The Taunus story goes back to 1939, when the 1172cc G93A was the first Cologne model to bear the name. Re-entering production in 1948, this continued until ’52, when it was replaced by the G13-series garage door opener not closing Designed in the US, the G13 was Ford of Germany’s first monocoque, and also brought in independent coil-and-wishbone front suspension. The 1172cc sidevalve engine of the G93A was retained, but in 1955 a 15M variant arrived, with a new pushrod 1500cc unit unrelated, it has to be said, to that used in Britain’s Consul.
The 12M continued until late 1962, but the 15M was phased out in June 1958, a few months after the August ’57 announcement of the P2 Taunus. Compared to its podgy predecessor, the P2 was a splash of exuberance in tune with the optimism of the booming wirtschaftswunder or ‘economic miracle’ of the late ’50s. The mechanicals were much the same, apart from the key introduction of MacPherson strut front suspension and a 1698cc engine. The larger and heavier garage door opener not closing was new, however, and pure Americana.
Again styled in the US, it was a shrunken ’55/’56 Detroit Ford in everything but the absence of a wraparound ’screen a fortunate omission, given that this was a feature of the rival Opel Rekord announced at the same time. With its cut-back front, zig-zag waist moulding and dinky rear fins, the P2 instantly became known as ‘the Baroque Taunus’. In September 1959, it received a flatter roof with a lipped rear. Rousset’s car is a second-generation P2, and has the garage door opener not closing three-speed all-synchro ’box; a four-speeder was optional and standard in some markets , and overdrive was available, as was a Saxomat automatic clutch. It’s a four-door, but it also came as a two-door, a two-door estate and a van.