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Ford Cortina Mk1 buying guide

Ford Cortina Ford Cortina Ford Cortina Ford Cortina Anyone growing up in the Sixties was touched by the Ford Cortina Mk1. If there wasn’t one in the family, one of the neighbours would have one. The Cortina was one of the cars that defined the Sixties and it was a landmark model for Ford – a miracle of packaging, manufacturing efficiency and price. So it was no wonder that in just four years over a million examples were sold, to eager sales reps as well as families, keen to embrace the motorway age.

Although the Cortina was massively popular in period, few of those made have survived as they weren’t designed or built to last. Despite this, the Cortina remains as attainable as ever, with most derivatives worth very little. The Cortina’s original popularity hinged on a wide array of engines, trims and body styles being available, and things are no different now, although the Lotus editions have got very costly in recent years. For that reason we’ll overlook them here, but even without them there’s plenty to amuse.

Which one to buy

Cortinas are bought more on condition than specification, as is common at this end of the market. Although there was a variant for everyone when they were new, the rate of attrition for some of the lowlier editions means poverty-spec Cortinas are now very hard to find.

Just about any mechanical malady you’re likely to encounter can be knocked into shape cheaply and easily. But overlook bodywork glitches and things are very different, so don’t dismiss a car with a good body but mediocre running gear. The cost of reviving a project car can quickly run away with you, so be cautious about taking on a tatty or incomplete Cortina.

Unsurprisingly, the more powerful a Cortina is, the greater its desirability and value. As a result, GT editions carry a premium while autos aren’t very sought after as they’re rather uninspiring to drive, so don’t pay over the odds for one.

Estates are worth buying for their practicality, but they’re relatively unusual and most buyers prefer a two or four-door saloon instead. The former is especially sought after by those wanting a sportier look – and by those keen to create a Lotus lookalike.

Tech spec - Ford 1500GT

Engine 1498cc, four-cylinder
Power 78bhp @ 5200rpm
Torque 91lb ft @ 3600rpm
Top speed 91mph
0-60mph 12.1sec
Consumption 26mpg
Gearbox Four-speed manual

What to look for

• Rust is likely and original panels are scarce and expensive, but some repro pressings are available. All inner and outer panels need to be checked carefully. The area around the headlamps corrodes along with the front bumper supports, the anti-roll bar mountings, the wing bottoms and the wheelarches.

• Also scrutinise the MacPherson strut tops, the bulkhead, the bottoms of the doors, the A-posts and the sills. Don’t overlook the B-posts, the closing panels for the rear doors, the rear wing bottoms, the wheelarches, the floorpans, the rear valance and the boot lid. Petrol tanks corrode too, along with the jacking points plus the rear spring and shock absorber mountings.

• Mk1 powerplants were based on the pre-Crossflow Kent engine. There were 1198cc or 1498cc variants, the latter in standard or more powerful GT forms. Engine rebuilds are straightforward, although some parts are hard to find. The first sign of trouble is usually noisy valve gear, because of worn rockers, cam followers and the camshaft itself.

• Worn timing chains also cause problems – listen for rattles from the front of the engine. But it’s worn rings and bores that will blow the biggest hole in your wallet. Even when really worn, blue smoke is unusual, so look for fumes from the oil filler and breather at the rear of the block.

• All manual Cortinas have a four-speed all-synchro gearbox. Worn second-gear synchro is the first sign of trouble, along with jumping out of top. This could be a broken spring in the gearchange fork rod, or the screw and lock nut which holds the selector fork rod together may have worked itself loose; both easy fixes. But it could be serious wear in the gearbox coupling dogs or selector fork rod.

• The Borg-Warner Type 35 automatic gearbox is very reliable, but also rare in the Cortina.

• The steering box gives an inch of play at the steering wheel. Check the steering by rocking the wheel from side to side, get somebody to watch the ball joints and the steering idler assemblies. Severe play will be immediately obvious.

