The original Taunus was a development of the Eifel and used the same 1172cc four cylinder engine but in a longer chassis and a streamlined body. It was the first German Ford to have hydraulic brakes. Due to the war, production was interrupted from 1942 to 1948. 74,128 were made including estate cars and light vans.
From 1952 to 1968 all German Fords were called the Taunus, using the model names 12M, 15M, 17M, 20M, and 26M. The "M" is said to stand for "Meisterstück", in English "Masterpiece". Taunus was also sometimes adopted as the brand-name in export markets, particularly where British and North American Fords were also available.
The 12, 15 and 17M models had a straight-4, later ones a V4 engine. The 20 and 26M models had a V6 engine. The 12, 15, 17 etc. refer to the engine displacement; 1200, 1500, 1700cc etc.
From 1962 to 1970, the smaller models 12M (P4) and 12M/15M (P6) had front wheel drive. All other models had rear wheel drive.