by John Mahoney, 3 July 2014
Just two days into his new job as chief executive officer of Ford, CAR staffers have compiled a comprehensive to-do list for the Blue Oval's Alan Mulally replacement, Mark Fields.
Ford has an enviable back catalogue of treasures and we reckon the new One Ford program would benefit by reviving some of the greatest Fords for global sale. See if you agree with our wish list below - and be sure to add your comments with your ideas for Fords you'd like back.
DO: Reinvent the Ford Capri
Toyota and Subaru might have beaten Ford to the market with an affordable rear-wheel drive coupe, but the BRZ and GT86 will never have the style or indeed working class of a pukka Capri. Make sure Ford gives it the full RS2600 treatment with wide arches and a dirty big rubber tail fin.
DON’T: Call it a ‘Probe’
DO: Make another Mexico
The beauty of the legendary Escort Mexico is its simplicity. It was effectively an RS1600 with a bulletproof Kent lump under the bonnet instead of a highly strung (read expensive) BDA. This simple approach meant that real people could actually afford it. Nowadays, in an era where you won’t get much change from £30,000 for a Golf GTI and £22,000 only gets you the entry-level Focus ST, Ford desperately needs to recreate a modern interpretation of a Mexico and give us back fast, affordable Fords.
DON’T: Save money by bringing back the Escort’s old cart-spring suspension
DO: Cash in on motorsport and give us a 21st century RS200
Ford should capitalize on its huge motorsport investment and make the Formula Ford EcoBoost concept reality. Better still, build a rally replica you can drive on the road. If you plough millions into rallying, why wouldn’t you want to shout about it and make a replica of the car Robert Kubica’s recently crashed on [insert any rally name here]?
DON’T: Actually make it as shoddy as the legendary RS200
DO: Reproduce the original Focus’s fun
We think chassis-guru Richard Parry-Jones should be brought out of retirement immediately. He’s badly missed. Credited with creating some of the last two decade’s driving greats (first-gen Mondeo, Focus, Fiesta, Ka), the demon-behind-the-wheel had an uncanny gift of transforming a mundane saloon or hatch into something great to drive. The current Ford Focus might still rule the roost when it comes to its handling and ride - just - but today’s car lacks the sparkle, engagement and pure fun of a true Parry-Jones Ford.
DON’T: Share a car with him on a wet Welsh road he thinks he ‘knows’.
DO: Make another Ford GT40 (again)
Once you have the affordable performance car sorted, it’s time Ford makes another supercar. After all, it practically invented the concept when it began selling a roadgoing version of the GT40 back in 1965 (stubborn Enzo would only sell you a full blown racing car.) After the perfectly judged 2005 Ford GT it would be a crime to never to make another.
DON’T: Create another retro pastiche this time around. We want something a bit braver.
DO: Bring back the whale tail
The petition to bring back the Cosworth starts here. A performance Ford just isn’t same without ‘COSWORTH’ written on its rump and Sierras and Escorts, complete with Vauxhall Senator cop car-obscuring whale tail, shaped many a childhood.
DON’T: Forget to race it in the BTCC.
DO: Replace the Ford Puma
Bring back the small Fiesta-based coupe. Its looks might not have aged well, but the last car was a complete joy and we’re not even talking about the limited-run wide-arched Puma Racing. No, even the standard car on puny 15-inch wheels was great fun with the revvy 1.7-litre Yamaha engine under the bonnet. It could teach today’s sports cars a lesson or two in the handling/ride department.
DON’T: Forget men will buy it too.
DO: Resurrect the Ford Supervan
Ford must shoehorn a big block V8 into a Transit and create a Supervan 4. With plenty of trick aero the double ton should be feasible with enough horsepower.
DON’T: Actually sell it – the thought of a 200mph Transit tailgating you on the A1M is terrifying!
DO: Create a proper Ka
There might already be a Ford Ka on sale, but what we all want is a real Ford city car - not a Fiat 500 in drag, but for the third-gen to be a success it will have its work cut out. It needs to match the cleverness and quality of the Volkswagen Group’s Up clones and then blend it with the old car’s trademark engaging drive.
DON’T: Be tempted to reuse the tappety 1.3-litre Endura engine, let the old pushrod enjoy its well-earned retirement.
DO: Reunite Lotus and Ford
Why do the Elise and Evora have Toyota motors? Ford must use its historic links with Lotus and Ford - both racing and on road cars. While it’s at it, it must create a worthy successor to the 1960s Lotus Cortina.
DON’T: Go back to F1, the last time didn’t end so well...
10 famous Fords we want back by CAR Magazine
So far the GT has been made and the Focus fun is coming back, how many more items from the to do list will be completed in 2016?