19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 18

1961 Ford Zodiac MkII Farnham Estate

Estimated at £12,000 - £14,000

Lot details

Registration No: 6069 RW
Chassis No: 206E/311835
MOT: August 2024

  • Rare Farnham estate conversion on the top-of-the-range Zodiac model
  • The subject of recent works including an interior re-trim, full engine overhaul and radiator recore
  • Solid, on the road example that would prove a rewarding project after some cosmetic attention

The Zodiac name was first seen on a Ford at the 1953 Earls Court Motor Show. From day one it denoted the top of the range model – above its siblings, the Consul and Zephyr. The trio were completely restyled in 1956 with a transatlantic influence to suit changing tastes away from the drab taste of 1950s Britain, with tail fins and two-tone paint schemes being the order of the day. The newcomers were quite a bit larger than their predecessors and with bench seats front and rear, would comfortably seat up to six adults. The six cylinder in-line engines of the range were increased in capacity to 2553cc to give an output of 86bhp. This was sufficient to allow a top speed of almost 90mph – lively performance for the period. The engine was either paired with a three-speed, column-change manual gearbox (for which overdrive was an option) or a Borg Warner automatic unit. Suspension was independent at the front with MacPherson struts and coil springs and a live axle at the rear suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs. Braking was initially by drums all round, but front discs became optional in 1960 and standard in 1961. The rising demand for an estate car was fulfilled by the coachbuilder, ED Abbott Limited of Farnham, Surrey who created attractive small scale versions of the grand station wagons from across the pond using an unfinished saloon supplied direct from Ford and were the most expensive Ford available at the time. Relatively few of these grand estates have survived due to having a harder life than their saloon siblings and good examples are now highly prized.

Understood to have been supplied as a top-of-the range Farnham Estate conversion of a MkII Zodiac fitted with overdrive, '6069 RW' was first registered in the UK in 1961 in the Coventry area and pleasingly retains its original registration number. Little is known of the early history of the car, however, this rare survivor was purchased by a previous owner through auction after a lengthy period of lay-up with extensive recommissioning needed and in a rather sorry cosmetic state. The vendor purchased the car in 2020 and it was noted that much of this work had been completed, including welding of the sills, underside, front and rear valances and door bottoms. Mechanically however, it was noted that further remedial work was required and the vendor set about a complete overhaul of the six-cylinder power unit and a radiator recore.

The vendor is well versed in the maintenance of classic vehicles and has kept on top of this himself and has regularly used the car for shows. Now, the car is in a solid state with all structural issues taken care of, however according to the vendor "does require further cosmetic attention" to the paint and bodywork. When the vendor bought the car, the original leather work had nearly disintegrated fully and the vendor made the decision to re-trim the seats, dashtop and door cards in Beige leather which provides a very pleasant experience to any driver or passenger. If you are looking for one of these rare, transatlantic-styled estates and like to tinker, this presents an opportunity for a rewarding project that can be enjoyed thanks to the hard work being done.

For more information, please contact:
Lucas Gomersall
07484 082430


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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