The Ford Cortina, an iconic family car that gained immense popularity during its production years, boasted several trim levels and variants that captured the attention of car enthusiasts worldwide. From its introduction in 1962 to its final model in 1982, the Cortina experienced multiple upgrades and facelifts, each offering unique features and specifications.
1. Cortina GT: Introduced in 1963, the Cortina GT was the first sporty variant of the model. Equipped with a more powerful 1.5-liter engine and a revised suspension system, it became an instant hit among driving enthusiasts. The GT also featured distinct badging, larger wheels, and a more aggressive exterior design, setting it apart from the standard Cortina.
2. Lotus Cortina: Arguably the most iconic variant of the Cortina, the Lotus version was a collaboration between Ford and the legendary British sports car manufacturer, Lotus. Launched in 1963, this high-performance variant featured an enhanced 1.6-liter Lotus engine, sporty suspension, and numerous weight-saving modifications. The Lotus Cortina achieved great success on the racetrack, earning its reputation as a formidable competitor in motorsports.
3. Cortina Savage: With a desire to broaden the appeal of the Cortina and cater to different market segments, Ford introduced the Cortina Savage in 1968. Developed in association with the racecar engineer Harry Firth, this performance-oriented variant featured a 1.6-liter engine with an aggressive camshaft, a stiffer suspension setup, wider wheels, and a unique black vinyl roof. The Cortina Savage offered a thrilling driving experience while maintaining the practicality of a family car.
4. Cortina Ghia: In response to the demand for more luxurious options, Ford introduced the Cortina Ghia in 1972. This variant emphasized comfort and refinement with a higher level of interior trim, additional chrome accents, and improved sound insulation. The Ghia variant appealed to buyers seeking a more upscale experience without compromising the Cortina’s practicality and reliability.
5. Cortina 1600E: Just as other automakers were launching executive-style models during the 1970s, Ford introduced the Cortina 1600E in 1967. This sophisticated variant featured a more refined interior with wood veneer dashboard inserts, reclining seats, thicker carpeting, and additional convenience features. The 1600E struck a perfect balance between performance and style, turning heads on the road with its sharp aesthetics and enhanced driving experience.
6. Cortina Crusader: As the Cortina approached the end of its production life in 1982, Ford released the special edition Cortina Crusader. Aimed at commemorating the Cortina’s successful run, this variant featured unique graphics, alloy wheels, and distinct trim details. The Crusader offered nostalgia for enthusiasts and collectors, embracing the Cortina’s heritage and marking the end of an automotive era.
The Ford Cortina’s diverse lineup of trim levels and variants ensured there was a model to suit various preferences and requirements. Whether it was the raw power of the Lotus Cortina, the elegance of the Ghia, or the sporty appeal of the GT, the Cortina remains an iconic car that continues to captivate classic car enthusiasts today.