Tuesday 20th July 1954
The first 5-cwt Ford Thames 300E van rolled off the production line. The Thames (or Thames Trader) name was given to all available sizes of commercial vehicle produced by Ford in Britain during the 1950s and until the arrival in 1965 of the UK built Ford Transit. Based on the standard Ford Anglia/Prefect 100E, the Thames 300E cost just £358. It shared its bodyshell and 1172 cc sidevalve four-cylinder engine with the Ford Squire estate car versions of the line. Oddly, the bodyshell was optimized for use as a panel van rather than an estate with its two, short passenger doors and shorter overall length than the saloons. Initially produced only as a single model with 5 long cwt (560 lb; 254 kg) carrying capacity, the range was later expanded with the introduction of Standard and Deluxe 7 long cwt (784 lb; 356 kg) variants. All three offered the same 66-cubic-foot (1.9 m3) load volume. Production totalled 196,885 examples comprising 139,267 5 cwt, 10,056 Standard 7 cwt and 47,562 Deluxe 7 cwt units.
300E production ended in April 1961 and the van’s replacement, the Anglia 105E based Thames 307E, was introduced in June of the same year.