State of the art security systems are complemented by innovative in-cab storage solutions that make it easy to ensure your equipment is kept safe and sound, as Steve Banner reveals
If you haven't managed to lay your hands on the ignition key then the Transit Custom, like virtually all modern vans, is almost impossible to steal. Nor is it all that easy to break into either.
That said, it is never wise to leave valuable items lying around in the cab where they might attract the attention of the unhealthily curious. Prying eyes will soon spot a laptop or a power tool left unconcealed, a window will be smashed, a greedy hand will reach in and the item will vanish.
That is why we are so pleased that our long-term long-wheelbase Transit has a large concealed stowage area underneath the dual passenger seat. It boasts more than enough space to hide a drill or a selection of your favourite hand tools and is easy to access.
All you need to do is pull up either one - or both - of the seat cushions and fold it forwards.
Another possible use of this invaluable repository is to accommodate wet weather gear - muddy boots, a filthy anorak and so on - that you would rather not have sliding around the cab.
Only one thing will put this storage facility out of action: the need to slide extra-long items – planks, pipes and so on – into the van's 6.83m3 cargo area.
If the load bed is too short for them then you can move a hatch at the bottom of Transit Custom's bulkhead and make use of the space under the passenger seat to provide some extra length. As a consequence you may have to find somewhere else to stash your hidden kit.
Most people will not have to extend the cargo deck in this way however. With a length of 2922mm, it is usually sufficient for most purposes.
Trips to such diverse locations as the Three Counties Showground near Malvern and the Donington Park motor racing circuit have once again proved that our Transit is as at home on the motorway as it is weaving its way around country lanes. An easy-shifting gearbox helps to make it a real pleasure to drive while responsive steering and a suspension set-up seemingly tailor-made for twisting rural B-roads make its handling exemplary.