Growing up in the 60s and 70s, Ford Cortinas were a common sight on the roads and the iconic tail lights have been an enduring memory ever since. I remember telling my mother that when I grew up I would buy a Cortina and her replying that when I was old enough that there wouldn’t be any left! How wrong she was. Since 1997 I have been the proud owner of a 1966 Ford Cortina MkI Super – but this wasn’t my first. I had spotted a MkI Cortina for sale in Welwyn Garden City that looked just the piece. I bought a one way rail ticket and headed down. The car wasn’t what I had expected but nevertheless, I bought her and drove her back home. I only kept this car for a short time and was soon on the look out for my ideal Cortina.
I first saw my current car at a show at Harewood House, near Leeds. The owners were a couple who also had a GT. They told me a bit about the car, including that it had been used in the music video for Made In England by Elton John, and I asked them if they ever decided to sell it to bear me in mind – which they did!
The car has only had three owners including myself and has always been on the road. Fortunately, I have never had to carry out any major repairs, just regular maintenance and cosmetic jobs, just to keep her running well and looking good. The Ford Cortina MkI Super sits above the DeLuxe and below the GT in the range and its 1500cc engine means it is still a very usable car, even in today’ traffic. I am actively involved with the MkI Cortina Owners’ Club and regularly attend car shows throughout the year. Some time ago we managed to acquire one of the Glamcabs roof signs from the Carry On Cabby film, so we are easy to spot at shows! I also use the car at weekends, when the weather is good, and occasionally to travel to work. For the past 22 years I have also had a Ford Cortina MkI DeLuxe, in Black Cherry, which I use as a daily driver.
2013 saw the 50th anniversary of the Ford Cortina MkI and to celebrate the cub organised a Lands End to John O’Groats run in aid of Cancer Research. We set off from our home in Sunderland for the run, stopping off at Newquay Lands End, Oxford, Glasgow, John O’Groats and finally Aberdeen, before returning home. The club raised several thousand pounds for the charity.
Once, while at a car show, I was told about a model of a Ford Cortina MkI Super, the same colour as mine, by Oxford Diecast. The resemblance was so good it even carried my registration number! There is also a Cararama model that looks the same but has the numbers on the registration plate transposed.
On the subject of models, a good friend stores his Ford Cortina MkI Estate in my garage and to repay me he commissioned a special one-off 1:18 scale model of my car for me as a Christmas gift. The model was crafted by Wayne of 1eighteen. Wayne, having an eye for detail, modified the grill to make it into an airflow, painted the interior to match, added chrome moldings and altered the engine to match. All badges that were on the car including window stickers were painstakingly recreated and he had the wheel trims specially 3D printed in Italy. He even made miniatures of the Glam Cab sign and the show display picture to go with the model.