Cortina comments

I have in some quarters been accused of being unkind to the Cortina, latest small Ford from Dagenham. This model is selling in large numbers, as I predicted it would, for it is essentially a car for the people, as its display at the Geneva Show alongside a model-T symbolised. But I hoped that readers of Motor Sport might prefer more advanced and exciting engineering, as exemplified by the Morris 1100 and M.G. 1100 cars. The Morris 1100 that I have on extended trial having settled down to be an extremely enjoyable, comfortable and safe form of transport, about which I intend to write in some detail when I have driven it 10,000 miles.

Some critics of my comments on the Cortina quote from an article in The Guardian, by J. R. L. Anderson, who seems to have had one of these 1,198 c.c. Fords for a six-month’s test. He writes glowingly of his experiences, but he covered only 2,484 miles. I intend to approach Ford of Dagenham about an equally extended test of a Cortina, and would expect to go considerably further than this in a trial of similar duration. I note that this Cortina averaged only 27.9 m.p.g. and it does appear to be a thirsty car for its engine size—in the recent Mobil Economy Run the highest placed Cortina gave 39.17 m.p.g., whereas five cars in its class, comprising two Morris 1100, two M.G.s 1100 and a Wolseley 1500, all achieved figures of better than 41 m.p.g. the class-winning M.G. 1100 recording 44.61 m.p.g.

Strength is also lent to my contention that the Cortina 1200 is a good, saleable, but by no means outstanding car by some data, arranged pictorially, which The Motor included in its edition of April 3rd, when comparing five cars in the up-to-1,200 c.c. class. This showed that on maximum speed the order of merit was Renault R8, Morris 1100, Triumph Herald 1200, Ford Cortina and Volkswagen, on fuel consumption Morris 1100, R8, Herald, with Cortina and VW far inferior, on 0-50 m.p.h. acceleration R8, Herald, Morris 1100, with Cortina far behind, VW last, and on 20-40 m.p.h. top-gear acceleration Herald, Morris 1100, R8, with Cortina and VW a long way behind. Which seems to vindicate my views on Ford Consul Cortina versus Morris 1100, and I am glad to see that more and more of these advanced-design, all-independently-rubber-sprung f.w.d. cars, almost pugnaciously confident, are appearing on the road.—W. B.