Classic Error

The 1961 Consul Classic and Capri were a rare market failure for Ford in Europe. We remember them on the 60th Anniversary of their launch.

(c) Ford.co.uk

Ever since the days of the Model T, Ford had developed an enviable reputation for delivering cars that were finely attuned to the perceived wants and needs of the automotive market. Moreover, the company was a master of what one might call value engineering, the art of designing cars wholly to satisfy the market whilst rarely challenging those expectations through new or radical innovations in format, engineering, equipment or styling.

Generations of Ford owners were able to trade in their existing car for the new model, safe in the assumption that the latter would be comfortably familiar, just a little more contemporary in its styling and featuring a few well-chosen and carefully costed incremental improvements in its engineering specification and equipment.

This cautious approach generated strong customer loyalty, and market failures were a rarity for the company. However, the 1961 Consul Classic and its Capri coupé derivative comprehensively missed the mark and were quickly consigned to history. Why did this happen? Ironically, it was two other successful Ford European models that caused the Classic and Capri to be initially misconceived, then quickly become outdated and obsolete.

The story begins with the 1959 Ford 105E Anglia. This was a small family car manufactured in two-door saloon and three-door estate variants. Its styling was a clever distillation of contemporary American design tropes, modulated to suit the more conservative tastes (and modest budgets) of European small car buyers. The front end had a slim horizontal grille with round headlamps in peaked enclosures above. The rear of the saloon had vestigial tail fins and, most distinctively, a reverse-rake rear window. The mechanical package was resolutely conventional, with a front-engined RWD layout.

1959 Ford Anglia (c) favcars

The Anglia went on sale in the same year as BMC’s highly innovative Mini. For roughly the same price, the Ford appeared to offer a lot more car for the money, with none of the perceived complexities of the transverse-engined FWD Mini. The Anglia was an immediate and deserved success and would go on to sell more than one million units over eight years in production.

The Anglia validated Ford’s approach to its development, including its American-influenced styling. A second, bigger model was also in development and this was essentially an enlargement in format and styling. However, such was the Anglia’s initial popularity that Ford’s Dagenham UK plant was operating at almost full capacity, delaying the introduction of the new model by up to two years.

1961 Ford Consul Classic (c) wheelsage.org

The Classic and Capri finally debuted in the summer of 1961 in two and four-door saloon and two-door coupé variants. The Classic was launched on 21st June, but the Capri was built for export only until January 1962, when UK sales commenced. It was a more overtly Americanised design than the Anglia, with twin round headlamps and a heavily chromed front bumper and grille assembly containing Ford’s five-star logo(1). The saloon’s reverse-rake rear screen had been carried over from the Anglia and the rear end featured high-mounted twin circular tail lights beneath the flattened tail fins. The Capri was identical to the two-door saloon below the waistline but featured a conventional sloping rear window design.

From the outset, the Classic and Capri were hampered by their outdated appearance. The Ford US-inspired styling had been largely signed off in 1956 and had debuted on the 1958 Lincoln Continental and 1959 Ford Galaxie. By 1961, the tailfin era was over and had been succeeded by much cleaner and more linear designs, making the Classic nomenclature somewhat ironic. Moreover, the reverse-rake rear screen had the effect of limiting interior legroom by pushing the rear seat forward of where it might otherwise have been positioned.

The Capri’s steeply sloping rear window additionally limited rear headroom and made the coupé very much a 2+2, even though it was in fact no shorter than the saloon. The corollary of this was, however, an enormous boot on both models, with a capacity of 21 cu.ft. (0.59m3). Hence, they were certainly suitable for the golf club, as had been intended.

1961 Ford Consul Capri (c) carsaddiction.com

Mechanically, the Classic and Capri were again resolutely conventional, with an enlarged 1,340cc version of the Anglia’s three-bearing inline-four OHV Kent engine, mated to a manual gearbox with a floor or column-mounted gear lever. A by-product of the ornate styling was that the cars were heavy and complex to build, the four-door saloon tipping the scales at 2,070lbs (940 kg). This was 446lbs (203 kg) heavier than the Anglia, a 27.5% weight penalty.  Consequently, performance was leisurely: 0 to 60mph (97km/h) took 22.5 seconds and the top speed was just 78mph (126km/h).