• Look for play in the drag link pin and bushes which link the idler and steering box. New repro pins and bushes are available.

• The MacPherson struts’ upper mounting incorporates a thrust race ball bearing. Lack of lubrication and moisture getting in lead to it getting stiff.

• The rear hub bearings are a pain to replace, as they require 1200lb of pressure to remove and the same to put them back. Check for play by jacking up the back of the car and rocking the top and bottom of each wheel to see if there’s any movement.

Model history

1962: The Consul Cortina 113E two-door saloon arrives, in basic or de Luxe forms with an 1198cc OHV engine. Later, a four-door saloon appears.
1963: A five-bearing 1498cc engine is introduced; it’s standard on the Super and optional on the de Luxe. A five-door estate debuts and the GT arrives, with a 78bhp 1498cc engine, uprated suspension, disc front brakes. Also, the strip speedo gives way to a circular unit in a binnacle and there’s now an auto option on 1498cc cars.
1964: A facelift brings a full-width grille, disc front brakes, Aeroflow ventilation, interior upgrades and more power.
1965: The basic saloon is dropped
1966: The last Mk1 saloon and estate are built.

Key clubs and websites

www.mk1cortina.com
www.fordcortina.co.uk
www.mk1-5cortinaownersclub.co.uk
www.cortina-mk1.com

Words: Richard Dredge
Ford Cortina Ford Cortina Ford Cortina Ford Cortina
Last updated: 1st Apr 2015
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Ford Cortina cars for sale

12 Search results
Ford Cortina
4350 27950 GBP
  • FORD CORTINA 1500 GT MK 1 2 Door 1966

    £27,950 £27,950

    This Ford Cortina MK1 1500 GT 2 Door has been the subject of a total restoration with a comprehensive history file of the work carried out including photos. The engine was also subject to a rebuild to 'fast road' specification. The end result is a truly superb vehicle that is not only attractive but is extremely rare these days. The numbers confirm that this car is an original GT and is not one of the many 'clones' that are around. On the road the GT drives extremely well with performance best described as 'crisp'. The interior is superb to match the flawless paintwork. The car sits on rims that were usually fitted to the Lotus Cortina but set the car off well. These cars are rare now particularly in this condition, it would be hard to find and restore a car to this level for the asking price (if you can find one), as such it does offer excellent value and would be an asset to any private collection.

    • Mileage: 35100 mi
    • Engine size: 1.5
    For sale
    Hartford Automotive
    01252 842899 / 01252 845845 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 1977 Ford Cortina 1300 L

    POA POA

    PLEASE NOTE: This vehicle is Withdrawn from our 16th November 2016 Auction. - Rare MKIV example fitted with 24v Cosworth V6 engine - Extensive body shell restoration with expenditure in excess of _12,000 inc. Wellwood brakes, RS500 wheels, Cosworth leather interior, Power steering and keyless entry - MOT'd until July 2017

    • Year: 1977
    For sale
  • Ford Cortina

    £9,995 £9,995

    Extremely nice Ford Cortina 1.6 1600 E, restored a few years ago but very solid and clean example, service history, MOTed, clean engine bay, excellent boot floor, couple small marks here and there, excellent mechanics, car has expensive immobiliser, all in all one of the nicest we have had, 1600E were the most sought after Mk IIs and can only go one way in value! The car has comprehensive history with just 4 owners, I will sell as is for £9995. This represents great value! I think with minor works the car could be valued to £15,000- so grab be in a weak moment and buy it now!!

