When it comes to classic cars, few have made an impact quite like the Ford Cortina. This iconic vehicle was produced from 1962 to 1982 and was a common sight on British roads during its heyday. Throughout its lifespan, the Cortina went through several different models and variations, each one offering something unique and memorable. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most significant models and features of the Ford Cortina.
The Mark 1
The original version of the Cortina, known as the Mark 1, was introduced in 1962. It was a compact car designed to compete with the likes of the popular BMC Mini and the Rootes Group’s Hillman Imp. The Mark 1 was a success right from the start, thanks to its modern styling and impressive range of features. It came in two-door and four-door versions, with three different engine options ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 liters. The Mark 1 is perhaps best known for its distinctive rectangular grille and sleek lines that gave it a sporty look.
The Mark 2
Over the next five years, the Cortina underwent a series of updates and revisions before the Mark 2 arrived in 1966. The Mark 2 was larger than its predecessor and had a more squared-off shape. It also featured a wider range of engines, including a V6 option, and was available in two-door, four-door, and estate versions. One of the most popular features of the Mark 2 was the dashboard, which featured a prominent strip speedometer that became a hallmark of the Cortina’s design.
The Mark 3
In 1970, the Mark 3 was introduced, which was arguably the most distinctive version of the Cortina yet. This model was designed with an eye towards the American market and had a more curvaceous shape and wider track. It also came with a range of new features, such as disk brakes on all four wheels and optional automatic transmission. The Mark 3 was available in several different trim levels, including the sporty GT and the luxurious Ghia.
The Mark 4 and Mark 5
The Mark 4, which arrived in 1976, was a more conservative design than its predecessor. It was larger and boxier, with a distinctly ’70s feel. The Mark 4 was available with a range of engines, from the 1.3-liter to the 2.3-liter V6, and was particularly popular in its estate version. The Mark 5 debuted in 1979 and was the last version of the Cortina before it was replaced by the Ford Sierra. The Mark 5 was similar to the Mark 4 in terms of its design, but with some updates, such as a new, more aerodynamic grille.
Overall, the Ford Cortina was a classic British car that left an indelible mark on the automotive industry. It was a car that offered something for everyone, from its sporty styling to its range of engine options and features. Today, the Ford Cortina remains an iconic and sought-after classic car, with enthusiasts continuing to appreciate its timeless design and impressive performance.