1972 Ford Courier

chicken, brandy and cold war politics

Jul 10, 2015 | Leave a comment

72FordCourier_blogPictured above is a 1972 Ford Courier, a compact pickup truck made by Toyo Kogyo (Mazda) and imported by Ford Motor Company. The Courier was Ford’s answer to the increasingly popular offerings from Toyota and Datsun so importing from Japan made sense but there was a catch. From Wikipedia: “The chicken tax is a 25% tariff on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks imposed in 1963 by the United States under President Lyndon B. Johnson in response to tariffs placed by France and West Germany on importation of U.S. chicken. The period from 1961–1964 of tensions and negotiations surrounding the issue, which took place at the height of Cold War politics, was known as the ‘Chicken War’.” In order to circumvent this tax, Ford had the trucks shipped to the US without their cargo boxes attached thus giving it a cab-chassis designation with a lower 4% tax. The tariff was originally meant to protect domestic manufacturers i.e Ford from foreign competition but there have been arguments that the tax buffered manufacturer’s from real competition and let to bad habits like gas-guzzling SUVs and heavy trucks.
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