In my last post Thomson and Thompson’s Citroen 5cv exploded a few moments after they filled her up with petrol. The next day, world politics was all dreary and there was talk of war. Captain Haddock had been mobilised to command a Merchant Vessel. amidst this chaos, the detectives met Tintin and were discussing about their car when there was a big “BOOM”. A car in the street had also met with the same fate as Thomson and Thompson’s. This magenta coloured car was a Ford 1948. I am not sure whether Ford actually built magenta car though.
This car was produced between 1941 and 1948 with production for civilian use actually stopping between 1942 and 1945 when these cars were produced only as staff cars for the military. It was a transitional car and underwent a number of variations and modifications during its life. The state of variation was such that the car was offered with five different coil/distributor arrangements at the same time causing immense confusion amongst mechanics. It had some futuristic thinking, the fender was in three pieces so that minor damages could be repaired easily and cheaply, remember the first generation Honda City launched in India. It had bumpers in three pieces for the same reasons.
In addition to USA, these cars were assembled/ manufactured in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Ford offered this particular model in a number of body shapes which included:-
- 2-door coupe.
- 2-door convertible.
- 2-door coupe utility.
- 2-door sedan delivery.
- 2-door pick up.
- 4-door sedan.
- 4-door station wagon.
These cars were offered in three trims, Special, Deluxe and Super Deluxe. Two engine options were offered though both engines produced 90 BHP. The first was 3.6 Litre (221CID) naturally aspirated V-8 petrol engine which was offered on the Deluxe and the hugely popular 3.7 Litre (226 CID) naturally aspirated inline six cylinder petrol engine with L-heads. The front mounted engines drove the rear wheels and transferred the 244N-m (180 ft-lb) of torque via a three speed manual gear box. These engines pushed the 1.4 ton car to a maximum speed of 124 km/h (77 mph). They took a leisurely 22.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h.
Ford offered excellent heating systems in these cars including a gasoline based system which could keep the cars warm when parked during drive-in movies. It had an excellent radio but it consumed so much power that the battery would get drained in two hours if radio was used when parked. The radio had an optional floor button so one could change pre-selected stations without moving the hands from the steering wheel. It had a key less starting system, where in the key was used to only unlock the steering column and the starting switch. There after a starter button had to be thumbed to start the car.
Ford continued with front and rear beam axles and transverse leaf spring suspension. As the car had minimal running boards, it added to increase seat width, seven inches in case of front seats. This led to a very comfortable and spacious interiors.
We know that the car depicted in Tintin is the 1948 model as the parking lights are round and are show below the headlights. the earlier models had these parking lights above the grille.