The Ford Cortina was a mainstay of British highways for two decades and its charms have only increased in the years since production ceased.
The Cortina was originally introduced in 1962 and would go on to shift more than a million units per generation. Unlike some cars it actually became more of a sales hit with each subsequent generation, allowing it to peak during the 1970s.
The Mark I Cortina was essentially introduced in order to allow Ford to create a post-war family car which was large enough to fit multiple passengers and would be affordable enough to ensure that it would be a big seller.
The Cortina set out to leech customers away from rival firms like Morris and Vauxhall and it did so with impressive results, thanks largely to the fact that its design was seen as very eye-catching and unique without being attached to an extortionate price tag.
For the first two years on sale the Cortina was sold with the Consul prefix, although this was dropped when the Cortina brand became as strong as it did.
The Cortina was sold with either a 1.2 litre or a 1.5 litre engine onboard and could be purchased as a two or four door saloon, with a five door estate model also added to the range.
The Mark II Cortina was released in 1966 and it features an overhauled design completed by Roy Haynes. He managed to give passengers more room inside the car without making it excessively bulky, which meant that it was even more practical and comfortable than before.
By 1967 the Mark II Cortina had become the UK's bestselling car, which meant that Ford had finally been able to succeed in a very competitive market place.
The Mark III Cortina was rolled out in 1970 and was built in the highest volumes yet, this time with a design which was more closely associated with American automobiles than European ones.
Bigger engines, more space and a domineering presence on the road meant that these Dagenham-built Cortinas were as popular as ever.
Six years later saw the arrival of the Mark IV Cortina and this time the exterior design had actually been reigned in somewhat. This new model shared many of the components with its predecessor, although with bigger windows and the promise of a better view it definitely felt like a different car in which to ride.
The last hurrah of the Cortina arrived in 1979 when the Mark V was made available. Improved engines with better fuel economy combined with a number of aesthetic touches meant that the Cortina remained a hit.
However, the Cortina's dominance of the market in the UK could not go on forever and indeed it was in 1982 that the car ceased to be the nation's best selling car. Luckily for ford it was outpaced by its own Escort, which meant that is was an appropriate time to end the Cortina's production run.
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