The Fallen Stars Ford Supervans

  • 17 September 2022
  • 3 min read
  • 7 images
The Fallen Stars Ford Supervans image

Try to imagine the starting grid of a Grand Prix made up entirely of familiar vans transformed into racing vehicles! How cool would it be to see them flying around the circuit at more than 250 km/h? Even better if there was a delivery to make at the end of the race with bets made on who will receive their parcel first!

1-Brands-HatchDriving a van at 250 km/h around Brands Hatch is almost more exciting than driving an F1

OK, we’re joking but only a little because as you well know, passion and madness go well together and in 1971, Ford proved it when it brought a Transit van to Brands Hatch complete with wide wheels and a full race set-up. What’s it all about? You’d never say so but underneath it lies nothing less than a GT40, floorplan and 400hp V8 engine included.

2-1971-Ford-Supervan-2039x2048The 1971 Ford Supervan with 400hp and GT40 mechanics demanded the bravest of drivers

These were the years in which, in addition to the Anglo-American Sport-Prototype, Ford dominated Formula 1 with the V8 Ford Cosworth DFV Engine. The idea was spot on: the Supervan gave Ford even more publicity than winning a Grand Prix possible could. 

3-1984-Ford-SupervanFord's 1984 Supervan 2 did not hide its intentions: the large side air intakes gave away the presence of a V8 that pushed it up to 280 km/h

As a result, they decided to push on with the project and in 1984 took it a step further: built on the floorplan of the Ford C100 Group C and powered by V8 Cosworth DFL engine, a composite monocoque with more than a few appendages came to life. Its name was the Transit Mark 2. A giant leap forward in performance: 280 km/h in a vehicle that was less aerodynamic than a brick!

4-Ford-Supervan-2Irony within irony: a van must also be ready to pull a caravan. Ford's Supervan 2 was no exception!

Ten years passed and in 1995, the third iteration of the Supervan series arrived: this time they went beyond all logical limits and installed the same Formula 1 unit developed by Cosworth for Benetton. The thing was so scary it seemed undrivable. 

5-Ford-Supervan-3-2048x1301Ford Supervan 3: a Formula 1 disguised as a pickup truck. The powertrain of the Benetton F1 made it so difficult it needed a power reduction

Ready to place your bets? With beasts like these, your ice-cream will surely arrive before it melts, and your pizza will always be hot!

6-Ford-Supervan-interiorRacing seats and 4-point racing harnesses contrast with the steering wheel inclined like a normal van

7-Cosworth-2048x1361The Cosworth inscription on the front spoiler is the most convincing signature of the project: the engine by Costin and Duckworth wrote most of the history of English motorsport for over 30 years