Norma Jeane Bathtub

Launched in autumn 1960 by German Chancellor Adenauer & Henry Ford II to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Ford opening its Cologne factory in 1930 by the same Adenauer, then-mayor of Cologne, and the founding Henry Ford.

Officially the Ford Taunus P3 meaning "Production Nr. 3 after WWII" and the first Ford designed in Europe by a German, Uwe Bahnsen, who went on to design the Ford Capri, Escort, Sierra & Scorpio. It was quite radical back then, ending the era of USA fintails.

It is not quite clear why it was badged "17M", seemingly due to the 1700cc motor but models were also offered with a smaller 1500cc unit. However, in Germany it got its nickname "Badewanne" - Bathtub - Taunus" from the very start, reminding the press more of a bathtub/bar of soap than a short German sausage or a lozenge which others used to describe it. It became a hit and allowed Ford to overtake Opel into second place behind Volkswagen. Taunus is a mountain range between Cologne & Frankfurt.

I doubt Norma Jeane and her curves had anything to do with the name despite being at the height of her fame around this time & amongst other things posing in a bathtub in the 1955 film "Seven Year Itch".

Marilyn Monroe died on 4th August 1962before this particular car was built - the giveaway is the number plate. The number plate is slightly unusual albeit very similar to standard German plates

MN: Mindelheim the "capital" town of our county Unterallgäu
FT: Ford Taunus
63: 1963
H: Oldtimer (+30 years) car free of certain tax & insurance charges/requirements
05/10: Only allowed on the roads from 1st May until 31st October. An option any car can have & often used by the well off who lock away their precious cabriolets & vintage cars from the winter road salt. Motorbikes also often use this to save road tax & insurance. You can choose the months at will but they must be consecutive.

I had been to visit Norma to get a few things although the fridge(s)
are stuffed full of items bought in anticipation of the family having very large appetites. I will be eating all sorts of vegetarian dishes in coming weeks - I am always over-anxious that daughter Kate has some choice available while the rest of us carnivores are whacking meat on the BBQ. However, she is a very common-sense veggie, more interested in animal care/wealth than strict non-animal food. 

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