Revel in the rare-groove de­lights of the... Cortina MKIII?

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

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.

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