Euroa’s Geoff Bond will proudly present his green 1950 Ford Pilot Saloon at this year’s Australian National Show and Shine Euroa – a car that he has carefully cared for over the past 50 years.

The Pilot was introduced in 1947, and Geoff’s ’50 model was one of the last of what was known as Ford’s mid – large family car before the launch of the Mk I Zephyr in 1951.

Manufactured by Ford UK just outside of London, they were essentially the first post-war large car produced in Britain. Pilots were imported into Australia both fully assembled, and in “knock-down” form.

Powered by the venerable 3.6 litre (3,622cc) side valve (flathead) V8 engine, the car has a top speed in excess of 80mph (130Kph) and reportedly drank about 16 litres per 100km, or 15mpg. Geoff says that one drive to the Gold Coast produced somewhat less economical mileage – but that in fairness, he was doing about 70mph most of the time!

The 4-door sedan was one of the last cars to have a 6 volt system before 12V became the norm. Wipers were vacuum operated, which meant that they virtually stopped when you accelerated hard. A 3-speed crash box was utilised, with the gear change being column mounted. Brakes were interesting, with hydraulic front and cable-operated rear.

Ventilation could be increased by lifting the hinged windscreen.

Geoff repainted the car several years ago and it still retains its original condition, now with some 130,000 miles (about 209,000 Km.) on the speedo.

This car is a little different to most because it’s what is known as a “tropical” model, designed for warmer climates with a larger than normal radiator and extra side vents in the bonnet.

.. Ray Read