Fabulous old Ford Cortina up for sale

South Waikato News - - Motoring - DOUG SAIL

The fussy owner of this 53-yearold Ford Cortina once re­fused to drive it on wet roads.

It is no sur­prise then that car, to be auc­tioned on Au­gust 20 in the UK, is con­sid­ered one of the finest and most orig­i­nal Mk 1 Cortina’s re­main­ing to­day.

Cortina’s were prom­i­nent on New Zealand roads in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

This one was first reg­is­tered on July 4, 1963, and the 1500 GT model, has av­er­aged just one mile a day since it left the Da­gen­ham fac­tory.

Fit­ted with a tuned 1498cc en­gine, the 1500 GT was the top spec­i­fi­ca­tion model of the day, pro­duct­ing 78bhp which was suf­fi­cient to pro­pel the svelte four­door to 95mph (153kmh), with a 0-60mph (96.5kmh) ac­cel­er­a­tion time of just 14 se­conds … leav­ing the Mor­ris Ox­ford of the day some five se­conds in its wake.

Those per­for­mance num­bers aren’t huge for to­day, but it should be pointed out that a Cortina Mk 1 GT won Aus­tralia’s fa­mous Bathurst race in 1963 and 1964 when it was known as the Arm­strong 500.

A Cortina Mk 1 GT500 com­pleted the tre­ble in win­ning in 1965 as well.

De­spite its per­for­mance, when it first ap­peared in the Ford show­room in the UK at a princely £748 price, it would have played sec­ond fid­dle on the at­ten­tion stakes to the fleet of Mk 1’s that starred in the ‘‘Carry on Cabby’’ film that screened at the time, help­ing to se­cure valu­able aware­ness for Ford’s new model.

The car has had two fas­tid­i­ous own­ers – the last ac­quir­ing the car 27 years ago.

The garage owner who has con­ducted the ma­jor­ity of the war­rant tests re­called a time when one of the own­ers re­fused to drive the car home af­ter the test as it was rain­ing, choos­ing to walk in­stead. He col­lected the car three days later ... when the roads were dry.

With that time ded­i­ca­tion to the car’s con­di­tion, it is no sur­prise that the scene un­der the bon­net and un­der the car it­self is sub­lime while the jack and tools are spot­less and pol­ished.

It is a mul­ti­ple con­cours show win­ner and fea­tures Good­wood Green coach­work.

The in­te­rior sparkles in show­room con­di­tion with the dash­board, fea­tur­ing the early strip speedome­ter and pod­mounted rev counter, hav­ing no age-re­lated blem­ishes while the seat­ing, trim and and orig­i­nal car­pets are un­marked.

The car is cur­rently fit­ted with a pe­riod Les Le­ston Grand Prix steer­ing wheel but the orig­i­nal will also be sold with the car.

Auc­tion­eers, His­torics at Brook­lands, ex­pect the car to fetch NZ$44,000-NZ$52,000.

A 1963 Ford Cortina 1500 GT that is headed to auc­tion in the UK on Au­gust 20, 2016.

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