    • Mileage: 94000 mi
    • Engine size: 1598
    For sale
  • Ford Cortina

    £5,895 £5,895

    *SIMILAR CLASSIC CARS ALWAYS REQUIRED* SOLD Thinking of selling? Our proven commission sale or SOR (Sale or Return) program is a great way to utilise and access our professional services and facilities while still maximising the return from your vehicle with minimal hassle, stress and time, If you’d like to take advantage of this then please get in touch for further information. Alternatively If you’d like to move your vehicle on quickly and efficiently with minimal delay then we can make an offer on an outright purchase basis with payment and collection arranged soon after. A superb original Ford Cortina Mk5 1600L with an incredible 28,966 miles from new EQUIPMENT All steel welded integral construction, safety glass all round, laminated windscreen, louvered radiator grill, bright drip-rail, windshield and rear window inserts, anti-burst locks, bright bumpers, bodyside rubbing strip, black side window frames, perforated headlining, lockable glovebox, ‘hangdown’ centre console, vanity mirror, seat valances, cigar lighter, Ford push button radio, boot mat, two rear coat hooks, instrument illumination control, two speed wipers with ‘flick’ wipe, electric screen wash. Dealer fitted options; Ford mud flaps, wheel embellishers. EXTERIOR This beautiful Mk5 1600L, the final incarnation of Ford’s iconic Cortina is finished in original Corsican Blue (code L0). The factory paint has a glorious deep uniform shine owing to the remarkably low miles covered and the truly cosseted ownership. All factory panels are straight with even gaps and free from corrosion, and the underside is structurally perfect having been protected from new, confirmed by the original Bodyshield window sticker. There are even factory stickers still affixed to the rear axle and exhaust! Only tiny hairline scratches to the paintwork in some areas have remained untreated in order to retain the honest unrestored nature of this fantastic example. All trim sections, glass, lights and badges are pristine and the original supplying dealer number plates, tax disc holder and rear screen sticker remain. Now representing a very rare sight, this truly special Ford Cortina has remained exactly as Ford intended and is certain to delight the avid blue oval enthusiast! INTERIOR A factory fresh 1980’s Ford interior even down to the factory build stickers still attached to the seat bases! The term ‘time warp’ can often be used loosely, but upon climbing into this spacious Cortina cabin it’s certainly justified. The perfect Savannah Blue (code F1) fabric seats are completely free from wear or damage commensurate of a car with such few miles covered. The spotless colour keyed carpets, matching door cards and perforated headlining firmly uphold the showroom fresh appeal. All switchgear and functions operate exactly as intended and are housed in a perfect dashboard with no cracks or sun related distortion whatsoever. A wonderfully original classic Ford interior, worthy of the guaranteed praise and accolade it receives. ENGINE & TRANSMISSION Ford’s time tested and trustworthy 1600 OHC unit needs little introduction. With a power output of 90bhp, a top speed of 101mph and a 0-60 time of 10.9 seconds allow the car to match the pace of modern traffic with ease. The engine is whisper quiet and wonderfully smooth with recent servicing and timing belt change carried out for peace of mind. Bonnet up exhibiting is a must with this example. The four speed all synchromesh manual gearbox feels light with a positive clutch action and relaxed motoring is effortless. WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES Five styled steel wheels with 13 x 4.5in rims are factory original with all manufacturer stampings clearly defined, and dealer optional chrome embellishers have been fitted. Four new and virtually unused Goodyear Duragrip 165/80 R13 tyres have been fitted by the previous keeper and the spare wheel remains shod in the original the original Dunlop SP4 rubber. Recently overhauled hydraulic dual line brakes with servo assistance offer ample stopping power and complete assurance. HISTORY FILE Supplied new by Ford Main Dealer A.E. Chatfield Ltd of Stoke on Trent and first registered on 23rd April 1980, this stunning Ford Cortina has had just four keepers from new. The first and second registered keepers being husband and wife Mr and Mrs Windsor. The vehicle was registered new in Mr Windsor’s name until being transferred to Mrs Windsor upon his passing in February 1991. Mrs Windsor had cherished the car remarkably until 2014 when she herself passed away. The third keeper Mr David Eastwood an avid Cortina fan and Area Representative for the Ford Cortina Owners Club heard about the car and took ownership in order to ensure its safe future. This low mileage delight sat proudly aside his Mk5 2.3 Ghia and Mk3 Saloon, and you can visit http://www.fordday.co.uk/a-word-from-dave/ to see Mr Eastwood’s enthusiasm for the marque. KGF Classic Cars are delighted to have this example back again after selling it in July 2014 to enthusiast Garry Bingham who has now decided to pursue his dream of owning a Mk2 Granada! A large collection of MOT certificates in the history file enable the reader to fully track the 28,966 miles covered and a collection of previous maintenance invoices are present. All original handbooks, operating guides and the Ford service booklet remain with the car. There is even a photograph dated April 1983 of the car sat with a brand new Austin Mini Metro! MOT May 2017, HPI Clear. To see a video of this car please click on the link below: http://youtu.be/PReCrfr1DEU To see a full set of photographs of this car please click on the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kgfclassiccars/sets/72157645253915015 'Like us' or 'Follow us' for exciting new cars coming soon at KGF Classic Cars: https://www.facebook.com/KGFClassiccar https://twitter.com/KGFClassicCars

