22nd Mar 2017 at 4:10 pm #196
This was the model that realised the success that Ford envisioned becoming a top seller both in the UK and here in South Africa.
As with the MkI, 2 and 4 door sedans were offered, and Deluxe, Super and GT trim was available initially available. A 5 door estate followed.
The 1500cc pre-crossflow engine carried over from the previous model was joined by a 1300cc 5 bearing engine for the base model.
During 1967 the 1300 and 1600 engines were upgraded with the new crossflow cylinder heads improving efficiency.
At the October 1967 Paris Motor Show, the 1600E was unveiled bringing a level of unprecedented luxury to the Cortina, this model featured the lowered suspension of the Cortina Lotus with the High Tuned 1600GT engine. Other features included luxury trim such as a burr walnut dashboard and door cappings, bucket seats, leather trimmed aluminium sport style steering wheel with full “GT” instrumentation better integrated into the dashboard itself (as opposed to sitting in a pod above the dash in the GT). The exterior was distinguished by a black grille incorporating fog lights, trim panel between the tail lights, a vinyl covered roof and radial tyres on plated Rostyle Wheels.
During 1969 the model range was subtly revised with F-O-R-D chrome letters fixed on the bonnet and boot, a black grille and chrome accents running the full width of the rear under and over the tail lights.
This model also started the Basil Green story. Basil was supplied with complete 3.0GT Capris to be converted to the V8 Perana Capri, and he carefully engineered these Essex V6’s into Cortina MkI GT’s and 1600E’s to create the Cortina Perana.
Personal Note: My brother Allen Warner did a DIY “Perana” conversion to his 1600E using all the correct parts and my earliest memories include road trips in this beautiful, powerful car. I remember the fine workmanship of the dash and the way the veneers continued seamlessly over the glove-box lid, also the brute power to weight ratio of this little car with a big heart. One memory, in particular stands out, travelling the highway to East London Allen took on a Pontiac Firebird, and the big V8 was unable to shake the little Ford for the entire 60km journey.
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