1977 Ford Cortina – Auction Car of the Week

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By Dale Vinten

No matter the classic, whether it be a bog standard Citroen 2CV or a top end Ferrari Dino, it’s always exciting when a minter pops up for sale with next to no miles on the clock. It gives us the opportunity to imagine what it would have been like to walk into the local dealership all those years ago and pick out the car when it was brand new. There’s a level of nostalgia there that we can all relate to as classic car fans and this Ford Cortina definitely ticks that box.

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This Ford Cortina Estate, currently up for auction with Car and Classic, is one such car and it’s great to see an example that is in such lovely, original condition. Beginning life in 1962 the Cortina went through five different incarnations over its twenty year production run with this particular Mk4 rolling out of Ford’s Lisbon factory in Portugal in 1977. The Cortina was a hugely successful car for Ford, going as far as claiming Britain’s best selling car title in the ’70s but despite large production numbers decent examples are becoming increasingly hard to find. Unsurprisingly many have succumbed to rust and a large portion have been destroyed after brief but no doubt illustrious careers as banger racing heroes so it’s a bit of a rarity to find one in this condition and with such incredibly limited mileage.

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The fourth-gen Cortina was not a huge departure from the previous incarnation of Ford’s popular saloon with much of the running gear being carried across from the Mk3. Essentially a re-body of the earlier car the Mk4 differed in styling and little else. Even the choice of engines remained the same with only the 2.5-litre Essex V6 being replaced with the 2.3-litre Cologne six-cylinder for the latest incarnation.

The Cortina has enjoyed its fair share of the spotlight throughout the years too, most noticeably Jim Clarke’s Touring Car Championship success with his Lotus-engined Cortina in the late ’60s. It would also be remiss of us not to mention the Mk4’s starring role in the Bond classic The Spy Who Loved Me too, what with all of the hype surrounding 007’s latest outing, and you can read about more Bond bad guy rides in our editor Chris Pollitt’s excellent round up here.

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Our auction car in question is no stranger to the big screen either having had its 15 minutes of fame, boasting a starring role in the 2021 action thriller Bell Bottom. It’s a left-hand-drive estate version of the Mk4 and comes equipped with Ford’s 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine mated to a manual four-speed gearbox. Imported in to Scotland from Portugal where it spent the majority of its life it has been dry stored ever since which has saved it from the dreaded rot that so many of it’s kin unfortunately suffer from. A completely original, base model ‘L’ car this fastidious Ford is in excellent condition throughout having been driven a mere 4,418 miles in its life. Astonishing.

The term ‘time-warp car’ is often spuriously used to describe low-mileage examples but in this case that really is the best epithet to describe this particular Cortina, from how well the interior has been maintained down to the condition of the underside of the car and oily bits. The pictures speak volumes and despite a few minor blemishes to the paint the body work is in fantastic shape and the car has not been near a welding torch, not that it needs it. Mechanically sound the car wants for nothing and despite it’s age and limited use the engine ancillaries and perishable items show little sign of degradation. It runs and drives just as it would have leaving that showroom we mentioned earlier.

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Fully UK registered this 1977 Ford Cortina Estate presents a compelling case for being one of the lowest mileage and most original examples on the road today. If you’re a fan of old Ford’s, or perhaps have a keen eye for a good investment, then why not put in a bid for this captivating Cortina? We don’t think you’ll regret it. Just promise us you’ll look after it and continue to treat it to the charmed life it has become accustomed to.

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