Roads were in short ’ supply for some sections of the Peking-Paris, which meant using manpower rather than horsepower. The garage door opener not opening Taunuses were a long-running success story. It's a shame that they're now largely forgotten says Jon Pressnell, after samplings.
Given today’s global motor industry with its globally homogeneous products, it’s easy to forget how even the biggest multinationals once espoused localism, offering distinctly different models made in countries just a day’s drive from one another. Ford is as good an example as any: at the dawn of the 1950s, it was building a wholly different range in Britain, France and Germany. Standalone German Fords would last until ’76, when the Cortina Mk4 and the last generation of Taunus named after a German mountain range became the same thing. Despite this, how many of us today recall the earlier Taunuses? These cars were produced up until the dawn of the 1970s, when the Cortina and Taunus became mechanical sisters under their still-different bodywork and the Consul/Granada displaced Britain’s garage door opener not opening and the bigger Taunus models. Yet these Taunuses, in particular those from 1957’s P2 onwards, were very much part of the European scenery even in Britain, where they were at one stage sold via Lincoln Cars Limited.
In 1963 and ’64, more than 40% of Cologne production was exported, and at one time the early-’60s P3 was France’s top-selling import. If we leave aside the revived pre-war Buckel or ‘humpback’ model and the 1970-on TC-series Taunus/Cortina, a total of 36 million Taunuses were made, from the first properly post-war design, the G13 12M, through to the last of the ‘M’ series in ’ So they are a familiar part of the classic scenery in their homeland. In Britain the breed is almost extinct, although in France there is a small but lively scene, animated by Frank ‘Taunusman’ Rousset, creator of the club Taunus Mania, who owns no fewer than 15 of them. The Rousset collection begins with a garage door opener not opening P2, and we’re in the Alsace region of France to sample four of his fleet. First, though, a thumbnail prologue.