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Published 08 August 2012

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The Ford Cortina

The Ford Cortina

Goodwood will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ever-popular Ford Cortina at this year’s Revival (14-16 September) with a display of the original Mark I models, proudly lined-up outside the RAC Earls Court exhibition site.

Throughout the 1960s the Cortina competed with BMC’s Austin Morris 1100/1300 range (also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) to win our affections and become Britain’s best-selling car.  BMC won the sales battle in the 1960s, but during the ‘70s and beyond, the Cortina went on to become the Nation’s favourite car, right up until the model’s demise in 1982, when it was replaced by the modern `jelly mould’ Sierra.

In all, the five generations of Cortina sold over one million examples, with each successive model proving more popular than its predecessor.  Today though the Mark I is arguably the most fondly remembered and sought-after Cortina model, especially in its exciting Lotus guise, many of which successfully raced at Goodwood in the 1960s.  An example of the distinctive white and green Lotus Cortina Mark I will be displayed at the Revival, along with a scarce Crayford Convertible, Goodwood’s ‘Glamcabs’, and more commonplace 4-door and Estate models.  Look out too for a stunning recreation of the stillborn Saxon coupe derivate.

Incidentally, the Ford’s model name was inspired by the Italian ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the location of the 1956 Winter Olympics.  As a publicity stunt, Ford drove several Cortinas down the bobsled run at the resort, a practice that became known as Cortina Auto-Bobbing!

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