    • Year: 1980
    • Mileage: 28966 mi
    • Engine size: 1.6
    For sale
  • Ford Cortina

    £9,995 £9,995

    Extremely nice Ford Cortina 1.6 1600 E, restored a few years ago but very solid and clean example, service history, MOTed, clean engine bay, excellent boot floor, couple small marks here and there, excellent mechanics, car has expensive immobiliser, all in all one of the nicest we have had, 1600E were the most sought after Mk IIs and can only go one way in value! The car has comprehensive history with just 4 owners, I will sell as is for £9995. This represents great value! I think with minor works the car could be valued to £15,000- so grab be in a weak moment and buy it now!!

    • Mileage: 94000 mi
    • Engine size: 1598
    For sale
  • Ford Cortina

    £6,695 £6,695

    *SIMILAR QUALITY CARS ALWAYS REQUIRED* SOLD Thinking of selling? Our proven commission sale or SOR (Sale or Return) program is a great way to utilise and access our professional services and facilities while still maximising the return from your vehicle with minimal hassle, stress and time, If you’d like to take advantage of this then please get in touch for further information. Alternatively If you’d like to move your vehicle on quickly and efficiently with minimal delay then we can make an offer on an outright purchase basis with payment and collection arranged soon after. One of the very last Mk5 Ford Cortina Crusaders made with only 24,137 miles EQUIPMENT All steel welded integral construction, safety glass all round, laminated windscreen, four bat louvered radiator grill, bright drip-rail, anti-burst locks, bright bumpers, bodyside rubbing strip, black door window frames, passenger door mirror, locking fuel cap, rear centre armrest, adjustable head restraints, map pockets, wood veneer door capping, boot mat, ‘eyeball’ face level vents, two rear coat hooks, Ford P21 push button radio, front armrest with trinket box, wood effect facia, panel rheostat, quartz clock. EXTERIOR A unique special edition Crusader is one of the final incarnations of Ford’s iconic Cortina MkV, sometimes known as the Cortina 80 being the facelift version of the MKIV. Finished in striking Caribbean Blue, (Code J2) the paintwork is glossy with the smart twin pinstripe running the whole length of the car and across the centre panel of the bonnet adding a touch of style. The bonnet has two light chalking marks and a small section of the wheel arch line to the N/S/F paint has worn thin through over polishing. The car displays fabulous originality with Ford branded halogen headlamps crystal clear and dealer supplied rear number plate. The wheel arch apertures and door shuts are beautifully clean thanks to fair weather use and classic car show exhibiting. A rare survivor. INTERIOR A factory fresh 1980’s Ford interior, unique, refined and well specified. The dark Durham and light Velour plush fabric trimmed reclining two-tone seats match the colour keyed thick pile carpet normally reserved for Ghia models only. Carpeted lower sections on the doors raise to a light crushed velour topped by unmarked but slighted faded wood veneer door cappings adding luxury to this impressive livery. With such low mileage covered all switchgear and gauges function correctly and the dashboard wood effect facia is perfect. The four-spoke steering wheel displays prominent veins and the pedal rubbers are unworn. The original push button radio has been disconnected and the boot area remains unused with jack and wheel brace in situ. Impeccable pedigree. ENGINE & TRANSMISSION Ford’s time tested and trustworthy 1600 OHC unit with single variable venturi carburettor has power output