Ford Taunus G93A
The Ford Taunus G93A was a small family car produced by Ford of Germany between 1939 and 1942 in succession to the Ford Eifel
Ford Eifel
Ford Eifel was a car manufactured by Ford Germany and Ford Hungary between 1935 and 1940. It was derived from the Ford Model C platform, and is related to the contemporary Ford Anglia and Ford Prefect....

. In 1948 the car reappeared as the Ford Taunus G73A, and the G73A remained in production until 1952. This was the first (and until the 1970s the last) Ford Taunus
Ford Taunus
The Ford Taunus is a family car sold by Ford in Germany and other countries. Models from 1970 onward were similar to the Ford Cortina in the United Kingdom...

 to feature a fastback shape: in this application the rather severe slopes enforced by squeezing North-American style fast-back styling onto a relatively short wheelbase was not universally admired: the car became known as the „Buckeltaunus” (Hunchback Taunus).

Ford Taunus G93A (1939–1942)

In 1938 Ford Cologne began to manufacture a mid-size car intended to slot into the range between the little Ford Eifel
Ford Eifel
Ford Eifel was a car manufactured by Ford Germany and Ford Hungary between 1935 and 1940. It was derived from the Ford Model C platform, and is related to the contemporary Ford Anglia and Ford Prefect....

 and the company’s big V8 models. Although the structure of the car did not follow the revolutionary monocoque
Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

 structure heralded by the Opel Olympia
Opel Olympia
The Opel Olympia is a small family car produced by the German automaker Opel from 1935 to 1940, from 1947 to 1953 and again from 1967 to 1970.The 1935 Olympia was Germany's first mass-produced car with an all-steel unitized body . This revolutionary technology reduced the weight of the car by 180...

, the Taunus did have its body welded to the chassis rather than having the two elements simply bolted together.

The body

Stylistically the new car followed the 1930s fashion for streamlining, but with a North American flavour inspired by the Lincoln-Zephyr
Lincoln-Zephyr was a marque for the lower priced line of luxury cars in the Lincoln line 1936-40. Lincoln-Zephyr and Mercury, introduced 1939, bridged the wide gap between Ford's V-8 De Luxe line and the exclusive Lincoln K-series cars. This served a purpose similar to Cadillac's smaller LaSalle...

 of the time. The bodyshell was supplied from the Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 plant of pressed steel experts, Ambi Budd
Ambi Budd
Ambi Budd was a company founded by Edward Gowen Budd in Philadelphia, USA. Budd studied at the University of Pennsylvania and his first work was at a company making automobile wheels from pressed steel rather than by casting. Steel-shaping technology progressed rapidly at the time and soon the...

. Like the Eifel, the Ford Taunus came with rigid axels, but with the innovation of hydraulic brakes.

The engine

The Taunus was designed to take a 45 hp/ps (33 kW) 1.5 litre side-valve engine developed from the 1.2 litre unit used in the Eifel. However, in March 1939 the government, anticipating war, introduced restrictions whereby Ford were permitted to produce only a single standardised engine in the class of cars covered by engine sizes between 1.2 and 2.0 litres, and so the Taunus used the smaller 1,172 cm³ engine, carried over from the Eifel
Ford Eifel
Ford Eifel was a car manufactured by Ford Germany and Ford Hungary between 1935 and 1940. It was derived from the Ford Model C platform, and is related to the contemporary Ford Anglia and Ford Prefect....

 model. This was essentially the same unit that Ford would fit in the Ford Taunus P1 (and, at their Dagenham
Ford of Britain
Ford of Britain is a British wholly owned subsidiary of Ford of Europe, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. Its business started in 1909 and has its registered office in Brentwood, Essex...

 plant the Ford Anglia
Ford Anglia
The 1949 model, code E494A, was a makeover of the previous model with a rather more 1940s style front-end, including the sloped, twin-lobed radiator grille. Again it was a very spartan vehicle and in 1948 was Britain's lowest priced four wheel car....

) until 1959.

In the 1939 Ford Taunus the car’s 1,172 cm³ unit delivered a claimed 34 hp/ps (25 kW), married up to a three speed transmission controlled with a centrally mounted lever.

The war

The German auto-industry did not undergo the same very rapid switch-over to war production as that experienced in Britain, but passenger car production in Germany was nevertheless restricted by government policy, and there was never more than a single prototype to represent the company’s original intention to offer a cabriolet version of the Taunus G93A. The pre-war car was produced only as a two door saloon/sedan with rear-hinged doors.

As the war continued, Ford became increasingly important as a producer of light trucks to support the war effort, and in February 1942 passenger car production came to an end at the Ford plant. By this time 7,092 Taunus G93As had been produced.

Ford Taunus G73A (1948–1952)

After the war, with other German auto-plants destroyed by bombing or crated up and shipped to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the priority for the occupying powers at Ford’s plant was for the continued production of light trucks. However, even in 1946 various detailed improvements had been built into the prewar Taunus design. Two years later, in May 1948, the new Ford Taunus G73A was exhibited at the Hanover Export Fair.

