Raked Glass: 1963 Ford Consul Classic

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As you might have guessed, I’ve been having a field day on overseas eBay pages this week. I can’t help it – there’s just too many goodies lurking in gardens and sheds over there! This 1963 Ford Consul Classic here on eBay UK is a model we didn’t get stateside, but it’s amusing to see a Ford-labeled vehicle with clearly tidied-up European looks. The mild fins, quad headlights, restrained chrome – while this may have been produced by an American manufacturer, this Ford sedan clearly reflected the different brand of consumers overseas. 

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On that point, the Consul Classic sports numerous design cues reflective of the vehicles we’re accustomed to in the U.S. Effectively a slimmed-down Ford Galaxie with a Lincoln Continental-inspired roofline and reverse-rake rear window, the Consul Classic differed from the more pedestrian Consul range and was only offered from 1961-1963. The most appealing model in the lineup to my eyes was the coupe-bodied Consul Capri, which is rarely seen today. This car has been laid up for some time with engine issues, which should be a member of the Ford Kent engine family.

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Interestingly, the packaging of the Consul Classic spawned numerous features that we take for granted on modern vehicles. Headlight flashers, variable speed windshield wipers and a trunk-mounted spare tire were all novelties in their day. Front disc brakes and independent suspension yielded positive reviews from the automotive press for its steady handling, while the 4-speed gearbox would eventually feature synchromesh in all forward gears. In the case of this car, you can see the interior remains in excellent condition and looks downright sensible.

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If you bump out the side of the body by about five inches right and left, the resemblance to a bigger-bodied American car might become even more uncanny. From what I can see in the photos, the body looks very straight and none of the rust appears any worst than surface-level. This would make for an interesting car at the local Ford gathering, and its overall completeness inspires some confidence that it wouldn’t be too exhausting to bring this Consul Classic back to road-worthiness. Have you ever seen one, or better yet, driven this overseas market Ford?

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  1. Madbrit

    These 4 door salons were never very popular in the UK. But the 2 door coupe version called the Classic Capri was in strong demand 25 years ago.

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  2. alan

    Can’t think of a better place to put the last ratchet strap but securely over the hood just for insurance.

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    • JW454

      HA! Alan, I guess that strap over the hood is to hold it there until you get stopped in case all the other straps come off at the same time.

      This looks like something Rambler would have made here in the U.S.

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  3. angliagt

    When I first saw a picture of one of these,I thought it was the
    ugliest car that I’d ever seen,but have grown on me.They’re so ugly
    that they’re cool.That rear window is inverted to give more headroom
    for rear seat passengers,just like the Anglia of the same period.
    I had two Consul Capris,& they got more attention than just
    about any car that I’ve owned.

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  4. Roger Owen

    In view of this mornings extremely depressing news – give us Brits a few years of devastating economic crisis and we’ll be flogging our ‘classics’ just to buy a loaf of bread!

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  5. Mark MacD

    I can’t help but think this car has more than a passing resemblance to the 1960 Rambler. It’s like someone tried to recreate the Rambler from memory in England in 1962 after seeing a Rambler in American in 1960.

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    • Gary

      Hi Mark,
      I had exactly the same thought, except I thought the front end was that of a 1961 Rambler Ambassador, which was exactly like the 1960 but with a slightly modified front end.. The photos you uploaded shows a 60 Ambassador exactly like the one I owned in the mid to late 60s that had every option I know of: AC, electric windows, … My wife hated the center mounted trunk antenna. But with the AMC 327 and Holley 4 barrel it performed well.

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    I would buy it if it was over here. I’d love to take it to the local cruise and here the reaction of the crowd.

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  7. That Guy

    It just got about 10% cheaper for us Americans overnight…

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  8. Doc

    Love the grill!

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  9. Roger Owen


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  10. Alan

    Get this bought and shipped now, while the dollar is strong against the pound, when we have bounced back, you wont even be able to afford a rotted out version, my father had one of these, i remember it being a reliable car that was gutless, could have done with a bigger engine, the classic capri was much nicer, and now, more desirable,

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  11. John

    The Classic (or Consul 315 to overseas markets) was originally designed in 1956. The rather gutless 1340cc was eventually replaced with the 1500. The Classic was originally designed as a full series car. A station wagon was also designed, but never produced. This was aimed at bringing production inside Ford. They have a unique history and can never be forgotten even though the Capri has way more of a following now. The Capri was designed on a whim. Charlotte Ford drove a prototype around France for a few months. This Classic is really bang on for price. Done up it’s worth double.
    I have two Consul Capri’s and have owned 4 Classics. They are good practical cars. We have a great spares section to the club too. With a bit of imagination a 2 door Classic can look almost as good as a Capri.

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