Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ford Prefect (car)
The cars progressed from a perpendicular or sit-up-and-beg style to a more modern 3-box structure.
The Ford Prefect was introduced in 1938 and built by the Ford plant in Dagenham, Essex. The original Ford Prefect was a slight reworking of the previous year's 7Y , the first Ford car designed outside of Detroit, Michigan. It was designed specifically for the British market. It had a 1200cc sidevalve engine with thermocirculation radiator (no pump). The windscreen wipers were powered by the vacuum at the engine manifold - as the car laboured uphill the wipers would slow to a standstill only to start working again as the top was reached and the engine surged.
E493A(1948 - 53)
Post war, the Prefect design changed little in design until replaced in 1952. The headlamps moved into the wings and trafficators were fitted ( internally lit semaphores springing out from the door pillars to signal left and right turns).
100E(1953 - 1959)
In 1953 a much redesigned Ford Prefect was introduced alongside the similar Ford Anglia and remained in production until 1959. From 1955, the estate car version (the Squire) was introduced, mechanically identical to the estate car version of the Anglia 100E (the Escort) but with wooden strakes.
107E(1959 - 61)
This was a reworked 100E body with the engine from the Anglia 105E, produced until replaced by the Ford Cortina. Not many were made, all in a two-tone colour scheme
The Ford Prefect name in other situations
In Douglas Adams's science fiction/comedy series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of the characters is an alien who adopted the name "Ford Prefect" while visiting Earth, believing as a result of lazy research that the name would be "nicely inconspicuous".
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