Ford’s popular Transit van is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the CV Show. Since the first example left the production line in Langley, England in 1965, almost eight million Transit and Transit Custom models have been built, growing from a single model to an entire family of Transit vans.
If all the Transits sold in the last 50 years were lined up end-to-end, they would circle the globe, with a new model bought every 180 seconds during its lifetime.
The latest expanded Transit line-up features four new models – Transit, Transit Custom, Transit Connect and Transit Courier.
Sales of Ford commercial vehicles were at an all-time high in March, up 43% at 16,497 units year-on-year.
Launched the same year that the first person performed a spacewalk, the Transit made an immediate impact, providing practical support to the booming economy. The Transit evolved with a vast range of bodystyles and variants from the parcel van, through tipper trucks and campers, to outrageous one-offs, including the Cosworth V8-powered Supervans.
Production of the Transit accelerated in response to its growing popularity, and after passing the first million milestone in 1976, it rapidly passed the next ones in 1985, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2013. Taking into account the smaller Transit Connect – with more than one million sold – and the compact all-new Transit Courier, total Transit production is scheduled to top nine million during 2015.