1979 Ford Cortina Reviews

1979 Ford Cortina GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Model year1979
Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.4 / 10
Distance when acquired74000 miles
Most recent distance74500 miles
Previous carRover - Austin 600

Summary:

Looks great, drives great, but make sure you get a good one

Faults:

Starting problems, thermostat issues and a very temperamental automatic choke. Parts are difficult to get hold of now. Just got a new exhaust for mine and it pretty much had to be custom built because they aren't available as a complete unit

General Comments:

Lovely to look at, fun to drive, but too many reliability issues mainly due to the infamous Ford Automatic choke. Handling is OK, performance is 'leisurely' but it sounds great - really sporty. Very comfortable and quiet for a 1.6 and soooo retro! Would make a nice usuable classic but make sure you look for a good well looked after example otherwise your in for a lot of problems and big bills

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2006

31st Oct 2007, 13:40

I agree, these cars do look great. See one now next to all the modern cars & they look absolutely superb.

1979 Ford Cortina TE Ghia 4.1 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1979
Year of manufacture1979
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 4.1 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired95000 kilometres
Most recent distance147000 kilometres
Previous carFord Cortina

Summary:

A pleasure to drive, very quick, comfortable

Faults:

Drivers seat stared to wear on right hand side.

Gear stick kept coming out of the gearbox under quick gear changes.

General Comments:

Excellent power to weight ratio.

Awesome handling, especially when lowered approx 2 inches.

Long trips are a pleasure.

Excellent visibility from inside the cabin. Faster than a 253 powered LH, LX Torana.

Hard to change starter motor with extractors fitted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2006

1979 Ford Cortina TE 4.1 Crossflow from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 4.1 Crossflow Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired25160 kilometres
Most recent distance30015 kilometres
Previous carSuzuki Sierra

Summary:

A cute, powerful and head-turning car

Faults:

Depressed front suspension, cracked bushes etc.

Cooling fan worn out.

Leaking sump and rocker cover gasket.

Worn out carburettor.

General Comments:

Very powerful 4.1 (250) engine coupled with strong Borg-Warner 3-speed automatic transmission.

Power to weight ratio is incredible, 1060kgs and 160hp (standard).

Economical for a large engine, considering it is an automatic.

My custom exhuast with no muffler and 6 inch extractors make the car purr.

However the cost of parts, coupled with the fact that after 25 years the manufacturer wants nothing to do with it mean that it is best that the owner services the car themselves, and expect thing to fail...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th July, 2003

13th Mar 2004, 06:52

Cool cars the "Cortina". I am buying one for my girl soon.

8th Jul 2004, 02:27

The absolute best car ever! This car just hammers when you put your foot down.

7th Aug 2005, 21:42

They have the potential to be fast and standard the 4.1L xflow manual will pull a (decent at the time) flat 17sec 1/4mile and 0-100km/H in 10 seconds. They are not 160hp unless you have modified the engine they come standard with 124hp. They are also not 1060kg, especially your auto TE which is between 1180kg and 1230kg depending on L, GL or Ghia uless you have done extensive weight reduction.

1979 Ford Cortina GL 1.6 Pinto from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 Pinto Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired96000 miles
Most recent distance101000 miles
Previous carFord Granada

Summary:

Cheap, tough, rewarding old car.

Faults:

Points need resetting in the distributor to often.

Viscous fan seized.

Damaged valve causes the engine to fire on three cylinders which makes it quite underpowered and difficult to get to idle. This also caused it to back fire and split the back box in two.

Brakes and tyres wared out (usual wear and tear).

Floor pan and inner wings starting to rust badly.

General Comments:

A strong engine which is cheap and simple to fix. Reasonably powerful and rewarding when running well.

Quite prone to rust.

Solid body shell.

Fun, predictable handling.

Quite comfortable and refined for a cheap old car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th December, 2002

1979 Ford Cortina Ghia 2.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired54000 miles
Most recent distance59000 miles
Previous carFord Fiesta

Summary:

Big fun at a bargain price. I'll never drive anything else again

Faults:

A big non event! The car has been totally reliable and a joy to own. No faults, no breakdowns and servicing costs to make a BMW driver think he was buying fish and chips for two!

General Comments:

The thought of driving around in a 21 year old Cortina by choice as everyday transport may not be everyone's idea of reliable motoring, but read on. The car has been brilliant, comfortable and now a slightly unusual sight on our roads. Fuel economy has been averaging out at about 29 miles per gallon which considering the performance on tap is pretty good. Back seat passengers find it a very comfortable way to travel and a thoroughly enjoyable way to travel.

I've owned new cars in the past and the only real difference between an old car and a new one is the size of your garage bills and the snob factor, or lack of it! Some of our neighbours assumed we were broke when the Cortina turned up, so we put them right. If you are prepared to get out and look there are plenty of Cortina's out there waiting to give years of trouble free motoring. Choose well and you will be rewarded with a car that is just as good as some of todays plastic clad, faceless machines that inhabit our roads. Go on, you know you want one...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2001

19th Jul 2003, 03:52

There is no way you'll get 29MPG out of an old 2.3 V6!,they're gas guzzlers!.25MPG is more realistic.

Otherwise I loved these cars & regret that I never had one.

Mk4 & 5 Cortinas suffered horribly from rust, which is why you see so few now, pity as they are good cars overall.

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 5 reviews