The FORD CORTINA in the 70s and 80s (Mk III to Mk V)
By Mark Nobes
The Cortina quickly became a beloved family car in the United Kingdom and beyond. Known for its practicality, affordability, and reliability, it appealed to a wide range of drivers. Over the years, it underwent several design iterations, each one improving upon its predecessor.
The Cortina was first produced in the UK in 1962, with the Mk 1 being built until 1966. The final Mk 5 model was eventually replaced by the Sierra in 1982. The Mk 1 cost under £700 to buy and was made using the mechanical parts from other Ford models. Despite this, it was still the UK's best-selling car for nearly two decades, which is why it goes down as an all-time classic.
Mk III (1970-1976)
At some point in the 1970s, my Dad bought a brand new dark blue Cortina. Unfortunately, my Mum managed to scratch the roof while reversing it out of the garage - I believe that the door didn't hold tightly in place and fell onto the roof! We solved the problem by having a black vinyl roof covering made and it actually looked pretty damn cool back in the 70s!
The original Mk3 (pre-facelift) Cortinas with round headlamps at the front and American "coke bottle" styling of the bodywork became iconic during the 1970s and is many people's favourite model. It looked larger than the Mk II, but was actually the same length but around 4 inches wider, although the wheelbase was 76mm longer which helped to create a more spacious interior. It was also a heavier car than the Mk II.
A yellow Ford Cortina Mk III with black vinyl roof (Public domain image by terimakasih0 on Pixabay)
In this video is a superb example of a Mk III with a 3.3 V6 Essex engine.
Mk IV (1976-1979)
Mk V (1979-1982)
Public domain image of a Mk5 Ford Cortina 2.0 Ghia Automatic. Original image here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/165143457@N06/48024455582
Blue 1970 Ford Cortina Mk III GXL with black roof - public domain image by Tap Tapzz on flickr