Ford Work began on the third-generation Cortina, known as the Mark III, in the late 1960s. After Ford of Britain and Ford of Germany merged to form the current Ford of Europe, the company built the Mark III in larger quantities than before.
The car’s internal designation, TC1, which stands for Taunus-Cortina, shows how the German Taunus and British Cortina platforms came together with very minor variations. It was also Harley Copp’s last project as Vice President of Engineering and Executive of Brentwood before moving to Detroit.
The introduction of the Cortina in 1970 marked a turning point for the blue-oval brand in Europe. It introduced new engines and technology and influenced the popular Coca-Cola bottle design in the United States.
In order to meet all market demands, Ford offered it in early 1972 as a coupe, four-door sedan and station wagon. Until the Escort caught up with him in 1976, it was the best-selling car in Britain.
Let’s look back at the 1975 Ford Cortina
A Brief History of the Generations Before the Ford Cortina 1970-1976
Originally called the Ford Consul 325, but then renamed Cortina after the Italian ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Ford’s goal was for the vehicle to become a low-cost car in the UK. Notably, Ford produced the Ford Cortina between 1962 and 1982.
Ford produced the first Mark 1 model in the UK in 1962 at Ford’s Dagenham plant. The car was launched in September 1962, aimed at the family market, and debuted at the London Motor Show in October 1962.
The Mark I was initially available with a 1.2- or 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine, as a 2- or 4-door sedan or as a 4-door station wagon. The entry-level model cost £639 ($760).
The Cortina Mark I, especially the engine, was regularly improved by Ford. The regular 1.2-litre engine proved to be a struggle to keep up with the miles traveled by British itinerant salesmen, so Ford created variations of the Cortina Super in response.
The Super had a 1499 cc 5-bearing engine and Ford released several improved variants. There was also the powerful Lotus-Cortina (which was available in Mark I and Mark II versions).
In 1966 it was time for a new Cortina model. The Mark II was marketed with the slogan “New Cortina is more Cortina”, offering more interior space and other ride improvements. This car achieved its goal of becoming the most popular new car in Britain in 1967.
The 1975 Ford Cortina had a sporty exterior look
The square shape of the Cortina MKII was gone and the European Taunus model inspired the new style. The curved lines on the front and rear fenders gave the car a more muscular appearance.
It was no longer than its predecessor, but had a longer wheelbase and was 100mm (4″) wider. The rear window was more slanted than before, giving it a more sporty appearance.
But it wasn’t just a more athletic appearance. Ford has updated the interior with a new dashboard and a raised instrument panel.
The dials were either panel mounted or scooped down in a binocular design, depending on engine size and trim level. In addition to the speedometer, tachometer and clock, the carmaker installed a panel on the center console with additional meters. Due to the longer wheelbase, the interior space was more than sufficient.
The Ford Cortina was a breath of fresh air for buyers
There was no Lotus derivative; instead, the sweeping new design hid a new family of “Pinto” overhead cam engines, the largest of which was a 98-horsepower 2.0-liter that promised a top speed of over 100 mph. Wishbone front suspension and coil spring rear suspension were two other improvements.
The Cortina Mk III had a distinctive appearance as it shared its chassis with a brand new Ford model from Germany, the Taunus. As expected, two- and four-door saloons and estate cars had four engines and five trim/equipment packages.
Ford offered a wide variety of factory-installed choices and extras at the time, including automatic transmissions and laminated or radial tires.
Ford downsized the Mk III range in the early 1970s and a new Ford automatic transmission, the C3, was introduced in 1972. Then Ford updated the design in October 1973 with new, smaller “Pinto” engines, a revised grille style, and a redesigned fascia. At the same time, the top class 2000E was also added.
The Cortina was always a best-seller, made even more attractive in October 1975 by Ford’s “Value for Money” equipment upgrade package, despite British inflation making it difficult to keep prices low.
Later, in February 1976, Ford has released a new “economy” Cortina 1300 to meet regulatory requirements for fuel economy after the energy crisis. The Mk III was the best-selling Cortina model until the summer of 1976.