If the Classic and Capri had difficult and protracted births, then the arrival of the Cortina just a year later in 1962 effectively signed their death warrants. Here was a handsome and contemporary design that was the polar opposite of the cumbersome Classic. The Cortina’s wheelbase was just 1” (25mm) shorter than the Classic at 98” (2,489mm) and it was only 2½” (64mm) shorter overall, yet it weighed a substantial 334lbs (152kg) less. It was explicitly designed for efficient and economic mass production, an objective that dovetailed perfectly with its simple, contemporary style.

Ironically, the designer of the Cortina was Roy Brown junior, a Canadian-born naturalised American citizen who had been responsible for the styling of the ill-fated Edsel models and was exiled to Dagenham in punishment for his part in that debacle.

(c) Flashbak

Ford updated the hapless Classic and Capri after just a year in production, fitting an enlarged 1,498cc engine with a stronger five-bearing crankshaft in response to some premature failures on the earlier engine. A year later it was all over, and the Classic was replaced by the heavily Cortina-based Corsair.  The Capri would not be replaced until 1969 when a Cortina Mk2-based coupé would revive its name. Unlike the original, the 1969 Capri would go on to be a great success.

In just over two years, a total of 111,225 Classic and 18,716 Capri models were produced, making them two of Ford’s least successful models ever. They were victims of a revolution in taste heralded by the arrival of the 1960’s and a consequent if less obvious revolution in manufacturing efficiency that Ford was quick to recognise and exploit. Today, the Consul Classic and Capri remain odd curios of a time of great change in the automobile industry.

(1) Oddly, the famous Ford ‘Blue Oval’ badge did not feature on the company’s cars in the 1960’s.  Instead, a ‘five star’ logo appeared on the grilles and steering wheel bosses of certain models instead.

Author: Daniel O'Callaghan

Shut-line obsessive...Hates rudeness, loves biscuits.

45 thoughts on “Classic Error”

  1. I wonder is these vehicles’ lack of success the reason why nobody can think of anything to say about them? I can certainly recall seeing the odd MK1 Cortina around as daily drivers during my childhood in the seventies, and there were loads of Anglias, but the Consul Classic and Capri seem to have vanished unmourned without trace…

    1. Good afternoon, Michael, and thank you for your comment, as I was beginning to feel a bit lonely in here!

      That’s a good point you make. I was born in the same year as the Classic and Capri, yet the only one I ever recall seeing in the metal was a Classic in an advanced state of decay, abandoned in a bog in Co. Galway. That was the time-honoured way of disposing of expired cars in rural Ireland when I was a child. I imagine that, by now, nothing of it remains to be seen.

    2. Nice to read an article that is mainly correct. Just for the record, the Classic had disc brakes from day one, and the Classic and Capri weren’t launched at the same time…..Classic launch date was midnight on 21/6/61, and we didn’t get the Capri till January 1962. (The Capri was only built for export before this). Admittedly, the car didn’t sell in huge numbers, but it sold better annually than its replacement the Corsair. The Classic sold 118,000 plus units in just two years…..the Corsair sold 330,000 units in seven. Also, Fords MK2 range only sold 380,000 units in a six year run. Survival rate seems better than the Corsair too….there seems to be far more Classics around than Corsairs, (I am a member of both clubs). Not bad considering they made nearly three times as many Corsairs.
      The Classic may be a rare sight in comparison to things like the Cortina, but we have had upwards of fifty cars at shows in recent years….I have personally owned 127 of them.

    3. 127?? This must be a record, surely?
      A shame about the lack of sales for the Corsair though, I always liked them.

    4. Hello Paul and welcome to DTW. Thank you for your comments. I’m happy with “mainly correct” from someone who clearly knows his onions regarding all things Consul Classic and Capri related! I will clarify the text regarding availability of the Capri and correct it regarding disc brakes.

      I’m pleased to hear that there is a thriving UK club scene for the Classic and Capri, and that the survival rate is surprisingly high, especially considering the enthusiasm with which they rusted! I guess that’s partly because they were almost unique for British cars in their Americanized styling. The only models that come close are the F-series Vauxhall Victor and Cresta PA.

  2. I remember in the late ’60s that neighbours had a regular visitor with a yellow and white Classic, but cannot recall another memory of either.
    That reverse rake rear screen, on the Classic, and Anglia and Citroen Ami, just looks so ungainly and unattractive, to me at least. Was there ever an attractive car with that feature?

    1. Yes, the Ami and also the two Fords.

      The sales figures compared to the predecessor (and successor) are very low indeed.
      It can’t have been due to the technology, since the engine/transmission was taken over from the predecessor, which sold extremely well.

