First Registered: 02.04.1973
VIN Chassis No.: BABFNU31892
This is a fine example of an early Mark 3 Cortina. Early editions featured a characteristic sloping dashboard givng the early ones more of a muscle-car look and feel.
The rare early Mark III Kent OHV engines, with the black rocker cover, preceded the Pinto update. This one has an absolute belter of an engine, the tappets having been recently reset – you just can’t fault it. The four-speed manual gearbox is the typical reliable and robust Ford gearbox – precise and smooth gear changes, and being a 4-speed, it’s quite a long-legged car. Needless to say, the engine bay is just as spotless as the rest of the car.
The striking red bodywork is well-nigh flawless, and the chrome trim and bumpers are also in excellent order. The arches and sills are sharp and solid all round, and the photographs, such as of the bonnet edge, show just well the exterior of this rare car has been looked after.
Inside, the upholstery is in very good condition, with no tears or badly worn areas. The carpets are very clean and the roof lining is also very impressive. The XL in the name stands for Extra Luxury.
As mentioned earlier the dashboard in these early models is markedly different from the later ones, reflecting the influence of the Detroit-based designer of the car, and seen in such features as the fluted bonnet and ‘coke-bottle’ lines. The American influence also showed through in the double-wishbone suspension, which gave the car a much softer ride. The Mark III was a more solid, heavier car than the Mark 2, thanks to the move towards improving safety by making car bodies more substantial.
All in all, driving this Cortina helps you understand why in their day these were the best-selling car in Britain. This one is a marvellously well-preserved example of a heroic period in Ford’s history. We are quite sure that whoever buys it will be more than pleased with this XL.