Anadol, the Turkish car
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