Who designed the original Ford Cortina?

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

The Ford Cortina is a compact family car that became an icon of the British roads during the 1960s and 1970s. It was originally launched in 1962 and went through several iterations until it was finally discontinued in 1982. But who was responsible for designing this beloved classic? The original Ford Cortina was created by Roy Haynes, a highly talented and influential automotive designer.

Born in 1923, Haynes had a keen interest in engineering and design from a young age. He studied at the Coventry College of Art and joined the design department of the Rootes Group after his graduation. During his time at Rootes, Haynes worked on various projects, including designing the bodywork for the Sunbeam Alpine sports car.

In 1956, Haynes was headhunted by Ford, where he would leave a significant mark on the company’s design department. One of his most notable creations was the Ford Consul Cortina, which was later renamed simply the Ford Cortina. Haynes, along with his design team, took on the challenge of creating a car that would be suitable for the British middle-class market.

The design process for the Cortina was not without its difficulties. The team had to work within a limited budget and timeframe while also ensuring that the car would be stylish, practical, and affordable. Haynes’ approach was to focus on simplicity and functionality, which resulted in a car that resonated with the British public.

The first-generation Cortina, also known as the Mark 1, was introduced in 1962. It featured clean lines, a spacious interior, and a vast array of engine options to suit different customer needs. The success of the Mark 1 Cortina led to subsequent iterations and updates, including the Mark 2, Mark 3, and Mark 4.

Haynes continued to contribute to Ford’s design portfolio beyond the Cortina. He played a significant role in designing other beloved models, such as the Ford Capri, Taunus, and Granada. His ability to create cars that appealed to a wide range of customers helped solidify Ford’s position as a leading automotive manufacturer.

Roy Haynes’ impact on the automotive industry extended beyond his work at Ford. He was also involved in several independent design projects and contributed to the Bristol car company’s portfolio. His passion for design and innovation is reflected in his body of work, which spans over four decades.

Today, the Ford Cortina remains a symbol of British motoring history and nostalgia for many. Its timeless design and widespread popularity can be attributed, in large part, to Roy Haynes. His ability to create a practical and visually appealing family car that captured the spirit of the time is why the original Ford Cortina holds such a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

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