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Ford C-Car

The Ford C-Car by Ghia.

Vehicle Overview

The Ford C-Car project marked Ford of Europe’s ambitious venture into the next generation of the C-segment vehicles, culminating in the Escort Mk3’s anticipated debut in 1980. Building upon the successful adoption of front-wheel drive with the Fiesta, Ford aimed to innovate further across its lineup, with the Escort, codenamed Erika, positioned as a flagship example of this evolution. In 1976, prior to the involvement of Uwe Bahnsen’s design team, Ford enlisted Ghia Operations for their visionary input. Tasked with reimagining the Escort’s interior and overall package, Ghia presented a prototype that diverged from convention. Designed, likely under the creative direction of Tom Tjaarda, the prototype featured a distinctive layout with five doors on the driver’s side and three on the passenger’s side, leveraging the Fiesta’s adaptable chassis. Ghia’s proposal, although maintaining certain traditional elements such as a substantial B-pillar, was fundamentally aimed at optimizing interior space and functionality. This approach not only aimed to address previous criticisms of the Escort but also set new benchmarks within the competitive C-segment market. The Ford C-Car initiative underscored Ford’s commitment to innovation and customer-focused design, heralding a new era for the Escort line and reinforcing Ford’s position as a leader in automotive advancement in Europe.

Ford c-car ghia
Photo and source courtesy of Car Design Archives.

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
    1976
  • Make
    Ford
  • Model
    C-Car
  • Coachbuilder
    Ghia
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  • Designer
    Tom Tjaarda
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