Arguably the finest remaining 1963 Ford Cortina, that’s travelled an average of one mile-a-day in its 53 years, will be up for auction this month.
The early, immaculate and very original example of the 1500 GT model will be one of the stars of the Historics at Brooklands major classic car auction near Weybridge on Saturday, August 20.
Fitted with a tuned 1,498cc engine, the 1500 GT was the top specification model of the day, its 78bhp sufficient to propel the four-door to 95mph, with a 0-60 acceleration time of just 14 seconds - leaving the Morris Oxford of the day some five seconds in its wake.
Despite its performance, when it appeared in the Ford showroom at a princely £748, this Cortina would have played second fiddle on the attention stakes to the fleet of Mk Is that starred in the saucy Carry on Cabby film that screened at the time, helping to secure valuable awareness for Ford's new model. However, since it was first registered on July 4, 1963, the fastidious care and obsessive attention paid to it by its two owners - the last acquiring the car 27 years ago - makes this 19,244 warranted mile car arguably the finest and most original Mk I Cortina remaining today.
This multiple concours winner, ARE 163A, features superb Goodwood Green coachwork, and the interior is as-new. The dashboard, featuring the early strip speedometer and pod-mounted rev counter, has no age-related blemishes and the seating, trim and and original carpets are unmarked. Interested parties should note that the car is currently fitted with a period Les Leston Grand Prix steering wheel, and that the original is sold with the car. The scene under-bonnet is delightful and exactly as it should be, and ditto beneath the car, where the condition is as fine as topside, with the jack and tools - spotless and polished - all present and correct.
The garage owner who has conducted the majority of the MoT tests has re-affirmed the car's magnificent condition, adding that he recalled a time when the previous owner refused to drive the car home after the test as it was raining, choosing to walk instead. He collected the car three days later when the roads were dry.
Very substantial interest at the estimate of £24,000-£28,000 is anticipated in acquiring this fine Ford in time-warp condition.
More information is available at www.historics.co.uk