The first British built Ford V8s date from the early 1930s. Good for up to 80 mph (128 km/h), these were among the most acceleration cars on the road, with excellent torque from the smooth flathead V8. They developed throughout the 1930s into a range of saloon, convertibles and estate cars that, more or less, shadowed the changes being wrought to its American equivalent on the other side of the Atlantic. After the Second World War production started up again, but this time the car was known by a name rather than a number, the Pilot. It retained the hydro mechanical brakes and column change gearbox of its predecessor, but had a new, more upright radiator grille and the seemingly retrograde fitment of free standing headlights; previously these had been streamlined into the wings. There were no drop heads this time, but some extremely good looking woody estate cars were built on this rugged chassis, one of which was used by the British Royal Family. Rather than being a clear cut good guy car like the Dodge Diplomat, the Pilot was in a more grey area. It was very occasionally possible to see a Pilot vs. Pilot chase as discerning drivers on both sides of the law attempted to out do each other.
The engine was very powerful it was capable of 3622 cc, with 85 bhp. Some 22,000 V8 pilots were built before the model was effectively replaced by the new monocoque bodied Zephyrs. However, that number was more than enough to ensure that its legend lives on in the hearts and minds of its many committed enthusiasts.