1976 Ford Cortina XL 1.6 O.H.C. Pinto from UK and Ireland


The original design is unique


Vacuum pipe did not work, causing car to stay in first gear, right after car was delivered. Local London garage tried to rip me off, saying it was the gearbox. Other local London garage (Portuguese) fixed it for nothing.

Needed new tyres.

Needed floor pans welding.

Panels need welding/repairing.

Dreaded Ford rust.

General Comments:

Bought this Cortina as a practical/nostalgia buy (my dad was a sales rep with Cortina/Granada's), and being an artist I needed a cheap but different car, and Life on Mars helped! (you impressionable fool).

It's a roomy car, feels spacious compared to today's low-roofed cars with their cramped interiors.

The car looks great, understated, compared to some of today's cars, spot on.

Front seats a little uncomfortable/hot in warm weather.

Smooth engine on A roads, reliable, tough engine, no break downs, (although can be poor to start if not used on a regular basis), but sluggish by today's standards.

I paid a lot for mine, £2500, but these days you have to take what you can find, and also it's the post face-lift version, better dash, square head lights e.t.c, one of the last Mk3's made so it's quite rare.

I don't like the performance, but I want to keep this fairly original, so upgrades will be kept minimal. I love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2010

1976 Ford Cortina GL 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Timeless classic and excellent value


Front wings were quite rusty when I bought the car, so some fibreglass patching was in order.

The only really major fault happened about 3 months after I bought the car: the oil pump failed and the engine seized. A reconditioned engine for £60 and a day's work sorted out that problem.

New starter motor at 95,000 miles.

New fuel pump at 110,000 miles.

The clutch finally wore out at 154,000 miles; at this point I sold the car.

Considering the car's age and mileage, not a lot happened over the 12 years I owned the car.

General Comments:

I originally bought this car for £75 in 1988. Considering its age, mileage and the price I paid for it, it's been excellent mechanically.

Running costs are good - parts are very cheap, but not as fuel efficient as more modern cars.

Mediocre performance; I would have preferred a larger engined Cortina if a good one had been around when I was looking.

Seats are average for comfort, but my car had black vinyl upholstery that was torture on hot days.

Ride quality was good, but handling was less impressive - average rather than exceptional.

Rust has been an issue, which is a shame because it's likely to be the reason why there so few of these cars on the road nowadays.

My car never liked starting in the wet. I believe Ford changed the design on later Cortinas to sort this out.

After having this car for 12 years and 76,000 miles, I managed to sell it for £200 - even more than I originally paid for it. It has been the cheapest car that I have ever had to buy, run and own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2004

16th Feb 2007, 05:32

You need to spend your money on some thing better.

31st Oct 2007, 13:43

I saw a Mk3 Cortina coming the other way the other day & it looked absolutely superb. Compared to all the modern jelly mould shapes it looked almost exotic. I'd love one!