Ford Cortina Mk2 1966 to 1970
In 1966, Ford introduced a new Cortina. Visually it was a very different car from the outgoing Mk1. Styling was elegant and minimalist. All references to 50s America had finally disappeared and the design was very much in keeping with the fashion of the second half of the sixties - automotive modernism.
The new car was roomier and more comfortable than its predecessor. It had more power and was altogether a better product. Ford gave the Cortina buying man in the street something to be proud of.
Inside the Mk2 was just as good as it was on the outside. A simple, but elegant, facia greeted the driver.
At the launch there were the De Luxe, Super and GT models. The Cortina De Luxe had the basic 1300cc engine and Ford's unique Aeroflow ventilation system - which won a safety award from the AA - for "eliminating stuffiness, and drowsiness and almost completely preventing the interior from misting."
The Cortina Super had more comfortable seats covered in "Cirrus 200", deep pile carpeting and the more powerful 1500cc engine as standard. It also had a cigar lighter and coat hooks, as well as a differently styled, padded facia. The Cortina GT boasted a more powerful engine taking the top speed to around 90mph. It also had sports car style instrumentation and a remote gear shift.
In 1968 Ford gave all the range a boost to power when the new engines were fitted with a crossflow head and bowl-in-piston combustion chambers. This boosted power, but added to the weight and could sometimes cause vibration.
In the same year Ford introduced the model that was perhaps the ultimate expression of the Cortina concept - the 1600E. It had the same engine as the GT, lowered suspension, special wider wheels and a luxury interior, including a smart polished wood facia and door cappings. It was truly an "executive" model and you could have all this for a mere £1073. When England defended the 1970 World Cup in Mexico every squad member was loaned a 1600E for the Summer. Imagine the joy if the current England football team were each loaned a new Mondeo Ghia by Ford Motor Company!
The Cortina Mk2 lasted until the end of the sixties. Its cult status was assured when Michael Caine drove a silver model in the cult film, "Get Carter".
Cortina Mk 2 - fact file (1967 model year)
|Engine||4 cyl ohv||4 cyl ohv||4 cyl ohv|
|Max BHP||57 @ 5000 rpm||65 @ 4750 rpm||83 @ 5200 rpm|
|Overall length||14 ft||14 ft||14 ft|
|Overall width||5 ft 5 in||5 ft 5 in||5 ft 5 in|
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By Steven Braggs, February 2022