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50 years of the Transit

50 years of the Transit

28 April 2015

If you think of a commercial van the first one that probably comes into your head is the Ford Transit. That’s because the Ford Transit has been part of our lives for five decades and actually celebrates its 50th birthday this year on 9th August.

1965 not only saw the first person walk in space but also the first Ford Transit rolled off the production line, replacing its predecessor the classic Ford Thames 400e.

Ice Cream Van


In 1976 the Ford Transit passed its first milestone of 1 million units being built. Now, around 8 million Transits have been produced to date; this is expected to reach around 9 million this year. It’s thought that if all fifty years of Transits were lined up end-to-end they would in fact circle the globe.

Due to its practicality and versatility in the hands of a coachbuilder the Transit saw life not just as a van. No, over the years we’ve seen anything from a Tipper pickup through to Luton removal trucks, pop top campers to crazy creations like the ‘Super vans’.

With all these variants it’s no wonder that the Ford Transit has become a classic ingrained in the British psyche, something to move almost anything, a tool that helped get a job done and support the UK economy.

2006-2011 Ford Transit Van


The Ford Transit was and still is designed to be a commercial vehicle, a workhorse and as such, initially, treated like one. For this reason surviving classic Mk1 Transits produced until 1978 and Classic Mk2 Transits produced until 1986 have gained a cult status and fetch handsome money in good condition.

If you’re lucky enough to own one of these earlier models keep hold of it, celebrating fifty years of the Transit shouldn’t do any harm to its value. Should it?

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