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1979 Ford Cortina – Classified of the Week


By Chris Pollitt

Gold, always believe in your soul. You’ve got the power to know. You’re indestructible. Or at least that’s what Spandau Ballet would have you believe (and yes, we’re listening to old Tone as we write this). And the words from that pop ditty seem to ring true here, as this 1979 Cortina simply must be indestructible, given it has survived this long and still looks utterly magnificent. Most Fords of this era went the way of the scrap man thanks to the evil tinworm, while many others bowed out via the banger track. This one, however, seems to have survived intact. 

And that’s why it has earned its place as this week’s classified of choice. This is a survivor car, not a pampered restoration. It’s one of those cars that has slipped through the passage of time with minimal use and plenty of time in a nice, dry garage. There are just 37,000 miles on the clock, and looking at the condition of the tobacco interior and that gorgeous Oyster Gold paint, we can well believe it. Even the chrome beauty rings are still in place on the wheels, remarkable. 

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What makes this Cortina even more special is the fact it’s a MkIV model. It only had a three year production run from ‘76 to ‘79 before being replaced by the MkV, or Cortina 80 in, um, 1980. The MkIV was, at its core, a rebodied MkIII Cortina. It boasted less design flare, but with a bigger cabin, more glass and a more ergonomic estate version, it was well received and as such, sold very well indeed. 

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You might think that being a 1.6, this particular Cortina represents the bottom of the range. However, it really doesn’t. The 1.6 was no F1 engine, but it was respectable. The 1.3 on the other hand was tragically slow! This car is anything but bargain basement. Someone spent some money buying this, as the GL trim was seen as one of the most desirable before getting to the Ghia model. The metallic paint and velour trim reflects this.

The vendor states that the body is starting to show signs of age, but there is nothing that jumps out in the pictures. They also say the wheels were recently refurbished, and a five-speed gearbox has been fitted to make it a more pleasant cruiser. It’s been dry stored for most of its life and as you can tell from that mileage, has had minimal use.

There is seldom a better vehicular investment than an old Ford. No, this Cortina isn’t an RS or a Mexico, but it doesn’t matter. This is better in some respects because it’s a genuine survivor car. And those are hard to find. Buy this, and your money will be safe, and you’ll also have a slice of executive motoring from the late-’70s to boot.

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