Revel in the rare-groove delights of the... Cortina MKIII?
Ford may have built 1.1 million Cortina’s MKIIIS between 1970 and ‘76 but I doubt if there are even 100 decent survivors left in the UK. Rust, poor build quality and general contempt (the MKIV was so much more desirable) have reduced numbers to such an extent that the third-gen ’Tina is now the rarest of all. With 35 different incarnations, from base 1300 to 2000 GXL and two-door to five-door estate, it was Ford’s attempt to avenge the boat-loads of reliable Datsuns and Toyotas swarming into Britain in the Seventies; by October 1971 it was Britain’s best-selling car. Today its faux wood, Bri-nylon seats and Patrick Lequement’s coke-bottle styling have made it a card-carrying Seventies icon. Prices are surprisingly strong with one optimistic private seller in Essex asking £4200 for a deeply rusty base 1300 two-door that hasn’t moved for a decade. Search hard and the odd car with potential does come up, like the Tawny Bronze ’72 1600 L with 13-year ownership and 9500 miles advertised by a private man in Cheshire for £7500. If he put that through an auction he’d probably get more because recent hammer prices have been impressive. Last November ACA sold a fine ’74 2000E auto with 55k for £11,235, while back in Dec 2016 CCA dispatched a rare ’71 1600 GT with 45k for £13,420. Soon we might be looking at £20k-plus for unspoilt original examples. Seek out GTS, GXLS or 2000Es in shiny nick and low mileage and you’ll have an in£ation-proof Ford that’ll carry on rising. As the exemplar of Seventies British family car hierarchy this is one classic that’s definitely worth watching.