Cortina an­swers

Unique Cars - - MORLEY’S WORKSHOP -

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


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.

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