and email these fab old photos over. Shortly after this page was put up, Peter dropped me an email with some more information on these military registration plates ...
After 1946, Allied based in Germany had their own licence plates format. This changed several times over the next 15 years, but in the 50's it was one letter, to distinguish Nationality, 3 digits, and the suffix BZ. The whole system of identifying service men was later dropped for security reasons.
The monocoque (ie chassis-less) construction of the first Consuls was exciting stuff when first seen, at Earl's Court in 1950 (sales would commence the following year). The Consul had an OHV four cylinder engine of 1,508cc, and the glitzy Zephyr-Six an extra two cylinders for added grunt. These were the first of many Fords to use the MacPherson strut front suspension.
More old photographs featuring Mk1 Consuls can also be found on this page.
Return to Motoring Photographs Page 2.

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