As the 1600E model of the Ford Cortina was the first of the marque to be considered a classic, it is really no surprise that restored examples are appearing more often on the market. This wonderfully restored example looks super clean in white with the thin pinstripe and bright Rubery Owen-style (Rostyle) wheels.
Unfortunately the lighting conditions in which these photographs were made wasn’t optimal however the lines of the Mark 2 are unmistakeable. Although the sheet metal was fresh and attractive underneath there was little change from the Mark 1. The wheelbase at 98 inches (249 cm) and overall length at 168 inches (427 cm) was the same as the Mark 1 but the increased width of 2.4 inches (6 cm) validated the slogan that “New Cortina is More Cortina”.
This particular Mark 2 is a 1968 which was the 2nd year of the very popular 1600E and is one of nearly 56,000 produced. Gone were the iconic round taillights in favor of smart looking, simple rectangular units that extended around onto the rear wing. All UK-destined Cortina 1600Es were 4-door units though nearly 3,000 2-door saloons were made for export. Suspension was GT-based but featured a lowered ride height thanks to springs picked from the Lotus parts bin.
The engine is the new Kent Crossflow of 1599 cc giving 88 hp which was quite an upgrade from the base Cortina mill of 54 hp. The Crossflow head featured a flat deck since the combustion chambers were in the top of the pistons. This arrangement was going out of style at the time due to less effective chamber flame travel so Ford’s decision to go this route was most likely a cost-saving measure.
Certainly the new owner will appreciate the stainless steel header that has been fitted to the 1.6 litre Kent. Other than that all looks well in the engine compartment with the radiator hose receiving a nice coat of Armor All or the equivalent. Non-existent fuse box indicates this is a series 1 example. Your humble author finds it hard to believe that vehicles at this time were not equipped with fused circuits.
The interior is what really made the 1600E shine. That wood dash evokes much more expensive vehicles and although the 1600E was more costly it didn’t come close to a contemporary Jaguar or Aston Martins. This interior coupled with lowered GT suspension is why this model was such a success and made Ford a lot of money.
The interior looks to be perfect so clearly this Cortina was restored to a high standard. Dash fascia and console appear correct for the Series 1 timeframe and the steering wheel and seats look as new. The presence of a clock in the console indicates that this is the later Series 1 having been manufactured in or after August of 1967 but before October of 1968. Overall a great restoration of a fine classic Cortina. Find it for sale in Northamptonshire for £24,995 here at Chariots Specialist Cars.