Junkyard Find: 1963 Ford Taunus 17M

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1963 ford taunus 17m

Last week, I left the Return of the LeMonites 24 Hours of LeMons and went straight to Sweden for a car-freak field trip with Dr. G.D. Yo-Man. Surströmming, runestones, black metal, and, of course, junkyards full of weird (to Americans) European cars. Bloms Bilskrot, located in Söråker, boasts what must be thousands of cars from the 1940s through the 1990s, and the inventory extends well into dense forest where decades-old trees grow through engine compartments and plants grow on mulch on car roofs. Today’s Junkyard Find was located in the less wooded part of Blom’s, so I didn’t have to climb over any fallen trees in order to photograph it.

The P3 Taunus was built for the 1960 through 1964 model years, and it was designed by Uwe Bahnsen, the man who penned such cars as the Ford Capri and the Merkur Scorpio. It was a bit weird-looking, but you couldn’t mistake it for anything else.

This one has the kind of rust you see in the American Upper Midwest and probably wouldn’t be worth restoring, but the trim, glass, and interior are in pretty good shape.

There’s a bit of a family resemblance to the early Ford Falcon here.

No Falcon ever got a face like this, though.

Engines in these cars were pushrod four-cylinder units with displacements ranging from 1498cc to 1757cc. I have no idea which one this is, but I’ll bet some of you Europeans can ID it.

I thought about pulling this clock for my collection, but the odds of finding a 50-year-old mechanical car clock— even a German one— in functioning condition are about the same as finding a rust-free Datsun B210 parked outdoors in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

We’ll continue my Scandinavian junkyard adventures (which started last fall with some Reykjavik yards) in future installments of this series.

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  • Beetlebug Beetlebug on Jun 12, 2014

    Wow. I live in Sweden now and would love to visit there. Take me along next time. :)

  • Hasse B. Hasse B. on Sep 22, 2015

    Well, I´m sure you will enjoy the visit when you go there - last time I went, there was a full row of these little Fords as well as a few others bearing the Taunus brand name and best of all some of the best kept classic cars in the lot still had their titles if anyone would take an interest in buying and restoring them. As for the total amount, I wouldn´t go as far as counting a thousand in the lot even though it is a huge wrecking yard by swedish standards. Feels like I have to put a few facts straight about the "Bathtub" Taunus 17M series P3, having done some deep digging into the background of them as I own one myself and have an old interest in them. It was the first Ford fully designed in-house by Ford of Germany in Cologne although the work was lead in the newly built studio by american Ford designer Wesley Dahlberg whose parents once hade migrated to the USA from the landscape of Medelpad where the junkyard is located - small world... A lot of the design credit also goes out to german Ford´s in-house designer Uwe Bahnsen. Under the windtunnel-tried bodyshell the Taunus 17M P3 was based on the reworked bulkheads and stiffened floorpan as well as the mechanical underpinnings of its predecessor 17M P2 that was in design kind of a ball game between the Detroit styling studio and the eagerness of the technicians in Cologne to have it shaped slightly more low-key to german taste. The OHV engine in 1.5 or 1.7 litre displacements was also a direct carryover from the 17M P2 but it made its first debut as a 1.2 litre in the new 1952 Taunus 12M series. This engine is not as you might think of the Kent family, but a derivative of the older but likewise english Consul OHV engine which was reworked into the metric Taunus OHV engine series. As far as i know, there is few if any details that are interchangeable between them. As for the likeness between the Taunus 17M P3 and the 1961-63 Thunderbird "Stiletto" design as well as the first rendition of the new Lincoln Continental from those days, the Taunus came first and by now its rather ruled out that the latter american designs were in various grades directly influenced by the Taunus, even if Dahlberg didn´t make a point of it but acknowlegded that his Detroit colleages where quite impressed when visiting Cologne and took a great interest in the design studies of the car to finally be. Fun trivia is that body parts tooling was made for them in Mexico, but no-one seems to now for really sure wether any Taunus cars where built there or as some will state not. For sure they were at least built in Fords plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, so maybe that´s where the tools were used. Seems possible, as they had their own engine parts foundry.

  • Dukeisduke $8,000 for this rustbucket? It's a '73, not a '74 ("Registered and titled as a 1973…it looks like a ‘74 to me"), and anyway, mid to late '60s Alfa Berlinas are much more desirable.Even if you kept it in a garage and didn't drive it in the rain, it wouldn't stop rusting, it might just progress more slowly. This looks more like a parts car than something you'd drive. It needs rear main seals all over the car, so that oil leaks can slow down the rust, like all the oil on the underbody.
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  • Analoggrotto Looking forward to the comments.
  • Dukeisduke Where the hell did he get the money for all those? Likes on YouTube?
  • Dukeisduke "U.S. Marshalls"It's Marshals - they're not riding in the Rose Parade.