      Were the direct competitors so much more attractive, in terms of equipment or price, that customers spurned this Ford product?

      The Coupe (Capri) is a beautiful car. As a new car buyer at the time, I would definitely have shortlisted it.

  3. I never realised the Classic had been such a sales failure. I don’t remember it being outdated at launch – just maybe a little too American. That ‘five star’ grill design always seemed OTT, and the reverse-rake back window – not an easy sell on the smaller Anglia – would have met even more resistance from conservative buyers of mid-size saloons. Once the Cortina arrived, nobody paid much attention to the Classic. I remember sitting in a Capri at the London Motor Show, thinking it looked very glamorous, even too glamorous for London.

    1. By the mid-sixties I used to drive the A12 to my summer holiday job, and one day I met a red Capri with lowered suspension and the wide steel wheels that were de rigueur on boy racer Cortinas, and I was smitten ! Consequently the second gen Capri never did anything for me.

  4. Good afternoon, Andy, Fred and Mervyn. I think it’s safe to conclude that the Classic and Capri were too brash for conservative British tastes at the time, whatever we may think of them now. The styling was already outdated when the cars were launched in 1961 . The corollary of that is that surviving examples have a cult following, often modified or customised like this one:

    One practical consideration concerning the reverse-rake rear window, in the Anglia at least, was that the heads of rear seat passangers were perilously close to the window and were very vulnerable if the car was hit from behind:

  5. I’m more interested to know how the talks went at Ford? With a two year production run this must be a world record for the shortest production run of a bespoke body style? Considering it had no DNA shared with the Cortina or Corsair, this must havs been a giant failure for Ford. And even considering the short lead times at the times, especially the Cortina, the would-be failure of the Classic must’ve been known or at least suspected within Ford for the Corsair to havs been produced within such short times. There’s a story in this we haven’t been told…

    1. Good evening, Ingvar. I’m not sure how sophisticated market research was sixty years ago (not at all, probably) but these days manufacturers usually have a pretty good idea of how a new model will do, even some time before it’s launched. It must be gut-wrenching for a manufacturer, having to talk up a new model that everyone can see is a turkey. The most recent example I can think of is the Ford EcoSport. Any other suggestions?

    2. Well Daniel, I don’t know if they believe their models to be turkeys, but DS’s idea of where they are in the market, what makes a premium car, what their brand DNA should be, and what level their sales are at, all seem to be wildly adrift from others’ opinions.

    3. Hi Andy. I deliberately ignored DS because I’m normally their fiercest critic, but you’re right, of course. DS seems to have no idea what it’s doing, as far as I can see.

    4. The Cortina shared its’ styling themes with the FWD Taunus/Cardinal, which had been brewing for quite a long time – obviously those themes were explored more elegantly in the British Ford than in the German equivalent. Both the Classic and the Cortina were essentially scaled-up Anglias.
      Daniel, surely the original jelly-mould Sierra was a turkey and only the power of Ford marketing kept it afloat until they could facelift it and imbue a little style.

    5. Good suggestion, Mervyn. I can think of another, also a Ford, the 2002 Fusion (the European Fiesta based model). Isn’t it interesting that a company supposedly so focused on meeting customer expectations has had a significant number of ‘misses’?

    6. Ford sold about 300,00 Fusions in its 10 year run. Given that it was mechanically the same as a Fiesta it was profitable for its run and so can´t be called a failure. I´d agree it´s not a much-admired car (alas) but this is not to say it lacks muchmerit. I´d like to suggest readers take a close look at the Fusion which is as rigorous an example of industrial design as one is every likely to find. Take a look at one under street lighting and notice the sharp contrasts and subtle changes of surface. https://driventowrite.com/2017/01/08/2004-ford-fusion-design/
      The detailing is very refined and tightly integrated with the demands of production. One of life´s compensations is to see beauty in all sorts of odd places and I have to say I don´t get tired of the Fusion – it is so exactly right. Only if “great car design” means long and low and big does the Fusion not meet expectations. But “long and low and big” is a very narrow set of criteria for a product class like cars.
      I wish Ford had seen fit to make 4×4 available for the Fusion. However, that absence doesn´t take from the satisfying correctness and clear individuality of the car. I´d put it with designs like the Honda H-RV, Mondeo 2, Audi A6 (1997) and Ford Fiesta (2002) and Volvo S40 (2004) as great examples of very diligently executed and satisfying designs that stand the test of time and which dodge the easy tropes and fashion-following.

