Consul Corsair – Model Introduction


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    Kim Warner

      Most early European Fords had conservative styling as was appropriate for the “average man’s car”, but the late Elwood Engel drew his inspiration from the contemporary American designs and two of his scaled down influences were materialised as the Anglia 105E, and the Consul Corsair. Both were radical “love ‘em or hate ‘em” cars, the Corsair being the more polarizing of the two.

      Aerodynamic in appearance, the sharp wedge nose was intersected by inset circular headlamps, smooth, almost slab-like flanks led to a square trunk offset by sharp vertical tail lights hinting at the fins so beloved of 1950’s America.

      Under the skin, the running gear was essentially identical to the Consul Cortina, using the same 1500cc single carburetted pre-crossflow inline four. Even the windscreen and much of the internal panels were shared with the smaller Cortina.

      During September 1965 the model range was revised and 1700cc V4 Essex engines were introduced and again revised during 1966 with a 2000cc V4 Essex, resulting in a very respectable  180km/h indicated top speed and sprightly acceleration compliments of the progressive 28/36mm twin-choke Weber downdraught carburettor.

      The production of the Corsair ended in 1970 when the larger MKIII Cortina took over the mid-sized segment of Ford Sedans, and the Capri became the performance flagship.

      The Corsair was essentially missed its entry into motoring’s fashion show, appearing a little too late to be relevant, but still the radical car defined a segment for a sporty mid-sized Ford, very few remain and as such they have become sought after by collectors.

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