Anadol, the Turk­ish car

Turkish Review - - CON­TENTS - ERIC BRYAN

The year 2016 will mark the 50th an­niver­sary of Turkey’s first pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle to go into mass pro­duc­tion: the Anadol. Man­u­fac­tured by İs­tan­bul­based Otosan, Anadol pro­duced seven dif­fer­ent mod­els from 1966 to 1991. Be­hind all of this in­dus­tri­ous­ness was Ankara-born phi­lan­thropist and en­tre­pre­neur Ve­hbi Koç, who did an as­ton­ish­ing amount to en­er­gize Turkey’s econ­omy in the 20th cen­tury Koç (1901-1996) be­came the Ankara rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Stan­dard Oil Com­pany and Ford Mo­tor Com­pany in 1928, re­sult­ing in the es­tab­lish­ment of a Ford ve­hi­cle as­sem­bly plant in İs­tan­bul. The ever-dy­namic Koç signed a deal with Gen­eral Elec­tric in 1948, lead­ing to the found­ing of a do­mes­tic light bulb fac­tory. Another post­war ne­go­ti­a­tion cul­mi­nated in Turk­ish pro­duc­tion of Fiat trac­tors. In the 1950s, Koç ex­panded into the man­u­fac­ture of house­hold ap­pli­ances, elec­tron­ics and other goods. Koç also sealed a deal with Siemens for a Turk­ish ca­ble fac­tory.

In 1959, Koç be­gan pro­duc­tion of Ford cars at the then- new Otosan Oto­mo­bil Sanayii ( Otosan Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­try) fac­tory in İs­tan­bul. Koç col­lected all of his com­pa­nies un­der Koç Hold­ing A. Ş. in 1963. This move led to part­ner­ships with Yamaha and Al­lianz. By this point a vet­eran of 25 years in the Turk­ish au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, Koç pressed ahead with a plan to pro­duce a Turk­ish car.

RE­LIANT AND ANADOL

In 1964, Koç turned to Reliant in Eng­land, famed for three-wheeled cars such as the Re­gal and Robin, with a pro­posal for a Turk­ish-built car. Koç and Reliant reached an agree­ment to man­u­fac­ture a fiber­glass­bod­ied car in Turkey. Reliant pro­posed a two-door car us­ing Bri­tish Ford run­ning gear, with a body de­signed by the fa­mous Tom Karen of Ogle De­sign.

Reliant con­structed the car, the FW5 (Four Wheel 5) and drove it to İs­tan­bul through the Swiss Alps and the Balkans in win­ter con­di­tions, mak­ing the jour­ney in 63 hours. Turk­ish of­fi­cials tested the FW5 on Dec. 25, 1965. Otosan then made three pre­pro­duc­tion cars and driv­ers tested them all over the coun­try. Each ve­hi­cle cov­ered 2,500 kilo­me­ters and per­formed im­pres­sively and with­out mishap.

Fix­ing on the name “Anadol” out of 2,000 sub­mit­ted ap­pel­la­tions, the car went into pro­duc­tion in De­cem­ber 1966, priced at TL 26,800 or $2,978 (about $21,718 to­day). The first model, called the A1 (now re­ferred to as the A1 Mk I), was fit­ted with a Bri­tish 1.2liter, 49-horse­power Kent Pre-Cross­flow OHV in­line­four en­gine, which was used in the Ford Cortina and Anglia. This was changed to a 1.3-liter, 54-horse­power

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