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Ford Prefect

The Ford Prefect was a line of British automobiles produced by the U.K. section of the Ford Motor Company.

The Ford Prefect was introduced in 1938, built by the Ford plant in Dagenham, Essex[?]. The original Ford Prefect was a slight reworking of the previous year's Ford 7W[?], the first Ford car designed outside of Detroit, Michigan. It was designed specifically for the British market.

The Prefect continued to be made with little change from the 1930s design until 1952. In 1953 a much redesigned Ford Prefect was introduced, which continued in production until 1959. It was similar to the Ford Anglia and the Ford Popular[?].

In addition to the U.K., Ford Prefects were also sold in Australia.

See also: List of Ford cars

The fictional character Ford Prefect in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is named after the Ford Prefect car, although author Douglas Adams later observed that the joke was lost on U.S. audiences who assumed it was a joke on "perfect". The character (an alien from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse) is pretending to be an ordinary British man, but had "skimped on his preliminary research" and assumed that the name would be "nicely inconspicuous". Adams explained in an interview[1] (http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~gdarvill/hhg.htm) that Ford "had simply mistaken the dominant life form", although some commentators believe this explanation to be apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate.

In the novel we are told that Ford's real name is "Ix", yet his semi-cousin Zaphod Beeblebrox calls him Ford the first time they are reunited.

In the original radio series Ford is played by Geoffrey McGivern. On television he is played by David Dixon.

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