    7. I think Ford did offer 4×4 on the Fusion – in the Brazilian market, where it was given raised suspension and the inevitable plastic cladding, to become the original EcoSport. I’m open to correction on this, though – I never spotted that the original Ka had been stretched in one of its Brazilian variations, so there may have other changes as well…

    8. Hi Richard. I really liked the design of the Fusion and still do. When we were looking for a small automatic hatchback back in 2005, I was very keen on it and we took one for a test drive. Unfortunately, the CVT was a horrible whiney thing, which ruled it out. The Fabia we went on to buy, with its traditional torque converter auto, was infinitely more refined (if rather slow).

    9. The first Mazda 2 was also a tweaked Fusion.
      I always thought the Fiesta on which these cars were based was a fine piece of styling.

    10. I was thinking of the Taunus P7a but the P7b was only a reskin of the previous car. The Consul Classic hade nothing in common with either previous or later cars.

      Also, in my previous post, I’m talking about the Consul, it should of course be the Corsair as being the successor to the Consul Classic. As nobody has pointed this out I gather you understood me correctly anyway.

    11. Hi Ingvar. I’ve edited your earlier post to clear up any confusion. 🙂

    1. Hi gooddog. Thanks for sharing. To quote from the obiturary, the Classic and Capri “…gave British car buyers access to that American Dream over here, but in a package they could … afford to run” It’s a shame nobody first asked British buyers if that was they actually wanted, as clearly, most of them didn’t.

  6. Was under the impression both cars appeared a few years too late and featured styling with large tailfins that quickly fell out of fashion.

    It is interesting to compare the Consul Classic and Consul Capri with the 1960 Ford Cortina and 1960 Ford Corsair prototypes.

    1960 Ford Cortina Prototype Press Photo - England
    1960 Ford Corsair Prototype Press Photo - England

    1. The front of the 1960 Ford Cortina and 1960 Ford Corsair prototypes.
      1960 Ford Cortina Prototype Press Photo - England
      1960 Ford Corsair Prototype Press Photo - England

    2. Hi Bob. Thanks for posting those photos. Both prototypes look a world removed from the Classic, much more in tune with the cleaner 1960’s style. It’s telling that these were designed even before the Classic and Capri were launched.

    3. It is telling. The Classic might have worked out a bit better had they appeared the same time as the Anglia 105E with the styling toned down a bit.

      Prefer the Corsair prototype’s front treatment over the production version, which looks like something it belongs more on the Taunus P4 had it been built in the US during the Cardinal project.

      Focusing on the pre-Kent Anglia 100E. Could Ford UK have benefited from an early collaboration with Ford Germany on the latter’s post-war OHV development of the Ford Sidevalve engine for use in the Anglia 100E in 1000-1200cc OHV form (instead of making do with the 1172cc SV), which ended up being used exclusively by Ford Germany in enlarged 1498-1758cc guises for the Taunus 15M P1 up to the Taunus P3?

    4. The rear of the Cortina prototype is a dead ringer for the ’60 Mercury Comet, an offshoot of the Ford Falcon that was first supposed to be a junior Edsel. As Roy Brown came to England from Edsel I suspect he had a hand involved in that rear?

      I’d also like to add the influence of different generations of the Thunderbird in the Cortina and Corsair, the latter most famuously inspired by the 1961-63 “Bullet Bird”.

  7. Good evening Daniel. Many years ago in national school I recall seeing one of these (the Consul most likely given the numbers) and marvelling at how splendidly exotic it seemed with its double tail lights and fins.
    It was many more years until I discovered what model it was.

  8. They’re unusual cars, in all sorts of ways – Ford didn’t go to town on the tooling for them, because they had the Cortina and Corsair in the pipeline, which makes you wonder why they bothered. Some of them did feature Ford badges, by the way – just down at the bottom of the front wing.

    If you look closely and use full screen mode, you can see the Ford badge on Harold Wilson’s car:

    https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/video/mr-harold-wilson-interview-england-london-dulwich-12-news-footage/1184463779?adppopup=true

    I like them, because they’re a bit bonkers. The designer, Colin Neale, developed a concept (the ‘Firefly’) which triggered the development of the Mustang.

    1. Hi Charles, thanks for the video. Did nobody wash cars back then? Harold Wilson’s Classic is filthy! You’re right about the small Ford oval on the lower front wing. Looking through Google images, it seems only to have been fitted on a small minority of cars (including some Anglias). I wonder why Ford was so reticent about using it in that period?

