For many tradespeople and most of the removal industry professionals in the UK, the name Ford Transit is synonymous with the oldest and perhaps most widely used vehicle workhorse in Great Britain. This article is purely informative and doesn’t aim to glorify or promote Ford’s new van model in any way, shape or form. It is not paid for or endorsed by the Ford Motor Co. so read on for a straightforward, unbiased take on the next stage in Transit’s metamorphosis.
Ford Transit – Origins
The humble Ford Transit took to life in the now distant 1950s as a simple, robust vehicle aimed at tradesmen and delivery drivers. Originally, the van was just that – your average, regular looking panel van. Interesting to point out that the introduction and landslide success of Ford’s Transit actually gave rise to the informal (but now universally used) term ‘transit van’. In the years following its first release on the market, Ford’s Transit saw little change or development to the vehicle itself, instead a larger variety of engines were developed to satisfy drivers’ varied requirements. The van proved to be a success and was selling itself so to speak. As vehicle generations changed, Ford began development and introduction of new Transit body types, various door and seating arrangements, different weight capacity and wheelbase etc. The merits of one such vehicle were clear to see and people came to appreciate the sturdy and reliable Transit (even if it wasn’t as funky looking as VW’s Transporter/Camper). Over six vehicle generations (marks) have come and gone since the late fifties/early sixties when the first Transit hit UK’s roads. During all that time, despite all the original/factory conversions ford has introduced, Transit never had an official factory Luton body.
Enter the Transit Luton
It’s been more than half a century now since the Transit came out, and the Ford Motor Co. have finally decided to launch a properly designed and manufactured (official) Luton version of the vehicle. Luton vans are type of light cargo vehicle (LCV) which is made up of standard driver/passenger cab at the front, combined with a special cargo box at the back. Many people in the UK also know these vehicles as ‘mover vans’. Vehicles used for property removals & goods delivery services are easily distinguishable by the roller shutter at the back, and the unmistakable tail lift platform. The new model van is said to hit the streets in June/July of 2017. The Luton version is based on the Ford Transit 2 Tonner Chassis Cab, with prices expected to start at 31k pounds (+VAT). Luton Transit although similar to its ‘box conversion brother’ will be sleeker, more aerodynamic and therefore more efficient. The new vehicle which is currently at the final sign-off-stage will be made available to clients through one of Ford UK’s hundred and ten specialist suppliers. Current owners of Transits will also be given the option to convert their existing vehicle to a Luton through the automaker’s One-Stop Conversion Program.