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Cortina MK1 History

The Cortina MK1 was introduced in September 1962 in a standard & deluxe form. Originally to be called "The Archbishop", Ford decided to stick to the tried and tested formula of the very popular Anglia 105E with an overhead valve engine, four speed gearbox, MacPherson strut front suspension and recirculating ball steering. Available in 2 or 4 door saloons the Consul Cortina was to be one of Ford's most successful models. (Ford were later to drop the 'Consul' nametag.)

Up to January 1963 all models were fitted with an 1198cc 3 bearing crankshaft engine similar to the one in aforementioned Anglia 105E. Then for a cost of £84 you could have had an optional extra of a 1498cc 5 bearing crankshaft engine.

The bodystyle for the Cortina had an angular look with tapering flutes along the sides and the immediately recognizable rear 'Y' light clusters.

Also launched in January 1963 was the 1500 Super that was immediately identified by the chrome tapered strips along the side flutes. Later in the same month came the GT launch. The 1500 engine under the bonnet of this sports Cortina was fitted with twin choke Weber carburetor, disc brakes on the front wheels, remote gearchange and modified suspension.

March 1963 saw the Estate car added to the range, the 1200 deluxe and the 1500 super , the latter being identified by the American style mock wood paneling on the sides and tailgate. 'Woody' paneling was available only as an optional extra on the 1200 models.

The final model launched to complete the range was the 'Lotus modified Cortina'.

July 1963 saw the the dispersion of all suspension and steering grease nipples replaced by ball joints with plastic seatings. September 1963 saw the next set of modifications; childproof locks added to all rear doors and front bench seats with column gear change was made available as an optional extra to all models except the GT. December 1963 brought the introduction of the Borg-Warner supplied automatic gearbox. A price of £82 was added to the 1500 for this optional extra.

October 1964 saw the most significant changes in the Cortina specification. Front disc brakes were added to all models as standard, the front grille was redesigned from the two standard slats and deluxe chrome into a single chrome to incorporate a widened bottom to surround the side lights and indicators. Also introduced was the Ford 'aeroflow' ventilation system thus ensuring fresh air entered the car and was then expelled. In it's final year of production the Cortina GT was given even larger front wheel disks and self adjusting rear brakes.

Finally in October 1966 came the biggest change to the Cortina, after 1,010,000 Mark1's being made came the introduction of the Cortina MK2.

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