Period commercial vehicles are always a feature of the Revival meeting. From the superlative Ecurie Ecosse Commer TS3 (which will be with us once again this year) to the more modestly proportioned support vans, there will be plenty of load-luggers in view to prompt discussion.
What won’t be up for discussion though is which light commercial vehicle has contributed the most to motorsport, because the case for the Ford Transit van has long since become incontrovertible. In fact, could it be argued that it has contributed more to motorsport in its own way than some racing cars?
Introduced to the UK in 1965, the Transit name had actually been applied to a Ford Taunus van since 1953 although that vehicle was kept largely for the German market. 1965 saw the launch of the vehicle that went on to redefine the light commercial vehicle across vast parts of the planet. How many of us have been racing and not relied on a Transit at some point?
What set the Transit apart and allowed it to pave the way for generations of vans to come was that unlike all others it didn’t handle like a three-legged elephant suffering from an acute case of Yellow Fever. Instead, it narrowed the vast chasm between how vans and cars were to drive. You could even spec’ one up with a 3.0-litre V6 motor which was alarmingly adept at keeping up with general traffic. In fact, it could accelerate quicker than a number of cars were able …
As the years have passed, the Transit has become more refined and more capable. In a market which today contains a number of highly-competent alternatives, it remains the most popular go-to light commercial. So with an incredible fifty years having passed since its launch, we will be celebrating the half-century at the Revival with one of those very first 1965 examples on display on Ford’s Earls Court stand at the Revival.
Hmm, how about a grid of Mk1 V6 Transits racing at the 74th Members’ Meeting …?