Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oakland Street Sighting - 1967 Ford Cortina Mk II

I like to network sometimes with other car spotters. Bill Stengel of The Street Peep clued me in to a collector of British Fords he once found in the Bay Area, but couldn't remember whether they were in Berkeley or Oakland. Well, they turned out to be in Oakland and I found them quite by coincidence. Someone has no fewer than four Cortinas and an Anglia 105E similar to the infamous flying car from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. This one is the four-door sedan, though you can also see a wagon (or estate) parked on the lawn in a few of the pictures. Oh, the joys of not having a homeowner's association!

The Ford Cortina Mk II is a tidy enough little package, a car for buyers who wanted something smaller, more fuel-efficient and less generic than a Falcon, which by 1967 had evolved into a car that somehow managed to look sporty and boring at the same time. The Cortina could pull off the same trick, more or less. The Cortina GT and 1600E were decent little cars, and could maybe be rightfully called sleepers. At the very least the Lotus Cortinas could. The basic Cortina was not a terribly exciting package, with its plainly detailed body, small wheels with hubcaps and double-digit-horsepower 1.6 liter engine. This red one appears about as box-stock as they came. The only nod to sporting pretense is the blacked-out grille, which is factory.

The condition of this little Ford is to be expected of a British economy car that lives outdoors. The red paint - always vulnerable to California sunshine - is done. It's baked down to the primer and almost looks like it's been run through a few thousand gas station automatic car washes. Despite the extreme paint wear, the body still looks pretty good except for one place: the right front fender. It seems like all Fords of this vintage trap water in the bottom of the fender or the front bottom corner of the door and rust out. On this one it was the fender. It could probably be patched or welded up by a skilled body man. The '67 is the cleanest-looking of all Mk II US Cortinas with its lack of extra side markers or restyled indicators, and in my opinion the best-looking. Only a little over 16,000 Cortinas found U.S. owners in 1967, and most have disappeared, so this is a rare car in any condition. Good luck tracking down another in your neck of the woods; I know where I can find at least a few more.

2 comments:

  1. The guy who owns these is a Libertarian nutjob. The prices he wants for his cars, all of which require complete restoration, are outrageous. We took a spin in an restored Lotus Cortina. At a gas station, somebody asked what it was. He told him and said it was for sale. When he asked how much he said "$10,000." The guy was flabbergasted, could not believe it and thought it was ridiculous. So did I.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok maybe not *all* of his cars are outrageously priced. He's asking $1650 for this: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cto/5020911396.html

    ReplyDelete