When it came time to replace the aging Ford Consul Classic of 1961
, the ever-popular Cortina was born. An instant hit, it would morph through five generations, however for the Australian market and from the Mark 3 onward each was given a two letter designation, from TC
. The first two generations were based almost entirely on the UK counterparts, but in keeping pace with Holden’s Torana
from the TC
onward Ford began fitting the 200 and 250ci 6 cylinder engines previously reserved for the Falcon.
As engine changes were introduced across the Falcon range, the Cortina naturally benefited also, the TD
models being fitted with the cross-flow head versions of both the 3.3 and 4.1 litre engines. The engineers were forced to make several modifications to the Cortina’s body to accommodate the larger engines, and to keep manufacturing costs down this same body was used across the entire range, so the 4 cylinder versions were also to benefit. Modifications included reinforced side rails and centre pillar, a tubular cross member support under the transmission
, remodelled firewall panels (to accommodate the longer engines), and the use of a wider bell housing manufactured from thicker metal.
There may have been plenty of power on tap, but the chassis dynamics were never that well sorted, the additional front mass producing truck-loads of under steer. handling
issues aside, that over 1 million Cortina’s were sold in various markets around the world stands as testament to the popularity of the car, and as evidence of its continued evolution to meet growing consumer demands. Replaced by the Sierra
in European markets from 1980
, it was unfortunate that Australia did not receive such a worthy successor, Ford Australia instead re-branding the Mazda 323
as a Meteor.