Were there any racing versions or special editions of the Ford Cortina?

Ford Cortina Mk2
© Wiscan | Dreamstime.com - Ford Cortina MkII 1600E

The Ford Cortina, an iconic British family sedan, enjoyed a long and successful production run from 1962 to 1982. Throughout its history, the Cortina was known for its reliability, affordability, and practicality. It was an immensely popular vehicle, loved by families, young professionals, and even law enforcement agencies. However, despite its reputation as a reliable daily driver, many people may not be aware that the Ford Cortina also had a racing pedigree.

In fact, there were several racing versions and special editions of the Ford Cortina that were specifically developed to compete in motorsport events. These models were enhanced for improved performance, handling, and overall speed, making them highly sought after among car enthusiasts and collectors.

One of the earliest racing versions of the Cortina was the Lotus Cortina. This collaboration between Ford and the famous British car manufacturer Lotus was born out of a desire to create a more potent and exhilarating version of the Cortina. Introduced in 1963, the Lotus Cortina packed a 1.6-liter twin-cam engine and various performance upgrades, including revised suspension, steering, and brakes. With its lightweight design and formidable powertrain, the Lotus Cortina quickly became a dominant force in touring car racing.

The Lotus Cortina’s success on the track led to the development of subsequent racing versions of the Cortina. In 1966, Ford introduced the Cortina GT, a more affordable alternative to the Lotus Cortina. While it didn’t feature the same level of performance as its Lotus sibling, the Cortina GT still boasted improved handling and a more aggressive appearance.

Another noteworthy variant was the Ford Cortina Savage, which was produced in limited numbers from 1971 to 1973. The Cortina Savage was an aggressive-looking saloon with a 2.0-liter V6 engine, producing an impressive 138 horsepower. It featured performance enhancements such as a limited-slip differential, upgraded suspension, and wider wheels. The Cortina Savage was aimed at enthusiasts who wanted a faster and more luxurious driving experience.

Furthermore, there were various other racing versions of the Cortina, such as the Lotus Cortina Mk2, Cortina-Lotus Twin-Cam, and the Cortina GT500. Each of these models had its own unique features and enhancements, making them highly desirable among racing enthusiasts.

While the Cortina’s racing versions and special editions were primarily designed for motorsport, they also had a significant influence on the performance car industry. These vehicles showcased Ford’s commitment to performance and innovation, and their success on the track helped solidify the Cortina’s reputation as a reliable and capable car.

Today, racing versions and special editions of the Ford Cortina are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. Their rarity, performance enhancements, and racing heritage make them valuable pieces of automotive history. Whether it’s the iconic Lotus Cortina or the more affordable Cortina GT, these special editions are a testament to the Cortina’s enduring legacy in both racing and everyday driving.

In conclusion, the Ford Cortina had an illustrious racing history, with various racing versions and special editions developed for motorsport. These vehicles showcased Ford’s commitment to performance and were highly sought after by car enthusiasts. The legacy of the Cortina’s racing heritage remains significant to this day, as it continues to captivate the hearts of collectors and automotive aficionados all over the world.

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