Produced from 1947 to 1951, the Ford V8 Pilot can trace its roots to the first British-built pre-war Ford V8 cars. The were available as convertibles, coupes and sedans, with a wide variety of trim options. After the war, they made a return, this time with a name rather than a number: the V8 Pilot. These iconic cars were well-built, offered a ride that was a little rough, and loved by pretty much everyone. Even the Royal Family enjoyed a ‘woody’ station wagon as one of its cars! Perfectly representative of the post-war mood, these cars were bought and used across the social spectrum, by law enforcement as well as criminals! In fact, it wasn’t rare to see a Pilot chasing another as both drivers tried to extract the most from these relatively powerful cars – for the time.
The 1947 V8 Pilot was powered, as its name implies, by a 3.6-liter V8, producing 85 horsepower. It was enough for a 85 miles per hour top speed, a remarkable figure for a four-door sedan, and a 0-60 acceleration time of 20 seconds.
Ford produced and sold over 22,000 of the Ford V8 Pilot before it was dropped and replaced by the Consul and Zephyr in 1951. Although the new cars were more modern and definitely faster, collectors today still flock to the Pilot whenever one is available.