In 1976, Ford released the MK4 Cortina, which unbeknownst to them would turn out to be one of their best selling Cortina models throughout the years.
Essentially a re-body of a Mk3 with some minor mechanical changes and the introduction of more options as well as the range-topping “Ghia” model variant.
Despite the car being labelled as Britain's best-selling car through its production run, it is now one of the rarest body style of Cortinas around today - this is largely due to the poor rust-proofing incorporated by Ford as well as the vehicles popularity with banger races, which is one of the main reasons this model is so scarce today.
Produced at the Lisbon assembly plant in Portugal, this is where the car spent the vast majority of its life with a single elderly lady owner who would only use the car on the very rare occasion - as you can probably tell by the mind-numbingly low mileage and outstanding condition of the car throughout.
Thanks to being in Portugal its whole life, the dry conditions have allowed this car to survive without suffering from the rust and corrosion that has killed off so many of these beautiful cars. Ever since being imported into Scotland, it has stayed in dry storage alongside a plethora of other classic cars and has only been driven a handful of times on sunny and dry days. You can rest assured that it hasn’t been subjected to the horrible Scottish weather we all know too well.
A true survivor that has stood the test of time, an absolute time warp that will fool you into believing you’re back in the 70’s, it is tantamount to picking up your brand new car. This vehicle really should belong in a museum given how outstandingly well presented it is.
This vehicle was actually featured in the new 2021 Bell Bottom movie, an Indian Thriller/Mystery featuring Akshay Kumar which was filmed in Glasgow, it was dressed in a Dubai Police car outfit and used throughout some scenes. Unfortunately as a result of this, upon removing the vinyl wrap, some small areas of the paint was taken with it in some areas as pictured.
The Cortina includes the original care wallet provided by Ford at the time of purchase in Portugal, including the service book and handbook. The second set of keys are also present with the vehicle.
The V5C is present showing the car is registered here in the UK and ready to go!
Finished with a black cloth interior, this is possibly the closest you will ever get to a brand new MK4 Cortina. Thanks to such little usage, all of the seats are still in exceptional shape with no rips or tears and all of the seams are intact. The cloth fabric is still wonderfully soft and the seats themselves are as comfortable as the designers intended them to be with no sagging.
The dashboard, as you would expect, is in untouched condition, the steering wheel also shows almost no signs of usage. All of the dials and controls are perfectly visible and functional as they should be with no apparent damage or scratches, with the odometer clearly reading “7,111” kilometers. The headliner is much the same, great condition all over with no sagging - which is hard to find in an original car of its age!
There is however a small hole that has been punched in the headliner just behind the driver’s sun visor, which hides it from view alongside a “no smoking” sticker. The owner states that it could be easily fixed however it would be sacrilege to remove an original headliner from such an original car for such a small imperfection.
In the boot, the original floor carpet is still in place with only a very minor tear around one of the pop-style buttons used to hold down the carpet to the floor.
Upon removing the carpet, the metal floor is in beautiful shape and the spare wheel and tools are still present. There is also a set of factory mud flaps which have never been fitted to the vehicle!
The only flaw to pick with this survivor's interior is that the carpet has been pushed out of place slightly down beside the drivers pedals, presumably by simple use of the car and repositioning of the drivers feet. This is an extremely minor detail which is very easily overlooked when you take in the condition of everything else.
The exterior of this Cortina is absolutely dumbfounding. Something which truly has to be seen in person to be appreciated, a completely original 1977 car with absolutely no restoration looking this good is almost unheard of in today's car market.
The paintwork does have some minor blemishes as photographed on the bonnet and the passenger door and rear driver side arch, this is simply the result of the vehicle being used in the aforementioned “Bell Bottom” movie where the car sported a Police car livery for the scenes - upon removal of the vinyl wrap small portions of the paint came with it which is extremely difficult to avoid, especially on old paint such as this. Apart from these small imperfections, this car is outstandingly clean.
The Cortina is well known for having its problem areas for rust, such as the spare wheel compartment underneath the boot carpet, however as you can see in this example, this entire area including the hatch itself is absolutely immaculate. All of the door jambs, kick plates and all of the little nooks and crannies such as the boot lid hinges and bonnet edges are all spotless with no signs of corrosion apparent. A true time machine of a car!
All 4 wheels are the original steelies that the car was supplied with, none of which present any dents or buckles and at the absolute most have some minor paint flaking on the outer edge of the rim, which is just a result of age and stone chips. The chrome bumper edgings are in lovely condition still glistening excellently in the sun, and all of the light lenses are in excellent condition with no cracks or fading. Even the ford badges front and rear as well as the model designation have absolute minimum fading or sun damage.
All of the door seals, boot seal, and rubber edging around the windows is beautifully kept with no areas of degradation.
This Cortina wants for absolutely nothing. The car fires up without any hesitation and ticks over without an issue, sounding as healthy as it would have the day it was driven off of the lot. Powered by a 1.6L inline 4cyl through a 4-speed manual transmission, the car does just fine when cruising along at normal pace with no unwelcome noises, creaks or bangs and smooth transitions between gears.
The small engine still has quite adequate performance for an estate car. As you’ll see from the photographs of the underside of the vehicle, the suspension is all in fantastic working order, keeping the car comfortable and able to handle itself rather well in bends and day to day driving. The steering is still tight and responsive with good feedback as you’d expect from a car from this era. Brakes are still responsive with good pedal feel, too.
The engine presents itself beautifully with the blue paint still present on the block as intended by Ford themselves, all of which is original - apart from the battery which of course had to be replaced due to age. All of the pipes and lines are in great condition as are the plastics throughout the engine bay, with no signs of excessive fading or cracking that you’d expect on a car from the 70’s.
We firmly believe that this could be among the lowest mileage and most original examples left of the MK4 Cortina Estate. It would make an incredible piece for a collection or even to use as intended - but such a well preserved piece of automotive history like this doesn’t get missed by the avid Ford fans, of which there are plenty!
From how rare these cars are becoming, you’ll be hard pushed to find another one in such original and complete condition. As the owner states, “it’s only original once”. And we could not agree more.
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