From 1962-1982 the Ford Cortina was a mid-sized family car built by Ford of Britain and was produced in five generations, Mark I through to Mark V.
In New Zealand the Cortina range generally followed that of Britain and assembly ran from Ford’s Lower Hut (seaview) plant, 37-45 Seaview Road and Cortina range was produced there from 1962 to 1983. The Seaview plant opened in 1936 and closed in 1988 where it made some of the best Ford cars to date.
All flavours of the Cortina sold over one million, with each successive model proving more popular than its predecessor. The Ford Cortina had a long and healthy life but was eventually replaced with the Ford Telstar and the Ford Sierra. The name Cortina was inspired by the name of the Italian ski resort, Cortina d’Ampezzo.
- Cortina Mark I (1962 – 1966)
- Cortina Mark II (1966 – 1970)
- Cortina Mark III (1970 – 1976)
- Cortina Mark IV (1976 – 1979)
- Cortina Mark V (1979 – 1982)
The Ford Cortina is a large family car built by Ford of Britain in various guises from 1962 to 1982.
The Cortina was Ford’s mass-market compact car and sold extremely well, making it very common on British roads. It was also Britain’s best-selling car of the 1970s. It was eventually replaced in 1982 by the Ford Sierra. In other markets, particularly Asia and Australasia, it was replaced by the Mazda 626-based Ford Telstar, though Ford New Zealand did import British-made CKD kits of the Ford Sierra estate for local assembly from 1984.
The Cortina was produced in five generations (Mark I through to Mark V, although officially the last one was called the Cortina 80) from 1962 until 1982. From 1970 onward, it was almost identical to the German-market Ford Taunus (being built on the same platform) which was originally a different car model. This was part of a Ford attempt to unify its European operations. By 1976, when the revised Taunus was launched, the Cortina was identical. In fact, this new Taunus–Cortina used the doors and some panels from the 1970 Taunus.
All variants of the Cortina sold over one million, with each successive model proving more popular than its predecessor. Such was its fame in the UK that the BBC Two documentary series Arena once devoted an edition to the car and its enthusiasts.
The model’s name was inspired by the name of the Italian ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo, site of the 1956 Winter Olympics. As a publicity stunt, several Cortinas were driven down the bobsled run at the resort which was called Cortina Auto-Bobbing.