Stuff you probably didn’t know about the Ford Transit

Few vans have a reputation to match that of the Ford Transit. For decades it’s been the UK’s best selling van, and it’s a preferred choice for tradespeople, fleet managers and other customers looking through the best van deals we offer here at Van Discount.

And while the Ford Transit’s certainly useful for everyday use, its mix of reliability, storage space and performance means it’s been used to achieve some pretty incredible feats in its time. Here, we’ve listed just a few of them – as well as a couple of other little interesting tidbits we bet you didn’t know about this world-famous workhorse.

One of the most popular vans on the planet

You probably don’t need us to tell you that it’s quite a well known van. Say the name ‘Ford Transit’ in almost any country around the world, and they’ll immediately know what van you’re talking about.

But interestingly, it almost wasn’t called the Ford Transit at all. After going by the slightly ominous moniker of Project Redcap during development, its original name was going to be the V-Series. However, when the prototype arrived in the UK, bosses noticed a large ‘Transit’ label on it, and decided they liked that one better. Much like the label, the name stuck.

Fast forward to today, and a new Transit is sold roughly every three minutes, with more than 2 and a half million sales in the UK and close to 8 million worldwide. There were always clues it was going to be popular – Ford actually took £33 million of orders before production had even started!

As reliable as a Sherman tank

The Ford Transit’s reputation for reliability is one of the things that’s firmly cemented it as a favourite for many drivers and fleet managers, and that reputation’s been well-earned. One of the newest models covered the equivalent of 275 round the world trips during testing. What’s more, one Czech driver complained when the clock on his Ford Transit stopped at 999,999km. (Ford gave him a new one.)

As well as going the distance, the Ford Transit can weather some incredible conditions, too. Back in 1985, a man named Juan Garcia was forced to abandon his Transit Kombi after he was caught in a snowstorm up a Spanish mountain. It was subsequently buried under five metres of snow. He came back for it in the spring, and was stunned when the engine started first time, allowing him to drive safely home.


A world record breaker

By the 1960s, the Ford Transit was already well known for the fantastic storage capacity it could offer. That reputation was only cemented further by a successful world record attempt in 1965, in which scores of students from Barking College, near London, managed to pack themselves into a Ford Transit. How many, you ask? Forty eight!

Just a few years later in 1972, Ford sought to demonstrate the durability of the new diesel engine at the high-speed Monza race circuit. Two Ford Transits turned heads by driving flat out for a week, non stop. They broke three world endurance records, achieving 10,000 miles at an average speed of 73.6mph.

Skip another ten years or so ahead. Stuntman Steve Matthews was on a mission to raise money for cancer research. The way he chose to do that was by leaping a Ford Transit over a row of 15 cars, which is definitely one way to get people’s attention. There’s rumours abound that his preparation for this stunt was simply to remove the Transit’s glass and gaffer tape the bonnet shut. Apparently that was enough – the Transit didn’t fly as gracefully as a swan, but both Steve and his van easily made the jump, raising bucketloads for a good cause as he did so.

Here at Van Discount, we can’t in all good faith guarantee that you’ll be able to launch our Ford Transit vans over rows upon rows of other vehicles – but there’s certainly no doubt that they provide an easy and reliable way to get mountains of stuff from A to B. What’s more, we can save our customers up to 40% off the cost of a new van. Give us a call today on 01282 872 530, and we’ll get started on getting you the best deal.