Up for auction in Swainby, which is about 59 kilometers north of York in the picturesque county of North Yorkshire, UK we find this gorgeous 1970 1600E. In October of 1967 Ford of Britain announced the availability of a luxury/performance model that would move the Mark 2 into a new sales segment.
The Cortina 1600E would become a very popular option in this market niche as the model offered many performance and luxury features for a reasonable amount of money. In fact, according to author and Cortina expert Graham Robson, the 1600E would be the first Cortina recognized as a classic.
The exterior featured a blacked-out grille with twin driving lamps, a thin “coach” stripe, automatic reversing lights and “sports” wheels unique to the model. The interior is what really set the 1600E apart – polished wood fascia (dash panel) and door waist rails in addition to a nice console and leather wrapped steering wheel were fitted. Added sound deadening material, thicker carpets and upgraded reclining bucket seats were also among the luxury appointments. On the performance side the 1600E featured the GT’s 92 bhp 1.6 litre crossflow engine and the suspension system of the Cortina Lotus.
Ford of Britain published a 0-60 mph measurement of 12.5 seconds as well as 31.5 mpg – phenomenal numbers compared to the competition in the UK at the time. It is no wonder the model was so popular and respected. This Amber Gold Metallic example has acquired only 57,000 miles and the condition shown in the photographs certainly support that. It is reported that the vehicle retains “original factory specification” and comes with some historical information. The only apparent modifications seem to be a stainless-steel exhaust system and modern stereo – neither of which the new owner should mind.
The improved parking brake handle and leather-gaitered gear lever are apparent in the above shot of the extremely clean interior. The seller states that the seats were recently recovered and the workmanship looks factory fresh. Carpeting is new as well.
Under the bonnet the scene is very pleasant indeed. No rust is apparent and the wiring looms appear very close to factory configuration. Under the air cleaner assembly sits the GT-spec Weber 32-DFM twin choke carburettor on a four-branch manifold. Here is one area that could be improved without too much deviation from factory specification: twin Weber side-drafts are just so sexy.
This is a fine example of the model that made the Cortina a classic. Find it here on eBay UK.