Originally destined to be another Ford Consul, the Cortina tag was added on the car’s launch in 1962 to give British motorists a taste of European glamour. For a short time it was the Ford Consul Cortina before simply known as the Ford Cortina. The Cortina was Ford of Britain’s mainstay for years, competing in the mid-sized sector. Mk II models followed in 1966 with squared-off styling, while big-looking, coke-bottle Mk III, with its two-litre engine option, redeﬁned what Britons thought ‘mid-sized’ was. Around this time, the Cortina overtook the BLMC ADO 11 (Morris 1100 et al) as Britain’s best-seller. The Mk IV, a heavily revised model on the Mk III platform, was essentially twinned with the German Ford Taunus, and followed that model’s changes with the Cortina 80 (known to many as the Mk V).
However, the Cortina was not just a British success story. The cars wound up in service in many parts of the Commonwealth, including New Zealand, where it was regularly in the top sellers. In Hong Kong, Cortina police cars were used. In South Africa, 2·5- and 3-litre engines were offered, while in Australia, Cortinas even came with massive 3·3- and 4·1-litre options.
It was also assembled by Hyundai of Korea as it developed its own cars, as well as by numerous other plants (in Ireland, Philippines, Taiwan, New Zealand).
q.v. Ford Taunus
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