Cortina fans rally to mark anniversary

Ford Cortina lovers are gearing up for a rally to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic motor.

The first Mark 1 Ford Cortina rolled off the production line in 1962, followed by a variety of models until manufacturing of the Mark 5 ceased 20 years later.

In 1995, a club was set up by enthusiasts who decided to share their knowledge on technical advice, sourcing spare parts, and organising group outings.

It proved a resounding success, as there are now 105 members of the Cortina Owners Club of Ireland.

Club secretary John Noel Cronin, who lives in Mallow, Co Cork, joined the organisation two years after it was formed.

“My interest was prompted by the fact I had a Mark 1 Cortina in 1970 and the beauty of the car was that it was so easy to work on.

“Just about everything mechanical unbolts and with the simplest of tools. So, with a little confidence, one can return the saddest of Cortinas to a roadworthy classic.”

About 1m of each of the five versions of the car were made and many still exist today, particularly in England.

“We have to go to Britain for our parts,” said Mr Cronin.

“They have a fantastic setup there for spares, but they can be expensive.”

Every year, the Cortina Owners Club of Ireland hosts two weekends away, one in spring and one in autumn. Members also visit car shows in Britain.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Mark 1 Cortina, the club will host an outing to the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, on Sept 7-8. During the two days, about 60 Cortina cars will leave the hotel car park at 10.15am for a convoy drive through scenic areas of West Cork.


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