Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
Ford launched the Cortina Mk1. The chief designer was Roy Brown Jr., the designer of the Edsel, who had been banished to Dagenham following the failure of that car. The Cortina, aimed at buyers of the Morris Oxford Farina and Vauxhall Victor, was designed to be economical, cheap to run and easy and inexpensive to produce in Britain. Originally to be called Ford Consul 225, the car was launched as the Consul Cortina until a modest facelift in 1964, after which it was sold simply as the Cortina. It was available with 1200 and 1500 four-cylinder engines with all synchromesh gearbox, in two-door and four-door saloon, as well as in five-door estate (from March 1963) forms. Standard, Deluxe, Super, and GT trims were offered but not across all body styles. Early Standard models featured a simple body coloured front grille, earning it the nickname 'Ironbar'. Since this version cost almost the same as the better equipped Deluxe it sold poorly and is very rare today. Options included heater and bench seat with column gearchange. Super versions of the estates offered the option of simulated wood side and tailgate trim. In an early example of product placement many examples of the brand new Cortina featured as "Glamcabs" in the comedy film Carry On Cabby. Costing £573 for the standard 1200 saloon, it became an instant best-seller and enjoyed a 20-year career in which 4.3 million units were produced. The last Cortina was assembled in July 1982, to be succeeded by the Sierra, by which time the entry-level model was priced at £4,515.