of 73bhp a top speed of 93mph and a 0-60 time of 13.0 seconds. The engine bay is very clean with manufacturer stickers and metal plates still attached. The four speed all synchromesh manual gearbox is positive and light to use. WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES Standard sports road wheels have been repainted and the bright embellishers remain correctly attached. New Uniroyal Rain Expert 165/80R13 tyres have been fitted but the factory supplied from new Michelin XZX items are supplied with the car. The spare wheel remains unused and immaculate with the Michelin tyre. Hydraulic dual line brakes with servo assistance and uprated callipers offer ample stopping power and complete assurance. HISTORY FILE Supplied new by Ford Main Dealers, Norman Reeves Motors Ltd and first registered on the 5th January 1983. The very last Cortina made was a Silver Crusader 1.6 Saloon on the 22nd July 1982 which remains in the Ford Heritage Centre in Dagenham. Both Fords own heritage car and this example share the same ‘CM’ chassis prefix proving the July 82 factory build and therefore being one of the last cars to roll off the factory line! Fords own car was actually registered on the 14th December 1982 and before this car despite being the last one made. The first owner, a Mrs Janet Reeves, reputedly a family member of the Dealership group, who disliked the jellymould appearance of the new Ford Sierra, opted for the Cortina. It has since remained enthusiast owned with just four former keepers and membership to the Ford Cortina Owners Club. The previous owner Mr Manning has collated a mass of Mk5 Cortina adverts in the quest to acquire one of the best and last available and this car is a credit to his efforts. A collection of old MOT certificates, all the vehicle handbooks including the service book and even a new car sales brochure makes this car a prized Cortina for the collector. MOT May 2017, HPI Clear. To see a video of this car please click on the link below: https://youtu.be/2Z2Lp_R2J0o To see a full set of photographs of this car please click on the link below: https://flic.kr/s/aHskBUaqKj 'Like us' or 'Follow us' for exciting new cars coming soon at KGF Classic Cars: https://www.facebook.com/KGFClassiccar https://twitter.com/KGFClassicCars

    • Year: 1983
    • Mileage: 24137 mi
    • Engine size: 1.6
    For sale
  • Ford Cortina

    £12,995 £12,995

    JUST ARRIVED IN A REAL MUST THIS VEHICLE IS UNWELDED WHERE ON EARTH WOULD YOU FIND ANOTHER WILL ONLY APPRECIATE PLEASE CALL DRIVES FANTASTIC

    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    • Engine size: 1200
    For sale
  • 1967 Ford Cortina GT Two Door

    POA POA

    1967 Ford Cortina GT Two Door Numbers matching very late manufacture 1967 Ford Cortina GT Two Door, I have owned this car forever and have carried out the most complete restoration to date, all of the hard work has been carried out and all it requires is painting to its original colour of Ermine White with a Black vinal interior, I have fully rebuilt the front and rear suspension and had all parts stripped and painted prior to reassembly, the original engine was rebuilt and is ready to be fitted, all of the cars body work has been professionally restored on a jig and a rotissary, needless to say the bodywork is in perfect condition, there is a huge history file with the car, i have spent well in excess of 30K on the car ! I now have decided to let someone else to take over the reins, as i do not have the time to complete its restoration, all bills available, my loss your gain, SOLD

    • Year: 1967
    For sale
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