Roy Brown Junior, the designer of the unfortunate American Ford Edsel, was the chief designer of the Mk I Cortina, which was launched in 1962 as the Consul Cortina. The Consul name was dropped in 1963 after a minor facelift. In 1964, the ‘Aeroflow’ ventilation system was introduced along with a redesigned dashboard.
Around the same time I bought my Ford Corsair, I also acquired this 1966 Mk I Cortina Woody Estate. The estate was offered new with wood effect trim as an optional extra.
Mk I Cortina estates are very rare and Woodies are even rarer still, especially in this late ‘Aeroflow’ spec – only three or four are known to exist.
This car is an original 1500cc Woody, although at some point it was rebuilt with replacement doors and wings, and at the same time the wood-effect trim was removed. When I bought the car it came with the original pre-drilled doors and new wood panels, which I reinstated on the car. I have to say it was distressing having to drill into good, original Mk I Cortina wings to refit the wood!
The Cortina is a little worse for wear, although its patina of age and battle-scars all give it character and charm, and are part of its history, so I am loath to restore it. There are a few bits and bobs I may do to improve the car, such as fit door seals! And it may need some welding for future MoTs, but on the whole I like it pretty much as it is (I can always restore it in the future but I can’t un-restore it!).
I have a roof-rack, on which I wouldn’t mind installing a surf-board â€“ the Woody wouldn’t look out of place on a beach at Newquay.