      Actually, I remember when the Cortina Mk4 was launched in 1976, Ford made a fuss about the return of the oval badge to the front grille. (At the same time, the Mk2 Escort was updated to match and the new Fiesta featured it from launch.)

    2. To a certain generation, the ‘Blue Oval’ badge spoke of side valve engines and transverse leaf springs – I was surprised when they brought it back.

    3. Good point, Mervyn. Perhaps they thought they had ‘rested’ the Blue Oval for long enough by the late 1970’s for those associations to have been forgotten?

  9. I’m ashamed to say that I’d be very tempted to get either a Classic or Capri version and turn it in to a Batmobile. I actually think I’d go with the 4-door.

    The Classic and Capri are a bit like the Lincoln Futura – the basis for the Batmobile – in that they could benefit from a bit of customisation – wider wheels, etc, to balance out the heavy styling.

  10. I do recall seeing these occasionally as a child, including the Capri because I remembered that there was an earlier Capri when the new one appeared in 1969, but I can’t remember them ever being commonplace. Mind you, cars those days tended to have quite short lives before they succumbed to rust.
    Ford must have still thought there was a market for a slightly larger family car above the Cortina, but developing it as part of the same programme was more rational. The front and rear prototype Corsairs look to be different versions; note the script on the rear pillar and the waist level chrome trim of the front view isn’t there on the one viewed from the rear. That one appears to have a pointed front similar to the production car. Personally I’m glad they went with that rather than the ‘flat’ front.
    There was another new car in 1961 that missed the boat stylistically: the Hillman Super Minx. As with the Classic it would have looked fine as a new introduction in 1959, but for the 1962 Model Year?

    1. Get the impression both Ford and Rootes had some awareness of what became the 2-litre Compact Executive segment prior to it being occupied by the Rover P6 and Triumph 2000/2500, unfortunately for both Ford and Rootes their efforts with the Corsair and Super Minx were badly executed.

      It is interesting to compare the Corsair with the Capri as while both were derived from the Cortina, the Capri had the benefit of suitable styling and a wide choice of engines (including the 2-litre Pinto and V6s) unlike the Corsair whose larger engines were the ill-suited 1.7-2.0 Essex V4s with no Corsair V6 model (despite a few Crayford V6 conversions).

      1966 Ford Corsair Crayford V6 Convertible

      Along with the V6s (with the Zodiac/Zephyr receiving larger engines – seem to recall reading about plans for a Windsor V8 version). The Ford Corsair really needed a suitable 1.6-2.0-litre inline-4 engine from the early-60s, whether an updated enlarged version of the Zephyr 4/6-cylinder or ideally an enlarged half-relation to the Kent based on the tuned 1.6-litre+ Kent/Crossflow engines (including the 1.6-2.0 Cosworth BDA family).

      https://www.classic-ford.org/cfp/tm.aspx?m=74082

      As for the Super Minx, an unsuccessful attempt was made to fit a Chrysler V8 into the Humber Sceptre. The only other engines that Rootes was said to have seriously considered when looking at ways of increasing the performance of the Sunbeam Alpine (with the Super Minx being a potential beneficiary), were a 2-litre 4-cylinder version of the Armstrong Siddeley* derived 3-litre (2965cc) 6-cylinder in the Humber Super Snipe and codenamed H2L (briefly mentioned in Brian Long’s book on the Daimler SP250 V8) as well as an internal memo asking if the 1725cc engine could be enlarged to about 1.9-litres** that was in reality not possible on the existing production line tools (mentioned in Graham Robson’s book on the Sunbeam Alpine and Tiger).

      Click to access 1981_December_OldMotor_V8Story.PDF

      *- Essentially a redesigned OHV version of an experimental Twin-Cam Straight-6 prototype engine W.O. Bentley designed for Armstrong Siddeley after he left Aston Martin, which prior to its OHV redesign was pretty much a copy of his own Lagonda Straight-6 engine.

      Also consider that the 120 hp 2290cc 4-cylinder in the Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire 234 was part of the same family as the Armstrong Siddeley Straight-6s and said to be capable of being tuned up to around 150-180 hp.

      **- Such displacements was soon realised by Isuzu whose 1.3-1.95-litre G engine (via the earlier GH/GL units) was said to be related from the Minx OHV to some extent yet with the benefit of new production line tooling, prior to evolving into the 1.6-2.0 Z engines as well as the 1.8-2-litre C/DL/F diesels.

