It seems like the Aussies often got cool stuff. It must be attributable to the tough management of the local Ford subsidiary but they know their market, right? So perhaps it is the culture of Australians asserting their need to be different – and cooler than us yanks and brits. However in this case it didn’t work out. Now in Germany the Cortina’s sister car, the Tanus, did get a fastback model and the styling was excellent but no fastbacks in the UK or Australia despite this excellent attempt.
The story goes that one Lew Bandt designed both 2- and 4-door variants for Bodycraft Pty Ltd who then built at least 4 vehicles. The idea was to pitch these to Ford Australia in a deal where Bodycraft would do the conversions. Bodycraft made it’s name mostly from building ambulances but they also produced other commercial vehicles. Only photos of the 2-door are known to exist but as fate would have it one 4-door escaped the crusher.
Although a nicely executed example, the design itself is a little out of proportion. The VW Type 3 comes to mind but so does the AMC Marlin. The hump that comprises the fastback is basically a semi-circle (viewed from the side) whose center should be moved a bit closer to the front leaving a bit of a deck before the boot terminates. It doesn’t appear “tacked on” as one might expect from a body conversion of this magnitude, it’s just a little too bulky. It shouldn’t be flat like some of it’s upcoming Ford models (Torino) but it could use a little less junk in the trunk – closer to the 1st gen Mustang fastback.
This particular model is a “440” which was the base designation for the 4-door in Australia. “220” was the name of the 2-door model. For a prototype the fit and finish are remarkable. A bit of a gap exists between the boot lid and rear sheet metal however this is not much different than the production saloon fit in this area. In addition the triangular Aeroflow vent isn’t as effective as the louvred style seen on similar body types – it is visually an arrow pointing backwards. This is the only Cortina Fastback known to exist but it appears to frequent car shows down under so perhaps we can view it in the wild someday.