Dual Controls on a Ford Prefect. Just the car for coalition partners. All they would need to agree on is what gear to be in. The Prefect only had three, with synchromesh on second and third. Steering left or right would depend on who was stronger. Easier if you wanted to keep to the middle ground. Designed for driving tuition, this car pre-dated David William Donald Cameron and Nicholas Peter William Clegg by some 18 years.
1945 Prefect E93A (from: The Ford in Britain Centenary File, £27.50 Dove Publishing, 2011)
Dagenham’s millionth car was an E93A Prefect. The rounded grille and so-called “alligator” front-opening bonnet lent it a vaguely exotic air when it was relaunched only as a 4-door. Tourers were unwanted interruptions to the serious business of resuming car production. With rationing still in force economy was important, even though low-quality Pool petrol was only 2 shillings (10p) a gallon, but Purchase Tax at 33.3 per cent raised car prices against those of 1939. An annual road tax based on cubic capacity had been proposed but it was not invoked until 1946. The distorted market reversed the pre-war position in which Anglia outsold Prefect. Now the 10HP car outsold the 8 by almost two to one, although both were virtually unchanged from 1939. The Prefect had a bigger dynamo, and the seats tubular frames, which were not only cheaper to make but also more comfortable. There were minor differences in trim and colour but by 1948 The Autocar was finding the Prefect noisy and the handling indifferent. There was body roll on corners and a lot of pitching. “The system of suspension,” it observed icily, “gives comfortable riding in the sense that it takes the shock out of poor surfaces, and allows the car to be driven over really bad surfaces, without causing one to feel it is being done any harm.” Post-war designs were appearing with unitary construction and independent front suspension. Even in a buyer’s market customers were becoming choosy.
Outpost of Empire. E93A Prefect overseas.
INTRODUCTION October 1938, production to January 1949.
BODY saloon; 4-doors, 4-seats; weight 15.7cwt (797.6kg) (1758lb).
ENGINE 4-cylinders, in-line; front; 63.5mm x 92.5mm, 1172cc; compr 6.6 x:1; 30bhp (22.4kW) @ 4000 rpm; 25.6bhp (19.1kW)/l; 97.8lbft (132.6Nm) @ 2400rpm.
ENGINE STRUCTURE side valve; gear-driven camshaft; cast iron detachable cylinder head and block; aluminium pistons; Zenith downdraught carburettor; coil ignition, and mechanical fuel pump; 3-bearing counterbalanced crankshaft;
thermo-syphon cooling; splash and pressure lubrication.
TRANSMISSION rear wheel drive; 7.375in (18.73cm) sdp clutch; 3-speed manual gearbox, synchromesh on 2; torque tube; spiral bevel final drive 5.5:1.
CHASSIS pressed steel channel-section frame with three crossmembers
and lowered central box-section; suspension, transverse leaf springs
front and rear with triangulated radius arms; pear-shaped Luvax dampers;
rod actuated 10in (25.4cm) drum brakes; Burman worm and nut steering; 7 gal (31.8l) fuel tank; 5.00-16 tyres; steel spoke welded wheels.
DIMENSIONS wheelbase 94in (238.8cm); track 45in (114.3cm); length 155.5in (395cm); width 57in (144.8cm); height 63in (160cm); ground clearance 8.75in (22.2cm); turning circle 36ft (10.97m).
EQUIPMENT 6 volt electrical system; fixed-rate charging; 10amps at 30mph; rear window blind; cloth upholstery, leather trim £7 13s 4d (£7.67p).
PERFORMANCE maximum speed 59.7mph (95.8kph) The Motor; 0-50mph (80.3kph) 26.9sec; 26.6kg/bhp (35.6kg/kW); fuel consumption 33.8mpg (8.35l/100km).
PRICE 4-door £275 plus PT £77 2s 9d, £352 2s 9d (£352.77p).
PRODUCTION 1938-1949 120,505 including 1028 tourers, 667 coupes. 10,163 Tudors, 37,502CKD.
1949 Prefect E493A