  11. Good morning Bernard. I think youre right. There was a rapid stylistic revolution from 1959 to 1961 led by the US and Ford (and Hillman) got caught out by it, launching late 1950’s style cars in the early 1960’s.

  12. Some of the blame for the early attrition of Classics and Capris must fall on the popularity of those disc-braked struts and the five-bearing 1500 engine to create Anglia 1500GTs, a conversion so ubiquitous that many believed it was an official Ford product.

    That iconic ‘GT’ shield arrived with the Capri, but – thankfully for owners – not in an easily transferable form:

  13. Takes me back. The Classic was a bit of a stinker to look at, all right, and the 335 Coupe was blech squared.

    Our family had an early Anglebox shortly after we moved to Canada in summer 1959 and Mum learned to drive. Compared it to the Dauphine and Beetle which were lent to Dad over successive weekends. No contest whatsoever. It drove properly and it would scoot. Mum’s speed exploits were why I got ribbed by other kids in the Regional High School and even into uni. She was always a bit of a natural, and one of the best drivers I’ve ever encountered. Compared to the VW and Renault and the Mini, the Anglia actually had a real boot as well, so was practical. I’ll also say, Daniel, that the reverse rear window you seem so hung up on never got plugged up with snow in winter or obscured by rain when it teemed, and so far as we kids were concerned, it kept the sun off our bonces in summer down here at the 45th parallel. Fine little car for the times. And there’s a nice blue one still tootling around here in summer whose home I have so far failed to discover. Got my driver’s licence in Mum’s 1960 Anglia in 1964, so would like to have a good look at the survivor for old times’ sake. Also, the full size Mercury cars (upmarket Fords) for the 1963 model year had the reverse rear window without looking weird.

    On the other hand, when the Consul Classic 315 had appeared a year earlier, it seemed to have been hit with the ugly stick, and was laughed at by one and all over here. The side treatment was lifted off the 1960 Ford (not the ’59) in an amateurish way because the ’60 Ford was pretty handsome in the flesh, yet the Classic was an ungainly narrow tall ill-proportioned little brute that nobody wanted. It was like a cartoon of what the Brits thought Yankee cars looked like. There is nothing more to say about that aspect of it. As the baseball fans say, it was a swing and a complete miss. No wonder there’s a car club for it; it’s zany enough to attract a following.

    Hadn’t heard about dodgy 1340cc crankshafts, probably caused by short conrods due to the longer stroke compared to the 997, but like you wondered why the car was so heavy. Where was the extra weight located exactly? It is a mystery, perhaps down to Pressed Steel who made all the bodies in white. Ford UK then saw fit a short while afterwards to send us in Canada the new 1200cc Cortinas with dodgy intake valves that burnt. Drove our Ford dealer nuts. Met a Ford rep at a marine engine show in August 1963, and he muttered darkly that Ford was fed up with UK unions, poor work ethic and “sabotage” when questioned on the Cortina valve fiasco. Who knows really what caused the problem? It didn’t seem to be incorrect valve lash clearances. Just one of the things that by the mid ’70s had Ford Cologne in charge of Ford of Europe.

    As for the Corsair, Ford kept that one home and spared us the styling alarm here in the colonies. The front looked like yet another Brit take on US styling, sort of reminiscent of the handsome ’61 Ford Thunderbird if you squinted hard enough from the right angle, but the flanks were too deep proportionately, and the narrow track was offputting, making it look spindly. The car was too short and narrow for its styling, simply put. Saw enough of them when I spent ’69 to ’74 in London. Had a ride in a 2000E, and the V4 didn’t make too much of a fuss at low revs, otherwise, blah. The original Cortina GT with the five main bearing crank was my favourite of the Kent engines, the later 1600 crossflow noticeably harsher in my view. Never did much cotton on to the the crossflow Heron head versions except for the 1300, and the handsome Mk II Cortina was an aerodynamic brick as it turned out, and a rustbucket. It had a habit over here of pushing its struts up through the bonnet when the top mounts rusted away and a big pothole was encountered. Brought things to a halt in a hurry that did — among others, it happened to my mother’s best friend, an expat English lady who owned and ran an upscale tourist hotel.

    Memories.

  14. A Ford promotional film, based around a holiday in Greece. Features two- and four-door Classic models, and what looks like Valerie Singleton.

    1. That’s a lovely period piece. It makes the Classic look almost glamorous! Thanks for posting, Charles

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