1IT WAS DESIGNED BY THE SAME BLOKE WHO DID THE EDSEL
Roy Brown was the man behind the Ford Edsel, one of the greatest automobile flops of all time. Following that calamity, Roy found himself exiled from Detroit to Dagenham where he eventually redeemed himself as Ford’s UK head of design. He’s often credited with penning the Corsair, but that accolade belongs to designer Charles Thompson, who reworked a stretched Cortina template into a model that successfully replaced the clumsy Consul Classic.
2IT WAS A BRITISH THUNDERBIRD
Yes, the Corsair does bear a distinct resemblance to the cigarshaped third generation Ford Thunderbird, which went out of production in 1963, the year the British Ford was launched. Thus this US cruiser is often cited as the inspiration for the Corsair. Except, according to Charles Thompson, it wasn’t conscious. ‘If anything, it was more the German Taunus 17M,’ he says. ‘ There’s always ideas in your head and, seditiously, they get affected by what else is going on. It did successfully translate the Cortina upmarket.’
3 CORSAIR NAME IS A NOD TO LIVERPOOL
A 1963 launch press release is to blame. The car was the first fresh model built at Ford’s new Halewood, Merseyside, plant. ‘Much of Liverpool’s prosperity stemmed indirectly from the corsairs, the proud, swashbuckling pirates of the Barbary Coast,’ wrote a marketing person. ‘Now the Consul Corsair, as proud and tough as its namesakes, will help bring a different prosperity to Liverpool.’ In reality, the Ford was codenamed Project Buccaneer during its development and Corsair seemed a logical enough progression. Ford was very fond of the letter ‘C’ during the 1960s.
So, not an Edsel, or a Thunderbird, or a proud, swashbuckling pirate.