Readers' Photos # 17: Mk I Cortina Sedan
This delightful Mk I Cortina was photographed by our East Coast correspondent but the image appears to have been captured closer to Tasmania's capital city of Hobart. It was in great nick, especially when one considers that the car's roughly fifty-five years old.
It's a little known fact that early Australian-built Cortinas, like the one shown here, differed from their British-made cousins in that they featured extra internal cabin bracing off the rear wheel arches to cope with this country's rougher roads. This is not dissimilar to early Aussie Ford Falcons; the first model, the XK, was based on a North American vehicle and therefore lacked the rugged suspension that local conditions demanded and that was fitted to subsequent iterations.
The Cortina was very popular in Australia from the early 1960s until the mid 1980s, when it was dropped from the Ford line-up. There were five different models, designated the Mk 1 to the Mk V, with the Mks I and II only available as two- and four-door sedans, all equipped with four-cylinder engines (there was also an estate version in Britain that was never imported to our shores). There were also sporty Mk I and Mk II GT editions and the British-built Lotus Cortina was available locally, too.
Mks III to V were available here with four- and six-cylinder engines, with the four-pot being a 2 litre, and the sixes 3.3 and 4.1 litre capacity units (200 and 250 cu, respectively), sourced from the local Falcon range. A station wagon, as Australians call their estates, was available locally from the Mark III onwards but two-door versions no longer were. GTs were also omitted from the Mk III to Mk V range.
The reputation of the four cylinder Mk III was marred in Australia by their propensity to catch fire, as at least one of UMPH's mates discovered. The fault was eventually diagnosed as caused by a faulty fuel line and was the subject of a nation-wide recall by Ford. Fire-prone or not, the 2 litre engine had to be a better proposition than the equivalent British base-model Mk IIIs, IVs and Vs, which were fitted with a puny 1.3 litre donk - which Aussies thought was underwhelming even in the much smaller Ford Escort!
Interestingly, Cortinas were manufactured not just in Britain and Australia, but in countries as diverse as South Africa, Turkey, Taiwan and South Korea (by Hyundai). For more information, please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Cortina .
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All iPhone images.