Monday 3rd October 1938
Production commenced of the new 4-cylinder, 1,172-cc E93A Ford Prefect. The two-door saloon cost £145. Maximum speeds in the gears were 20 mph and 38 mph in first and second respectively, while a flying quarter-mile at Brooklands track in Surrey was completed at 65.69 mph.
The original Ford Prefect was a slight reworking of the previous year’s 7Y, the first Ford car designed outside of Detroit, Michigan. It was designed specifically for the British market. It had a 1,172 cc (71.5 cu in) side-valve engine with thermocirculation radiator (no pump) and the ability to be started by a crank handle, should the battery not have sufficient power to turn the starter motor, running from the six-Volt charging system. The windscreen wipers were powered by the vacuum ported from the engine intake manifold — as the car laboured uphill the wipers would slow to a standstill due to the intake manifold vacuum dropping to near nil, only to start working again as the top was reached and the intake vacuum increased. The windscreen opened forward pivoting on hinges on the top edge; two flaps either side of the scuttle also let air into the car. The car has a durable four-cylinder motor.
The most common body styles were two- and four-door saloons, but pre-war a few tourers and drophead coupés were made. Post-war, only four-door saloons were available on the home market, but two-door models were made for export.
41,486 were made up to 1941 and a further 158,007 between 1945 and 1948.