Who Tested Cars As Well As Jim Clark?
Showing cars hooning around to prove “durability” has been something manufacturers have relied upon for decades—and we love it. Because even if you’re not able to fully trust some of the claims and statistics, the footage, cars, and guest stars more than make up for it.
One company stands above the rest, however. From Jim Clark in the Consul Corsair to the rare GT70, to insane testing of sedans in 1939, Ford has taken the demonstration video to an art form.
Thanks to the must-see National Motor Museum’s Ford Heritage channel, a number of compelling clips have been digitized for our mutual enjoyment. Here are our favorite examples of when Ford decides to put its vehicles through “tests”.
Women’s Page is a look at the world of motoring from a woman’s perspective, in 1937. The narrator says that, “the modern girl is perfectly capable of handling a proposal of marriage and a car at the same time.”
Driving into barrels and off of ramps? We guess that’s just how Ford thought it best to sell its V8-powered wares to the British. On the right, a silent film that shows the Ford-built “Jeep” being put through its paces—and sacrifice a stump in the process—in front of assembled military officials.
Here she is, the 1963 Ford Consul Corsair, with none other than factory Ford driver Jim Clark behind the wheel. If you’re trying to prove a new car is worthy, there are few tactics better than asking your star Formula 1 driver to poodle around for a bit and say some nice things about the company’s new family car. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating,” he says. Can’t argue with that.
“Monza, in Italy…” begins the narrator, who introduces a “non-stop, maximum speed battle against time” that will be held over seven days…between two diesel Ford Transit vans. Trust us, it’s far better than it sounds. On the right…we’ve never seen trucks take that kind of punishment, and not sure the ones in the video lived much longer after filming!
In case commercial vehicles aren’t entertaining enough, on the right is part of the launch video for the mid-engined Ford RS 200 Group B machine—and it’s simply hauling around. On the right? Rare development footage of the incredible, but axed, GT70 rally car.