Southampton, Hampshire, 27th September, 2011 – The Ford assembly plant in Southampton has hosted an eclectic collection of classic Ford Transit vans, including one from Australia, as part of Ford’s centenary celebration this year.
The 11 Ford Transit vans displayed – with a combined age of 315 years – provided a fascinating insight into the history of this motoring icon. From the oldest – a 1969 Mark I SWB Transit – to the most recent 2005 Mark VI, the collection of Ford Transits showcased the evolution of Ford vans.
Ford Transit owner and enthusiast, Major Cliff Parfitt, an English-born Australian, brought his custom Transit ‘Last Post’ to the UK from its home 10,000 miles away in Melbourne, Australia, to take part in the celebrations.
Major Parfitt said: “I was offered the chance of working in the UK again and as I had put so much time and money into customising and personalising my old post office Transit, I decided to ship it over.”
Peter Lee, founding member of the Ford Transit Van Owners Club and a former Ford employee, said: “The Ford Transit is quite simply the backbone of British motoring. If you have ever ordered anything, chances are it has been delivered to you in a Ford Transit.
“As well as owning nine Transit vans, I’ve also got what is probably the world’s largest Ford Transit memorabilia collection at home with the top floor of my house holding something like 28,000 models and other collectables.”
The centenary celebrations at Ford Southampton plant also featured Talullah Rendall, music artist and singer/songwriter, performing for over 400 workers.
Talullah said: “A couple of years ago, I used to travel all over the country in my Ford Transit. Me, the band and Nina – our Transit – must have travelled over 10,000 miles playing all over the country, including Glastonbury.”
The Ford Centenary Tour came to an end after one month, covering a distance of over 2,200 miles across Britain, from Inverness to Southampton and Cardiff to London.