Here’s another postcard from Kidderminster. On the left we see a 1938 Ford Model 7Y with its wonderful, nipple-shaped spare wheel cover at the back. It’s in the High Street, but if you are on Google Maps and search for High Street Kidderminster today, it takes you to Brockmore, eleven miles away. Kidderminster seems to have lost its High Street; a consequence of redevelopment and a shift of the town centre perhaps. I did track it down eventually, a pedestrian walkway now between two other streets and not one building seen here remains. That gas tank’s gone too. And I guess all those fine automobiles also.
The Ford Model 7 was British built and was the first Ford to be designed specifically for the European market. In the UK it was marketed as the Ford Eight to reflect its horsepower rating (which was all important for tax purposes at the time, hence we have the Morris Eight, Austin Seven and Eight etc.).
In the following advert Ford claims it was “Britain’s best buy among the ‘eights'”
I like what the Ford Eight owner writes – “I have just returned from travelling abroad in an 18-months-old Ford ‘Eight’. We travelled from Dieppe to Monte Carlo in the over-all time of 29½ hours, including all stops. During those continuous hours of driving the car ran perfectly. It never once boiled, even though it was driven in the heat of the day. Coming back we travelled 650 miles without any stops, except for meals. I must congratulate you on producing a car which, though so cheap, can perform in a manner that would do credit to the most expensive car in the world.”
I think the advert might have had more impact had they turned the car around and featured the nipple, though maybe that would have been misleading as you only got it on the De Luxe version, which cost £10 more. It cost a further £5 to go topless I see.
In 1939 Ford launched the Anglia, which was a development of the Eight and looked quite similar. You can see one of those a few posts ago in Family Connections.