Motors & Me: Eamonn Long and his 1966 MK 1 Cortina Estate

Eamonn Long shows us around his 1966 MK 1 Cortina Estate

What are you currently driving?

It’s a 1966 Cortina Estate. I have quite a few other vintage cars as well, and normally take one of them out for a drive every day. My family car is Audi A4 and my wife drives a Ford Ka.

Love at first sight, or just a means to get from A to B?

Love at first sight. I bought it from a friend of mine in Glanmire, Co Cork. It was in a hay barn. I had to put an engine into it and do it all up – start from scratch. I was attracted to it because it’s a very rare car, there aren’t too many of them around.

What’s under the bonnet?

I fitted a 1,600cc GT Crossflow to it. The original engine was a 1,500cc Freeflow, but the Crossflow worked so well, I left it in it. I didn’t do a whole pile of work on the body itself, a few panels had to be made for it. The only place you can source parts for the Cortina is the UK.

Petrol head or Sunday driver?

I’ve worked with vintage cars all my life. I served my time in them, going back as far as 1968. I always had a love for vintage cars. You always go to back to what you had first.

What was your first car?

My first car was a Mini. It was a63. I bought it in 1969. I still have three of them. I had an Anglia, and then a whole host of vintage cars after that.

What else do/did you own?

I love cars, especially the vintage stuff. I drive a different one every day. My favourite over the years — I had a few nice MGs — an MG GBT and an MG Midget. I have a few VW Beatles, I like the Beatles — they’re trouble free.

My favourite has to be the Cortina, but I have a nice Morris Minor as well.

Dream drive in dream location?

Of all the cars across the world I suppose a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. But again it would have to be a vintage. I prefer vintage any day of the week over a new car. Vintage cars go up in value everyday, whereas a new car goes down in value. Route 66 has to be everyone’s dream road. That’s the one I would pick.

Passenger you’d most like on a long journey?

Dream passenger is Nathan Carter. I love the country stuff.

Passenger you’d least like?

I can’t think of anyone.

What’s on your playlist?

I don’t listen to music in the vintage car. Even though the original radio is inside in the Cortina, I don’t listen to it.


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