Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Spotted: Ford Cortina Crusader
I see this from time to time but only managed to snap it recently.
The Crusader was the end-of-line limited edition Cortina, based on the Mk5 that was launched two years earlier in 1980 (hence the official "Cortina 80" designation, although the press and everyone else referred to it as the Mark Five). It was built to shift the last remaining units before the arrival of the controversial Sierra.
The Sierra didn't come a moment too soon - sales of the aged Cortina (the Mk5 was a rehash of the Mk4, which was mechanically similar to the Mk3 of 1970) were declining rapidly in the face of stiff competition from GM/Vauxhall/Opel with the new-in-81 FWD Cavalier/Ascona, particularly in the fleet market.
They were a common sight on our roads in the 80s, the default choice of saloon for just about everybody. Nowadays they aren't common at all, and so it's a lot easier to appreciate the coke-bottle curves and neat proportions. Personally I'd love a Mk4 (they're a bit "cleaner", with neater bumpers and lamps) in a lurid 70s green or orange, on some subtle wheels and with 2.9 Scorpio Cosworth motivation.