The ultimate guide to Ford’s best-ever cars

Ford is renowned across the world as being one of the best and most successful car manufacturers and it has created so many great cars in the past; think of the Ford GT40 and the Ford Mexico.

That is one of the reasons why the popularity of new Ford cars is so high and with this in mind we asked some motoring journalists and car industry experts what their favourite Ford cars were as well as picking out a few of our own favourite Ford cars. Below are the responses we got:

 

Ford GT40

Ford GT40

Phil Bell, Editor of Classic Cars Magazine, is a big fan of the Ford GT40 and said, “Mention Ford and I think of the GT40 winning Le Mans four times in the Sixties”.

The high-performance endurance racing car won the 24 hours Le Mans race on four consecutive occasions from 1966-1969 and is regarded by many experts in the field as the world’s first supercar.

The GT40, which reached 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds, was built by Ford in a time when the car manufacturer was aiming to outdo Ferrari and the model has since become one of the world’s most collectable classics with replicas commonly being bought for a six-figure sum.


1968 Mustang 390GT
 

1968 Mustang 390GT

The 1968 Mustang model received huge attention and rose in popularity after it was used in the crime thriller Bullitt. In one particular scene the actor Steve McQueen was chasing two hitmen in a black 1968 Dodge charger through the streets of San Francisco.

So imagine pretending to be Steve McQueen in the film whilst in San Francisco.

Well, Phil Bell, did exactly that, “I'll never forget the day I spent driving a 1968 Mustang 390GT around San Francisco, recreating the scenes from the Steve McQueen cult car chase film Bullitt.”

The 1968 Mustang 390GT was also a popular purchase for many people as it featured a deluxe interior and safety was dramatically improved as a result of a two-spoke energy absorbing steering wheel being introduced.


Ford Escort

Ford Escort

Originally built as a small family car, the Ford Escort also makes the list of the most favourite Ford cars, but not for its safety and instead for its rallying skills.

Gerard Quinn, who is the Senior Manager of Motorsport for Ford of Europe, says, “For me my all-time favourite Ford car is the MKII Escort.”

Gerard Quinn added, “As a young lad I remember the sports versions such as the RS1800, RS2000 and Mexico which had, at that time, incredible performance.

“As I head up Ford’s racing organisation in Europe today I find it ironic that my interest in motorsport is all down to this car and the influence it had in my life.

“In 1979 Ford won the manufacturers championship in the WRC with the Ford Escort RS.  The sound of a Ford Escort powered by a BDA engine rallying through the forests is one of the most incredible sounds. In recent years I had responsibility for the development of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC an experience I may not have encountered had it not been for the influence that the Ford Escort had on my life.

“The MkII Ford Escort has stood the test of time and can still be seen at classic car shows as well as competing in race and rally events around the world which is a testament to its reliability, unique handling characteristics and enduring appeal to Ford fans.”

The Ford Escort dominated rallying in the Seventies as the car won the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally with the Mark II also winning the RAC World Rally from 1975-1979, which culminated in Björn Waldegård winning the 1979 World Rally Championship, Hannu Mikkola coming as a runner-up and Ari Vatanen finishing fifth whilst all driving the Escort RS1800s.

 

1973 Ford Capri 3.0 GXL
 

1973 Ford Capri 3.0 GXL

It was the success of the Ford Mustang in the US that inspired Ford to build a European version of the car. This came in the shape of “Project Colt”, which aimed to design a car that had a similar feel to the Mustang but for the UK market.

The result was the Ford Capri being built by Ford Europe from 1969-1986. The car proved to be just as successful as the Mustang in America and Phil Bell of Classic Cars Magazine was one of the models biggest fans.

He said, “The Ford that I have the most affection for has to be the 1973 Capri 3.0 GXL that I bought not long after graduation from university. With its throbbing V6 engine and moody black paintwork it turned every journey into a scene from my own car chase movie.”

 

Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS

The Ford Focus is a compact car that was originally built to replace the Ford Escort and the Ford Laser and the model has since been considered by many to be one of the greatest cars ever made in recent years.

Now Ford has revealed the release of its Ford Focus RS, which is set to be another Ford model that offers drivers an affordable high-performance car.

Nick Trott, Editor of Evo Magazine, adds, “I nominate the next fast Ford - the Focus RS. I've not driven it, but all the ingredients suggest that it will be an absolute cracker. Four-wheel drive, torque-vectoring, over 320bhp; this is one of the most anticipated evo cars of 2015 and will be a strong contender for the top prize at our evo Car of the Year test in October.”

 

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

As many Ford car dealerships will confirm, there are few cars that can hope for the same popularity that has been enjoyed by the Ford Fiesta.

The car has been one of the best-selling cars in the UK and the main secret to its success is its wide-ranging appeal. While perfect for first-time drivers and for families, the models sportier versions like the XR2 have also become a popular buy.

Evo’s Nick Trott agrees, “In terms of other Fords, the current Fiesta ST is peach in either standard or Mountune trim. It's the class leader by quite some margin.”

 

Ford RS200

Ford RS200

This four-wheel sports car was manufactured by Ford in the eighties with the aim for it to become a new, purpose-built Group B class rally car.

Due to homologation requirements, Ford released a number of road-certified models. The model was given the “fastest accelerating car in the world” crown by the Guinness Book of Records after it reached 0-62mph in just 3.07 seconds and it held this crown for 12 years.

The car was a personal favourite of Nick Trott’s, who said, “The RS200 was a hugely significant machine that never had the chance to show its full potential.”

Image Credit: PSParrot, fromthevalleys-, Mark van Seeters, free photos, The Car Spy, David Villareal Fernandez, Brian Snelson (flickr.com)

This content was written by James Dart. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.