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Happy Birthday Ford Transit

Next month sees the Ford Transit celebrate 45 years on the road. 

The Ford Transit, the pioneer of the ubiquitous white van, has led the UK market ever since the year that Jim Clark won the Indianapolis 500 and F1 World Championship, Tom and Jerry and Thunderbirds made their TV debuts, the Sound of Music movie was released and Mary Quant invented the mini skirt. It's currently built at Ford's plant in Southampton, with engines from Dagenham and transmissions from Merseyside.

Since its launch in 1965 more than six million Transits have been built at 22 factories across the world. More than 2.1 million Transits have been sold in Britain: it's Britain's best seller with more than 23,000 sold in first half of 2010.

At launch, the cheapest Transit, a short wheelbase, petrol-engined van with 610kg payload, cost £542. The most expensive Transit was a 15-seat Custom bus which cost £997.From 78 derivatives in 1965, there are now more than 600 Transit entities, providing a range of dedicated commercial vehicles to ensure there is a model for every job required.

A special edition "Sapphire" went into production at the Southampton Plant this year to mark 45 years of success. The Sapphire develops more power and torque, has longer service intervals yet costs just £295 more than the last celebration model in 2005, the Transit "Hallmark".

The latest Transit Sapphire's specification and features list exceeds the 2005 Transit celebration vehicle as follows:


2005 Hallmark 2010 Sapphire
280 GVM   280 GVM
Low roof        Low roof
2.0L 100PS    2.2L 115PS
Euro 3 TDi Euro 4 TDCi
5-speed transmission  6-speed transmission
Torque 250Nm    Torque 300Nm
15,000 mile service intervals   20,000 mile service intervals
£14,700    £14,995


Common Standard Features  
Air conditioning      Air conditioning
Full width unglazed bulkhead  Full width unglazed bulkhead
6000 RDS Radio/CD  6000 RDS Radio/CD
Power operated & heated mirrors Power operated & heated mirrors
Power operated front windows Power operated front windows
Quickclear heated front screen  Quickclear heated front screen
Tinted glass  Tinted glass
Metallic paint  Unique Metallic paint (ink blue)
Front fog lights  Front fog lights
Partial wheel covers   Full wheel covers
Front and rear mudflaps Front and rear mudflaps
Second remote keyfob   Second remote keyfob
ABS brakes with EBD  ABS brakes with EBD


Additional Sapphire Standard Features  
Silver Painted grille  Silver painted mirror caps
Silver painted rear light guards Electronic stability programme (ESP)
Hill launch assist  Bluetooth with voice control
Cruise Control     Auto headlights
Auto wipers Shift indicator light
Trip computer   Self charging fob
MP3 socket    Rear trim boards
Bodyside mouldings    DIN tie down hooks




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