Savage Cortina Mk. 2 V6

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Savage Cortina Mk. 2 V6

Ford Cortina

Savage Cortina Mk. II V6

1967 - 1970
United Kingdom
2994 cc / 182.7ci
136 bhp @ 4750 rpm
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
107 mph / 172 km/h
Number Built:
4 star
Ford Cortina 1600E
Savage Cortina Mk. II V6
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4


The Mark II Savage Cortina V6 was the product of Jeff Uren and his company Race Proved Performance and Racing Ltd., who took a stock 1600E and transplanted a Zodiac V6 engine under the hood. Uren had been involved on and off with Ford's racing efforts since the late 1950's, when he was attempting improbable things with Zephyrs, like installing triple carby setups.

Race Proved had previous experience developing other amalgams such as the Navajo 2 litre Escort Estate, Apache 3 litre V6 Escort, Comanche V6 Capris and the mind blowing Stampede Boss Mustang V8 powered Capri. But simply plonking a bigger engine into a car it was never designed for could have off-putting side effects.

The "Big Engine - Light Chassis" formula had been tried before, and Uren knew that significant chassis modification would be required if the V6 iteration was to be anything more than simply a quick straight-line performer. The engineering team started out by seam welding the chassis members down the sides of the engine bay, and fitting a new cross-member. The suspension mounting holes were left blank by Ford, so Uren could drill them out himself to give the car some negative camber.

Stiffer progressive rate front springs were used, in conjunction with revised damper settings and an additional anti-roll bar, these modifications avoiding axle tramp. Changes were also made to the front wheel camber and to the wheel toe-out on turns. At the rear special springs were used with a very stiff section ahead of the axle to combat wind-up. These springs were designed so that the front linkage would act as a locating swivel for the axle, while the rear linkage supported the weight of the car.

The design allowed the engineers to do away with the radius arms, while larger capacity adjustable dampers were used and the attitude of the axle relative to the springs was changed by the use of wedges. Even though the rear axle was the same as that used in the 1600E, the Savage sat noticeably lower. Other modifications included a new wiring loom, the relocation of the battery to the boot, an alternator conversion, an uprated exhaust system, a special rear end ratio and 22 pint cooling system. It was obvious the engineers had gone to great length to get the Savage just right. Many thought fitting a V6 to a Cortina would produce a car that would be a nose heavy under-steering monster.

They were wrong. Even though nearly 56% of the Savage's weight sat across the front wheels, the considerable suspension changes devised by Race Proved Performance made the handling sweet, predictable and in all respects better than the donor car. Yes, the stock 1600E only had 54% of its weight riding over the front wheels, however the "Executive" model increased that to 57.5%, and that was without any significant suspension changes.

In fact, many reviewers felt the ride, particularly on good surfaces, was beter than that of the standard 1600E. The same could not be said for rough and unmade roads, where there was a degree of suspension thump evident. When pushed you could bottom out the front of the car, although the bark was worse than the bite, as the limit stop was simply a spring that would compress solid. It was possible to make stiffer damper settings to avoid this, although this was really only necessary should the car regularly travel on poor roads.

The Savage had sufficient understeer to provide good directional stability, yet this understeer was not excessive. Those lucky enough to drive the Savage would soon learn just how forgiving the car really was, allowing "steering by throttle" under most conditions. Thankfully too "arm-strong" steering was not required at parking speeds, it remaining relatively light and easy to manouver. With 4.3 turns lock-to-lock thanks to a generous lock, the turning circle was only 31ft. 8in. between kerbs.

Giving a car better performance is one thing, making it stop another. Race Proved addressed this by fitting harder pads and linings, along with a revised master cylinder and servo. In testing the brakes produced 0.80g with just 60lb. pedal effort, and a maximum deceleration of 0.96g could be achieved. The balance was however a little skewed rearward, and it was possible to lock the rear wheels without too much effort. There was also a degree of fade evident, however thankfully the fade was progressive and consistent so that you knew when, and how much, was occuring.

Inside the Savage shared the familiar wind noise of the Cortina, it being more evident at speeds over 60 mph (100 km/h). That was a bit of a shame, as this was a car that capable of effortless high speed cruising, and as such the amount of wind noise precluded it from being considered a great touring car. Externally there was little to tell the Savage apart from a regular 1600E. Savage badges were fixed to the boot-lid and front quarter panels, while V6 badges were fitted to the rear quarter panels aligned with the turn indicators. Options included an extra fuel tank, sunshine roof, Minilite wheels, Lucas iodine vapour headlights, a limited slip differential and various seat options.

Visitor Rating:

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Also see:

Cortina Mk.II Model Lineup
Savage Cortina Mk.II Specifications
Cortina Mk.II Brochure
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
Click here to add your review
Brian Palliser
Posted Recently
I think the savage was the most fantistic car I ever had, I had three in all,
all estates. The three of them had the overdrive on top two gears.The
fun overtaking was somthing elsa,passing what fun third ,third overdrive
top top overdrive you had gone. There was very few times anybody
beat me at the lights, what cars I wish I had one now. The last one I
had was in 1981 I sold it to a docter in London. If I see an estate I shall be very tempted to buy, even though the hundreds have gone
to thousends,£800-00 pounds I sold my last one. Dought very much
if I could get a good one for £8000-00 pounds now, but I shall keep
my eyes open,somebody must have one.Well good Savageing to
you all.
Brian from Herefordshire.
Richard Hodges
Posted Recently
I enjoyed driving a Mkii Savage in the mid-seventies, the one I owned was registerd in 1970 (H). It had the extra fuel tank in the boot, LSD and superb Recaro seats. Twin Kenlow fans replaced a normal belt driven cooling fan with an indicator light on the dash to show when they cut in (overheating was never a problem). The sun roof when retracted opened almost the whiole of the roof. The colour was a sensational champagne pink with with darker purple side flashes.
I was interested to read the engine specification in the review; particularly the 136BHP rating. When I purchased the car the specification I was given was slightly different. I was told the engine was indeed a Zodiac derivitive, but it was built by "Broadspeed" and rated at some 190 BHP. The carburettor was a weber 38/42mm twin choke. The gearbox was four speed with an overdrive unit. I may have been mislead at the time (I was only 21) but make no mistake this car was very very fast for 1975! I regularly timed it with a passenger at 0-60 MPH in 7.5 secs (achieved easily in 2nd gear) and drove the car on a private road at 120MPH 5000rpm @ 24 MPH/1000rpm in fourth overdrive. I could achieve 95MPH in third overdrive! Performance figures that would not be disgraced today. Whilst I bought the car second hand I was only the second owner and it came with all the original Jeff Euren documentation. It was an original model. I have to wonder of course if it did in fact have the spec i was given?
That aside the car was fantastic; I owned it for 4 years untill alas marriage ended my fun! I bought and MGB GT (what a come down)!
I still consider the MKii Savage to have been a car that was years ahead of it's time and far and away the best car I've ever owned. It was my "wolf in sheeps clothing" and i took great delight, on many occasions, in leaving the supposedly "quick" Escort Mexico in my wake without bothering to using fourth gear!!
Richard from Nottingham.
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