Ford Courier is First Produced
The Ford Courier is a compact pickup truck which was sold in the United States and Canada from 1972 to 1982 and elsewhere to the present day.
It is considered to be the forerunner of the Ford Ranger.
The Courier name has also been used on various other Ford models since 1952.
The Courier was manufactured by Toyo Kogyo (Mazda), and imported and sold by Ford Motor Company as a response to the unforeseen popularity of the small Toyota and Nissan/Datsun pickups among young buyers in the West. Like the other mini-pickups of the time, it featured a sub-2 liter four cylinder engine, a four speed manual transmission, rear wheel drive, an impressive load capability of 1,400 lb (635 kg) considering its size, and a fairly large price tag compared to full size pickups of the time.
To circumvent the 25% Chicken tax on light trucks, Couriers (as with Chevrolet LUV's) were imported in "cab chassis" configurations, which included the entire light truck, less the cargo box or truck bed and were only subject to a 4% tariff. Subsequently, a truck bed would be attached to the chassis and the vehicle could be sold as a light truck.
The first generation Ford Courier was introduced in 1972 and sold for a little over $2,000 when introduced—close to the price of an F-100.
When the Courier was introduced it came standard with a 1.8 liter overhead cam engine, which produced 74 hp (55 kW) at 5070 rpm, and 92 lb·ft (125 N·m) at 3500 rpm. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard, and there was also a 3-speed automatic option (the 5-speed manual option came in 1976).
The body styling was effectively that of the related Mazda B-series, however its frontal treatment was unique, with a grille designed to emulate the larger Ford F-series, and large single headlights, instead of the B-series' smaller twin units.
Badging changed a few times in the first-gen series. In 1972, the tailgate read "FORD COURIER" in large raised letters, with a small "COURIER" badge on the front of the hood (from '73 on through '76 the hood badging read "FORD"). In '73 the tailgate read "COURIER" in large letters, with a small "FORD" badge on the upper left. In '74 it read "FORD" in large letters, with a small "COURIER" badge on the lower right. In 1976 the cab was lengthened 3 inches, and the grille received added trim.
In 1977 the Courier was redesigned, and a host of new options was available. The truck was available with front disc brakes, as well as a Ford built 2.3 liter engine option (which was the same as that of the Ford Pinto and Mustang II). The key identifying feature of the Courier from Mazda's B-Series was still the singular headlights, although with park and indicator lights placed inset starting in '78 ('77s still had the turn signal lights in the bumper).
In 1979 the base model engine was increased in size to 2.0 liters (120.1 CID). The optional Ford 2.3 L (~140 cu in) engine was produced in Brazil.
The Courier continued to be sold until 1982, in which year power steering was added. For 1983, Ford introduced its own Ford Ranger to fill its compact truck segment, which replaced the Courier in the U.S. and Canadian markets.
A Ford Fiesta-based Courier pickup, smaller than the Ranger, is currently sold in Mexico.
Our opinion is that the Ford Courier is one of the best products to come out of the Ford factory. It is a car that promises all-round performance and drivability to its owner. The Ford Courier is considered to be an efficient work vehicle both on and off the road.
The Ford Courier we reviewed was the 4 door 4x4 Turbo Diesel Super Cab, a new addition.
Ford Couriers can be found with a choice of two engines; the familiar 2.6-liter petrol engine and the 2.5-liter turbo-charged and intercooled diesel engine. The core of the AXT Turbocharger System that is found in the Ford Courier is a custom-built Garrett water-cooled turbocharger. The designer and producer being Allied Signal; who use technological resources of Aerospace and Engineered Materials. The Garrett turbochargers that are used in Ford Couriers are often considered the best turbochargers on the market.
Another point of the Ford Courier worth mentioning is the fact that the chassis uses box-section members, and is found to be rather stiff. The fenders, wheel wells, load gate, floor panel and other panels of the Ford Courier are made of galvanized steel.
A Smooth Start
Another point that has made Ford Courier one of the most widely acknowledged trucks is that it is genuinely strong and tough, similar to its F-series cousins. All the engine needs is one go to start!
All the 4WD models of Ford Courier have a 70-liter fuel tank with standard 16” wheels. The 4x2 super and crew cab have a 63 liter tank with 14” wheels. For safety, the Ford Courier has a drivers airbag, along with other safety features like side door anti-intrusion beams and a collapsible steering column.
The 1957-1958 Ford Ranchero and Courier were pioneering sedan-pickup designs that sent the other major automakers scrambling to catch up.
Ford Rancheros are among the most collectible artifacts of the 1950s, right up there with 45-rpm records, pink and turquoise furniture, and Philco Predicta TV sets. Unlike some of those, its influence was far reaching.
Sparked by the success of the combination car-pickup Ranchero, Ford and Chevy offered sedan-pickups for another 20 years or so.
In essence, the Ford Ranchero was a two-door Ranch Wagon with the rear roof section cut off and a bed liner slipped over the floor pan. Though reminiscent of the old Hudson sedan-pickup and 1937-1939 Studebaker Coupe-Express, its roots lie "Down Under."
Ford of Australia introduced the concept in 1932, calling it a Utility or, affectionately, a "Ute": a roadster with the body section behind the driver replaced by a fleetside bed. In 1957, the open-bed Ford Ranchero joined Ford's wagon lineup and was joined by the more wagon-like Ford Courier Sedan Delivery.
Marketed by Ford Truck Division, built on the shorter 116-inch wheelbase, they shared Ford's spiffy new 1957 styling. Semi-elliptic rear springs with six leaves (instead of four) and other suspension improvements provided a variable-rate effect and stiffer action.
Engines were regular 1956 fare: a standard 223-cid six and optional V-8s (272-cid in the base Ranchero, 292-cid in the Custom). The 1957 Ford Ranchero followed the main 1957 line by two months, introduced at the New York Auto Show in December, and made its musical movie debut in April Love, with Pat Boone.
It caught GM and Chrysler off guard. Dodge hastily cobbled the entire rear section of a passenger wagon onto a pickup to create the finny Sweptside; Chevy and GMC merely continued their Cameo and Suburban, but Chevrolet caught up in a big way with the El Camino in 1959.
So the spectacular Ford Ranchero was all alone in 1957. The 1958 Ford Ranchero's facelift was less successful, aping the Thunderbird's bumper-grille with strange-looking quad headlamps and a dummy hood scoop. Both Ranchero and Courier retained 1957's large round taillights.