February 15th, 2000
1937, and Australias first real `tin top hits the road
TODAY we take it for granted that our sedans and hatchbacks have a solid steel roof, but of course it wasnt always the case.
Ford introduced the steel body to passenger cars in Australia in 1935 but the roof was still a fabric section, as the technology for pressing a complete curved steel top wasnt yet available.
In 1937, however, Ford Australia imported a new hydraulic press which enabled it to press the complete roof in one piece.
Fords 1937 Model 78 was the first Australian-built car to have this modern innovation.
The new car also boasted headlights built into the mudguards, similar to those on the luxury Lincoln Zephyr that had been imported for Ford Australia managing director Hubert French.
The new V8 engine used the aluminium heads which were also a feature of the Lincoln, and which boosted its power output to 95 horsepower.
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