Lot 51: Ford Cortina 1500 GT
With very few Cortinas still in every day use, it is hard to believe that the model was by far Britain's best selling car throughout the 1970s - available in two- and four-door saloon or estate versions, the model dominated our roads. Five generations were produced between 1962 and 1982, each of which notched up over a million sales. For the first two years, the car was called Consul Cortina, linking it to previous Ford models and the Consul Classic and Consul Capri that were sold in the same period - the Cortina moniker was inspired by the Italian venue for the 1956 winter Olympics, Cortina d'Ampezzo. At introduction the car was powered by an 1193cc three-bearing version of the company's already well-known four-cylinder, OHV 'Kent' engine, though the option of a five-bearing 1500cc unit followed within months. Initially the mechanical specification echoed that of the proven Anglia with four-speed manual gearbox, drum brakes all round, MacPherson strut front suspension and live axle mounted on leaf springs at the rear, and recirculating ball steering. The GT was a halfway house between the standard 1500cc models and the unashamedly sporting, twin-cam engined Cortina Lotus. Something of a wolf in sheep's clothing, its tuned engine complete with twin-choke Weber carburettor gave about 30\% more power. It also sported lower, stiffer suspension and its braking was more powerful courtesy of discs in place of drums at the front. Though the even more potent Lotus became one of Ford's all time great competition cars, the GT was no mean performer and both Works and non-Works examples notched up memorable wins on the track and in the forest. The 1966 two-door left-hand drive example offered is one of those wonderful timewarp machines that occasionally come to market. A one owner car until last year, it is said to have completed just 57,000 miles to date. It was supplied new to an Italian gentleman in Wisconsin USA, who then returned to his native country with the Cortina. It is said to have been garaged throughout its life and used only occasionally since the 1990s. The vendor describes the Cortina as being in "good overall" condition with "rust free" bodywork. It is finished in Black Cherry with a black vinyl interior. It is MOT'd into December this year and comes complete with the original bill of sale and a letter of authentification from the Cortina MKI Owners' Club. Opportunities to buy such an apparently unmolested practical classic are increasingly few and far between.
H&H Sales Limited, Stoneleigh Park
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Engine capacity (cc)||1496|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|