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 The rivals: Ford Cortina

 

The Ford Cortina was launched in September 1962, just a month after the Morris 1100. BMC were going for the maximum space in a small family saloon but Ford decided to stick to the tried and tested formula of the very popular Anglia 105E with an overhead valve engine, four speed gearbox, MacPherson strut front suspension and recirculating ball steering. Of course the 1100 on the other hand boasted the then revolutionary Hydrolastic suspension. Both the Cortina and the 1100 were available in 2 or 4 door saloons.

Many people wonder why BMC were worried about the Ford Cortina, and why it was classed as a rival, perhaps the biggest reason was what Ford fitted under the bonnet. Up until January 1963 the Cortina was fitted with an 1198cc engine. Then for a cost of £84 you could have had an optional extra of a 1498cc. The 1100 was only fitted with the 1098cc engine, and with the Extra power under the Cortina's bonnet BMC thought they'd loose out.

It is important however to remember that the "family" car BMC were producing was smaller than the Cortina. Not only the length, but the height and the width. Therefore the car was easier to park, and there was less to wash! BMC also had got themselves a winner in the leg room department, the 1100 boasted more front and rear passenger leg room.

Also launched in January 1963 was the 1500 Super that was immediately identified by the chrome tapered strips along the side flutes. Later in the same month came the GT launch. The 1500 engine under the bonnet of this sports Cortina was fitted with twin choke Webber carburettor, disc brakes on the front wheels, remote gear change and modified suspension. March 1963 saw the Estate car added to the range, the 1200 deluxe and the 1500 super , the latter being identified by the American style mock wood panelling on the sides and tailgate. 'Woody' panelling was available only as an optional extra on the 1200 models. Ford again had added, a sporty model to range, and not forgetting a versatile estate car. Both of which would come along later in the BMC 1100 range, but its because of the speed Ford could get their range moving. Despite this BMC knew that the Ford's were "gas guzzlers" and the 1100 gave better fuel consumption touring, and overall.

The final model launched to complete the range was the 'Lotus modified Cortina'. However by this time BMC had launched the MG version of the 1100, and the Austin version was on its way. While Ford had claimed the "Bank Mangers", BMC had a ball in every court, and a model to suite everyone's motoring needs.

19 Selling features of the 1100 over the Ford Cortina:

 

Four doors standard.

 

Price over two-door.

 

Price over four-door.

 

Front-wheel drive.

 

Hydrolastic Suspension - Front.

 

Hydrolastic Suspension - Rear.

 

Rack-and-pinion steering.

 

No. of turns lock to lock.

 

Oil filter warning light.

 

Parcel accommodation below rear seat.

 

Map pockets.

 

Two ashtrays front (Austin); illuminated ashtray (Morris).

 

Overall length shorter.

 

Overall height lower.

 

Overall width less.

 

Leg room front greater.

 

Leg room rear greater.

 

Fuel consumption - Touring.

 

Fuel consumption - Overall.


The traditional Ford three box design is used on the Cortina. Later models would appear to be more box like and longer


Information on this page compiled by Michael Turner, With extracts of information from Tony Brown, Who happens to own an excellent Ford Cortina website - http://www.fordcortina.co.uk - well worth a visit!

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