A look back at the Ford Cortina Mk3 0

A-look-back-at-the-Ford-Cortina-Mk3Say the brand, Ford, to people of a certain generation and you can guarantee the model that flashes into their minds is a Cortina. From the swinging 60’s to the booming 80’s, the Cortina ruled Britain’s roads, sweeping all before it as the masses embraced Ford’s ‘peoples car’ with relish.

The later years of the twentieth century saw Ford and Vauxhall slugging it out for supremacy in the car parks and roads. It was the Cortina versus the Cavalier. A battle between two of motoring ‘Galacticos’.

The Mk3 Cortina was probably the most elegant out of all the various Cortina editions. Affectionately known as the ‘Coke bottle’, because of its resemblance to the fizzy drink bottle of the same era, Ford’s response to Vauxhall’s workhorse Cavalier was a true example of the flamboyant design concepts the car maker had become famous for.

In the same way as the Capri, having a Cortina on your driveway was a statement of intent. Announcing to your neighbours that you’d finally arrived in polite society. It was also a favourite mode of transport for the criminal classes, as well as TV detective Shoestring – Trevor Eve drove an estate version.

Dubbed “A British car for British people”, the majority of Cortinas were manufactured at Ford’s enormous Dagenham plant. Featuring 32 different model combinations, four engine options and five trims, this was a level of consumer choice that belittled anything to have come before.

The Cortina easily outshone the competition; the Mk3 spent the majority of its production life at the top spot of the sales chart. Impressive, when you consider the vehicle’s basic underpinning, and unsophisticated ride. It wasn’t advanced, but that didn’t matter to buyers, and it left the Cavalier and BMC’s Princess fighting over second place.

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