It does not look spectacular but he is in the long tradition of Ford-Werke, the first front-wheel drive. The V4 engine is far ahead of the front axle, the first is attached partially to the gearbox/axle drive unit, but even building quite short. A forward-looking design, but perhaps a bit too early. It is also star-crossed, because it is discharged from the American parent company. 60 days before the start of production the 'Cardinal' project was cancelled. Such a thing inspires little enthusiasm. And like this the body looks.
In Cologne, was planned a successor of the aged 12m series with a standard drive. Again give a face lift to the prewar SV. Actually one should have been happy with the present from USA. Even if the well has a leaf-sprung rear axle, then this is not driven at least and, in principle, a significant advance compared with the swing axle of the VW Beetle and the new coming out Opel Kadett. The public critic belies by accessing brisk on this new Ford.
Nobody suspects such progressive technology under the bodywork. The design is not much better. Difficult handling (understeer) and hardly heat resistant brakes be accused it. Also, the fuel supply should sometimes have been insufficient in sharp right turns. Chrome parts in vain.This is a little better after the revision in 1966. Now we see the Ford 12/15 M in handling something superior its competitors VW Beetle and Opel Kadett.
After a short time the basic model is extended. With the 15 M there is a 1.5-liter engine. Also visually two models are created inter alia even with wood decorated dashboard and vinyl roof. Racing stripes versions are added. At the same time, there are also variations with whitewall tyres. All this does not alter the fact that for Ford unfortunately ends also the front-wheel drive with the 15 M successor model. The subsequent Escort is again quite conventional. You could turn an old saying: The first will be the last. For at the end, at Ford is recognized very late with the Fiesta, the trend to the front-wheel drive in the compact car class.
In fact, it's a pity because the basic idea of a longitudinally mounted V-engine with the appropriate front-wheel drive is actually good. Just obviously it can not be a four-cylinder who has never desisted from his rough tone despite balancing shaft. This special V4 60° construction concept was then taken up ever again by any other manufacturer. It seems to be the most unfavorable combination for engines.
Related to the durability one can not blame the engine. On the contrary, in standard condition dates back to it a great number of durability world records. Here the Ford factories have a tradition. Henry Ford already has in fact taken part against his will at racing events. Actually, he considered comparisions to be essential in terms of durability.
Thus, at Ford are not uncommon endurance runs with more than 300,000 km with 'flying' servicing. Also a subsequent Fiesta has survived such a thing in good condition. The 12m of 1963 incidentally, not completely, it lost the way just before the end of the test run, probably due to driver fatigue and had to be patched together for the remaining kilometers. Contrary to the saying 'He drove Ford and never came back' adheres to the brand a certain toughness in surviving's been around forever. 07/12