Paul’s Ford Cortina 1600GT MK3 (1972)


Anyone who knows their old Fords, will know the Cortina well! Designed to be an attractive, but affordable family car, the Cortina was Ford’s “bread and butter” for over 20 years. It was produced in five different iterations over that time. Here though, it’s the iconic MK3 we’re talking about!

The MK3 Cortina was quite a step-change in terms of design philosophy when compared to the MK1, and MK2. Ford moved away from the more traditional saloon body style, to a yankee-inspired “coke bottle” design which can be seen in lots of “American Muscle Cars” of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Unusually for Ford at the time, the Cortina also did away with the tried and tested “MacPherson strut” suspension arrangement at the front, swapping it out for a double A-arm wishbone set up.

The Cortina like all Fords at the time was offered with a dizzying array of trim levels and engine choices. Most popular were the 1600 and 2000 pinto engined models. The most desirable trim levels were the sporty GT, and the executive GXL. In both of these trims buyers were treated to a more aggressive looking quad headlamp set up, along with other goodies!

The Cortina was hugely popular worldwide, but nowhere more so than the UK, where it held top spot for “best selling car” from 1972 right through to 1976, where it was finally pipped by another Ford… the Escort!

The Owner: Paul, Age 51, Lives in the UK
The Owner: Paul, Age 51, Lives in the UK

Dream Car: Would have to be a MK1 Zodiac, I’m a sucker for old Fords!

Paul’s Cortina is a proper classic, and looks like it’s straight out of a 70’s British crime drama (Life on Mars anyone?). We’re big fans of old Fords here, and when we saw Paul’s cortina, painted in Tawny Brown, and complete with Vinyl roof, and “biscuit” leatherette interior, we had to get in touch!

Read the interview below to find out more!

Ford Cortina 1600GT MK3 (1972)

Ford's family saloon caught 'USA fever' with the MK3. It's adorned with American influences such as coke bottle styling, a fast back body, and a fluted bonnet.
Model Year 1972
Model 1600GT, Cortina MK3
Make Ford
Keywords classic british, classic car, fast ford, Original, restored, Unmodified


  • Paul's first car (back in 1986) was a MK3 Cortina, so he was determined to recapture his youth when he found this one!
  • He spotted it, in bits, part restored in a local garage. It was a 1600GT, just what he wanted, so he contacted the owner and managed to convince them to sell it.
  • The MK3 Cortina was a real step-change in terms of design. American influences are all over the place but most notably the "coke bottle" styling that was common with "American Muscle Cars" of the late 60's / early 70's.
  • Paul has made efforts to keep the car totally original, and it pays off. You don't see many of these cars on the road anymore, and even less so that are this original!

Interview with the owner

  • When did you first purchase the car Paul?
    I bought it 13 years ago now! Back in 2008.
  • What made you buy a MK3 Cortina?
    My first car was actually a MK3 Cortina, and I wanted another one!
  • What's it like to drive?
    It drives incredibly well, and despite being a 1.6 litre, it keeps up with modern traffic really well. They don't weigh much these old cars!
  • Has the car been restored / rebuilt?
    Yes it has. I actually bought the car locally after a friend told me about the car being in a bodyshop waiting to be painted!
    I contacted the owner and made them an offer to buy the car, and they accepted.
    The car was stripped down at the time, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if it was even complete. But it was what I wanted and being a GT I had to make sure I got the deal sorted!
    The car has since been fully rebuilt to original specification.
  • Has the car been modified in any way?
    No, I've made efforts to keep the car really original.
    Our thoughts: It's no secret, we love modified cars here at However we also have huge appreciation for people who restore cars to original spec (hence why we often feature them). It's important people do this, it helps to preserve the legacy of these "fast disappearing" machines.
  • Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?
    Never say never!
  • Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?
    It would have to be a MK1 Zodiac. I’m a sucker for old Fords!
Owner: Paul
Model: 1600GT, Cortina MK3
Make: Ford
Keywords: classic british, classic car, fast ford, Original, restored, Unmodified

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