Ford Cortina TF

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Ford Cortina TF
Ford

Ford TF Cortina

1980 - 1983
Country:
Australia
Engine:
4 & 6 cyl.
Capacity:
to 4100cc
Power:
92 kW @ 3700 rpm
Transmission:
4 spd. man, 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
160+ km/h
Number Built:
n/a
Collectability:
1 star
Ford TF Cortina
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1

Introduction



The rest of the world knew it as the Cortina Mark V, but here in Australia we knew it as the TF. Released in 1980, there were 4 variants, from the L, GL and Ghia variants and with an optional S-Pack also available (There was over $1000 of options on the S Pack list, but Ford only asked for an extra $583).

The TF had minor exterior differences to the Cortina models sold elsewhere, the rubber RIM moulded bumpers being the most noticeable. Another example was that the TF's front numberplate was mounted below the front bumper, further distinguishing it from its European Mark V counterparts. Like the TE, the whole TF range had a higher centre pressing in the bonnet to accommodate the six-cylinder engine's air cleaner.

Unfortunately, however, many critics believed the fit and finish, always a bone of contention with the previous TE Cortina, had not been improved with the TF. Options included a stereo cassette player at $228, a tinted and laminated windscreen ($128) and tinted side glass ($71).

The Cortina S Pack



The TF Cortina S Pack would start life as a humble GL model with the familiar 2 litre four. The most obvious feature of the S Pack were the 14 inch chrome mags, which were very distinctive and a little like those on the Saab. Some described them as noughts and crosses wheels, but to our mind they were not all that good looking. Apparently the design originally appeared on a Bertone show car back in the mid-seventies – and on which they probably looked much better.

The distinctive wheels were fitted with low profile Uniroyal 185/70 H14 steels, and the suspension was stiffened to suit – but few road testers could tell the difference, so we’ll have to assume Ford’s press release was accurate. Almost as distinctive as the wheels were the side stripes of the S-Pack. In all, three stripes ran along the lower edges of the car below the thick bump mouldings. Incorporated in the stripes were large 'S' motifs on each side. Paint black-outs were used selectively too, giving the S-Pack a very individual colour treatment.

Also included in the 'pack' were Carello driving lights, a passenger side exterior mirror, an intermittent setting for the wipers and wool faced seats. Added to the other options, the S-Pack made for a comfortable package, though for the more conservative it was probably a bit too gaudy. The handling of the Cortina was never rated very high, and the S Pack did little to improve things, save for the tyres which were much better than the standard treads. The two litre engine fitted to the Cortina was willing and strong, offering plenty of performance in even big cars (for the size of the engine) like the Cortina. The gearbox too was excellent; it could have been improved by the addition of another cog and the placement of reverse to the right and toward the driver, rather than to the left and away.

On the Road



On the highway the 2 litre Cortina would sit happily all day at 120 -130 km/h, though wind noise was a problem once you went much above the speed limit. The engine was not particularly frugal either, averaging 12 litres/100 km when pushed, this dropping to a more reasonable 9.8 litres/100 km (28.8 mpg) when you drove sparingly. In the late 1970s, the Cortina wagons were built in Renault's local Heidelberg factory in Melbourne, (now closed), as Ford Australia's own factories did not have the capacity. For the last year of Australian Cortina production, 1981, a Ghia wagon was produced, although this was also listed in the September 1980 factory brochure.

Despite the TF Cortina introducing worthwhile improvements in ride, handling, noise reduction and fuel consumption, the Cortina generally was seen by the motoring press as outdated, and buyers generally preferred the rival products - in marked contrast to New Zealand where the Cortina was a highly regarded success. Ford Australia, however, found enough customers to last to the end of the model's life. In 1982 it was replaced initially by the smaller Ford Meteor (a rebadged Mazda 323 sedan) and then the Ford Telstar saloon / hatchback range in 1983.
Ford TF Cortina

Visitor Rating:


Also see:


The History of Ford (USA Edition)
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
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Paul
Posted Recently
I grew up a Holden man, but I owned a 4.1ltr 4 speed TF Cortina in the late 80s.
It went fairly well, with the power to weight ratio being good by production car standards, and the poor handling (as described by other websites) was quickly sorted with decent rims and tyres fitted.
The only thing to watch out for though is the keyholes that are in the chassis over the front wheel arches, these keyholes can tear up into the chassis rail when the car is subjected to regular heavy cornering/power on/off.
Goose
Posted Recently
The TF was only produced in Australia during 1980 and 1981,with sales of the last cars spilling over into 1982. Other markets may have got them for longer.After that it was a sea of Mazda models which were less stylish,but more reliable.
 
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