The tooling for the pressed-steel bodywork had during the war remained in Berlin with the US owned body builders Ambi Budd, and after lengthy negotiations with the Soviet military authorities
Soviet Military Administration in Germany
The Soviet Military Administration in Germany was the Soviet military government, headquartered in Berlin-Karlshorst, that directly ruled the Soviet occupation zone of Germany from the German surrender in May 1945 until after the establishment of the German Democratic Republic in October...

 was eventually released. Due to lack of available space at Ford’s Cologne plant, production of the first 1948 cars was subcontracted to Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

 in Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located on the River Aller northeast of Braunschweig , and is mainly notable as the headquarters of Volkswagen AG...

 and Karmann
Wilhelm Karmann GmbH, commonly known simply as Karmann, in Osnabrück, Germany was until 2009 the largest independent motor vehicle manufacturing company in Germany...

 in Osnabrück, but in November 1948 the entire production process was taken in house by Ford. At this stage, as in 1942, only a single body style was available. The 1948 Ford Taunus was a small fast-back saloon with two rear hinged doors, and available only in “night shadow grey”, presumably reflecting paint availability in the aftermath of war.

Broadening the range

In 1949 Ford added a Taunus version with body panels fitted only as far back as the A-pillars, and several alternative body shapes became available, added by traditional coach-builders such as and Karmann
Wilhelm Karmann GmbH, commonly known simply as Karmann, in Osnabrück, Germany was until 2009 the largest independent motor vehicle manufacturing company in Germany...

 of Osnabrück, Drauz of Heilbronn
Heilbronn is a city in northern Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is completely surrounded by Heilbronn County and with approximately 123.000 residents, it is the sixth-largest city in the state....

 and Plasswilm in Cologne. Coach-built Ford Taunus versions include two and four seater cabriolets with two doors, a special four door cabriolet for use by police forces, small three door station wagons and even four door taxis.

Upgrades in 1950 and 1951

In May 1950 Ford introduced the Taunus Special, which featured a four-speed gear change controlled with a column mounted lever.
Externally the “Special” made extensive use of chrome, notably on an enlarged front grill and on the bumpers. The rear window was enlarged and flashing-light direction indicators replaced semaphore-style flippers
Trafficators are semaphore signals which, when operated, protrude from the bodywork of a motor vehicle to indicate its intention to turn in the direction indicated by the pointing signal. Trafficators are often located at the door pillar.-History:...


January 1951 saw the introduced of a Taunus de Luxe, with a one-piece windscreen and many extras.


Technically the Taunus G73A was little changed from the 1939 G93A, retaining the familiar 1,172 cm³ side-valve engine. With gasoline/petrol availability in Europe restricted to low octane fuels, the 34 hp/ps (25 kW) maximum power output was also unchanged, supporting a claimed top speed of 105 km/h (65 mph). It was not possible to adjust valve clearances and engines typically lasted for 80000 km (49,709.8 mi).

Until 1950 all the cars came with a three speed transmission incorporating synchromesh on the top two ratios. The gear boxes were prone to problems, especially regarding the second gear, and in order to rebuild the gearbox it was necessary first to remove the engine or, better still, the back axle.

Rigid axles front and back were suspended using leaf springs. The back axle was a swing axle
Swing axle
A swing axle is a simple type of independent suspension first used in early aircraft , such as the Sopwith and Fokker, usually with rubber bungee and no damping....

. The drive shaft was enclosed in a steel tube and featured only a single universal joint, positioned just behind the gearbox. The rear wheel bearings were positioned directly on the rear axle. The overall rear axle assembly seems to have been unusually simple, but the resulting stresses gave rise to a shortened axle life.

The hydraulically operated simplex brakes were operated via a single circuit, which was not unusual at the time. The handbrake cable was prone to rust.

The 6 volt electrical system was normal for small cars of the time, as was the requirement for an oil change every 1,500 km (roughly 1,000 miles) and a larger inspection every 4,500 km (very roughly 3,000 miles)


In January 1952 the successor model, Ford’s ponton format
Ponton (automobile)
Ponton or Pontoon styling refers to a 1930s-1960s design genre — ultimately the precursor of modern automotive styling. The trend emerged as distinct running boards and fully articulated fenders became less common and bodywork began to enclose the full width and uninterrupted length of a car...

Taunus P1 went on sale, although availability of the old G73A model continued until the Autumn: by this time 76,590 had been produced.

Sources and further reading

  • Rosellen, Hanns-Peter: ”… und trotzdem vorwärts”, 1. Auflage, Zyklam-Verlag, Frankfurt / M. (1986), ISBN 3-88767-077-9
  • Rosellen, Hanns-Peter: Ford-Schritte, 1. Auflage, Zyklam-Verlag, Frankfurt / M. (1987/88), ISBN 3-88767-079-5
  • Oswald, Werner: Deutsche Autos 1945 – 1975, 2. Auflage, Motorbuchverlag Stuttgart (1967)
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.