[European Classics] Ford Cortina

Cortina isn't a familiar name for the usual american Ford fans, but it's been one of the most successful car in the brand's history. Named British best-selling car in the 1970's, it's the predecessor of the Sierra, already addressed in a previous article. Introduced in 1962, the car was named from an Italian ski resort, site of the 1956 Winter Olympics. Even more, a few Cortinas were used as bobsleighs for some publicity. Since we're focusing on diecasts, we'll present the second and the last generation.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, origin of the name.

Second generation : Cortina Mark II
Introduced in 1966 after a brilliant 4 years of career, the second generation of Cortina was way more square and classy. Offered as a 2,4,5 doors saloon and a convertible, the Mark II was named 1967's Britain most popular new car. The Cortina 1600E remains famous, being used in rallies and various races. Lotus also developed it own version called the Lotus Cortina. Compared to the american Falcon (same size offer in USA), in my humble opinion, it was definitly more modern.

Matchbox Lesney Ford Cortina #25D

Introduced in 1968 in the regular Lesney lineup, this Cortina is one of the classiest Lesney you can find. Under the number 25D, it first appeared in a pale cooper color. It adopted Superfast wheels in 1970, but soon disappeared from the line-up, making the transitional ones quite expensive. A mint condition one with the box can get up to 50$ nowadays... making me a really lucky guy to have one. Found in a flea market a few years ago, it's definitly a masterpiece of my transitionals collection. Take a look at those perfectly reproduced lines, with the intact trailer hitch. This one shines on my nearest shelf :D

  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 8/10
  • Color : 9/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  9/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 9/10
  • Total : 44/50

Fifth generation : Cortina Mark V

Holding the Britain's best selling car title since 1972, the Cortina's last generation was introduced in 1979. It was mainly a huge restyling of the IV rather than a brand new car. Way bigger than the first generations, it featured a more flat and luxuous style, quite typical of the first 80's european cars. Engine offering also received a slight boost, peaking at 116 bhp. Also known as the Ford Taunus, it was virtually unbeatable in selling, even if the competition was becoming better and better (just think about the VW Passat, Opel Ascona etc.) The Cortina lost its title in 1982, last year of production of the car, being replaced by the Escort on the sales top.

Matchbox Superfast Ford Cortina

The 1979's Matchbox Superfast Cortina's replica is quite one of the most populars around. Mostly known in its pale green tint, a few Cortinas were produced with different colors for the Bulgarian market. It's been in the line-up from 1979 to 1982, just like the real car. Again, i'm really lucky to have a Bulgarian pale cooper one, this time with an almost mint box. It's quite a masterpiece, reproducing a lot of details from the real, and again featuring a trailer hitch just like the first one. Unfortunately, mine doesn't roll so well, so it's better exposed!

  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 8/10
  • Color : 8/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  9/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 42/50

Sorry for the lack of posts past months, i've been quite busy! Enjoy this one :)

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