A Classic British Ford

The week has been a strange one, lots going on but not a lot to show for it. We have made a little more progress on the Mastic Mustang. The car is now off the jig and standing on its own, on the floor. We are now happy with the way it has welded up and come together, as a result the car is now very different to look at. The main thing obviously being you can’t see the ground through the floor pans or the sills, except where you are supposed to of course. We will now start to put the rest of the car back together when we can. We have been trying to lay some flooring down for the new garage we have in mind. The poor weather has played havoc with the best laid plans should we say, having to arrange the delivery of the concrete when it would be ok to pour (forgive the pun, Pour – Poor, get it!)

Our old classic Mk1 Ford Cortina returns to our yard:

We have received back into the yard a dear old friend that has been with us for years but has been stored elsewhere, by looking at it, it looks to have had unknown items stored in it! Of course we are talking about the mighty Ford Cortina. Our little example needs some serious loving and pampering, but we have plans for her, not right now, so she will have to wait a little while longer. To be fair we have seen and have much worse looking cars here and is not in a to bad a state, But – it’s good to see her back again.

About the Mk1 Cortina

I could write-up the details and the history as we know them, but we have got some more historical background for you about the car.

Using the project name of “Archbishop”, management at Ford of Britain in Dagenham created a family sized car which they could sell in large numbers. The chief designer was Roy Brown Jr., the designer of the Edsel, who had been banished to Dagenham following the failure of that car. The Cortina, aimed at buyers of the Morris Oxford and Vauxhall Victor, was launched on 20 September 1962. The car was designed to be economical, cheap to run and easy and inexpensive to produce in Britain. The front-wheel drive configuration used by Ford of Germany for the new Ford Taunus P4, a similarly sized model, was rejected in favour of traditional rear-wheel drive layout. Originally to be called Ford Consul 225, the car was launched as the Consul Cortina until a modest facelift in 1964, after which it was sold simply as the Cortina.

The Cortina was available with 1200  and 1500 four-cylinder engines with all synchromesh gearbox, in two-door and four-door saloon, as well as a four-door estate forms. Standard, Deluxe, Super, and GT trims were offered but not across all body styles. Early Standard models featured a simple body coloured front grille, earning it the nickname ‘Ironbar’. Since this version cost almost the same as the better equipped Deluxe it sold poorly and is very rare today. Options included heater and bench seat with column gearchange. Super versions of the estates offered the option of simulated wood side and tailgate trim. In an early example of product placement many examples of the brand new Cortina featured as “Glamcabs” in the British classic comedy film – Carry On Cabby.

There were two main variations of the Mark 1. The Mark 1a possessed elliptical front side-lights, whereas the Mark 1b had a re-designed front grille incorporating the more rectangular side-light and indicator units. A notable variant was the legendary Lotus Cortina.

The Cortina was launched a few weeks before the London Motor Show of October 1962 with a 1198 cc 3-bearing engine, which was an enlarged version of the 997 cc engine then fitted in the Ford Anglia. A few months later, in January 1963, the Cortina Super was announced with a 5-bearing 1498 cc engine. Versions of the larger engine found their way into subsequent variations, including the Cortina GT which appeared in Spring 1963 with lowered suspension and engine tuned to give a claimed output of 78 bhp (58 kW; 79 PS) ahead of the 60 bhp (45 kW; 61 PS) claimed for the Cortina 1500 Super. The engines used across the Mark I range were of identical design, differing only in capacity and setup. The formula used was a four-cylinder pushrod (Over Head Valve) design that came to be known as the “pre-crossflow” version as both inlet and exhaust ports were located on the same side of the head. The most powerful version of this engine (used in the GT Cortina) was 1498 cc (1500) and produced 78 bhp (58 kW). This engine contained a different camshaft profile, a different cast of head featuring larger ports, tubular exhaust headers and a Weber double barrel carburettor.

Advertising of the revised version, which appeared at the London Motor Show in October 1964, made much of the newly introduced “Aeroflow” through-flow ventilation, evidenced by the extractor vents on the rear pillars. A subsequent test on a warm day involving the four different Cortina models manufactured between 1964 and 1979 determined that the air delivery from the simple eye-ball outlets on the 1964 Mark I Cortina was actually greater than that on the Mark II, the Mark III or the Mark IV. The dashboard, instruments and controls were revised, for a the second time, having already been reworked in October 1963 when round instruments replaced the strip speedometer with which the car had been launched: twelve years later, however, the painted steel dashboard, its “knobs scattered all over the place and its heater controls stuck underneath as a very obvious afterthought” on the 1964 Mark I Cortina was felt to have aged much less well than the car’s ventilation system. It was also in 1964 that front disc brakes became standard across the range.

Lotus Cortina models were solely offered as two-door saloons all in white with a contrasting green side flash down each flank. Lotus Cortinas had a unique 1557 cc twin-cam engine by Lotus, but based on the Cortina’s Kent OHV engine. Aluminium was used for some body panels. For a certain time, it also had a unique A-frame rear suspension, but this proved fragile and the model soon reverted to the standard Cortina semi-elliptic rear end.

Sourced: Wikipedia 26/1/2014

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