Steve Martin, a loca l GT500 Cortina owner showed me your recent article in Unique Cars issue 402 on Cortina GT500 f uel tanks. I have been maintaining the Cortina GT 500 and Fastback Register since 1992 after GT500 owners Graham Hoinv ille ( V IC) Garr y Saunderson (QLD) Steve Martin (TAS) and I met up in the inaugural Targa Tasmania. Since then I have compiled a huge amount of information on Cortina GT500s.
The high mounted fuel tank idea I believe came from the UK Ford Team ra lly cars. The loca lly built aluminium equivalent and its use for Bathurst by Harr y Firt h was a master stroke as it enabled just one stop in t he old 500 mile race – its size wasn’t an accident. Please f ind attached photos of t he f uel ta nk layout in Steve’s car as well as a Ford Motor Company Bulletin on a warrant y issue with t he f uel tanks. The extra brace was to stop t he roof of t he bottom tank v ibrating up and down under the weight of t he f uel in t he top tank. The accompanying factor y diagram should be t he def inite reference on f uel tank layout. Note a lso t he location of t he ot her breat her to t he top tank. Steve’s car has a leng t h of copper pipe bet ween the top and bottom tank (see picture). It was like t hat when purchased in 1992 and was left that way during its restorat ion.
I hope t his information answers your questions and please contact me if
“ONCE WE’RE ALL DRIVING PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS, STOP-START WILL BE UTTERLY REDUNDANT”
you need to know any other information about Cortina GT500s. Randall Langdon, Launceston, TAS.
THANKS FOR helping solve this one, Randall. I reckon you’re on the right tram with the reference to the Ford UK rally cars, as Ford was heavily involved at a factory level in rallying in those days. So it would make sense that it had sunk plenty of development into the concept of making this little blue-collar car such a champion set of competition wheels.
And you’re right about one other thing: If Harry Firth did it, it was surely not by chance that the end result wound up the way it did. As a master tactician, they’d didn’t come much better – or craftier - than Harry. Thanks again for the info, I’m sure the rest of the UC crowd will lap it up.
And geez; the original Targa Tasmania is where you met your Cortina lovin’ cohort. That’s getting on for 26 years ago. And you’re still all talking to each other! But tell me something, is your mate Graham Hoinville any relation to Steve Hoinville who used to work for Ford Oz and had a big hand in building a certain V10 truck-engined Mustang drift-car concept I drove a few years back? Small world, eh?
OPPOSITE PAGE Ford UK rally know-how contributed to the GT500’s tank set-up.
BELOW Perhap’s there’s no finer monument to Harry Firth than the GT500.