Nostalgia – 1970 Ford Cortina 1600 GT

By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager - Bridge Classic Cars

Our very special 1970 Ford Cortina 1600 GT comes with a lot of history and a very personal local story. Richard, the car’s previous owner tells this story below in his own words:

“My stepdad bought the car new from Pat Keebles in March 1970. He traded in a MK1 Cortina GT for it as it was only a 2-door car and he wanted a 4-door car.  I was 10 years old when he bought it and really enjoyed sitting in the back on days out. 

He had not had it long when he went out 1 evening and got to the crossroads at Saxmundham to cross over to go to Leiston. It was just about dark and as he went to cross he spotted a shadow on his right, stopped and then bang a young girl on a moped with no lights on, hit the car dead centre of the 2 offside doors and her helmet hit the roof. Needless to say, she was not hurt, just a few bruises but the car had to have the 2 doors replaced.

It was a great car. He used to paint oil & grease on the chassis every year, which is why it is so solid. It was an everyday car for many years until he got a modern car. Then the GT was only used on weekends. I think that is where I got the bug for a MK2 Cortina having had a few 1600Es myself. The last 1600E I had, I kept for 30 years. We used to go to many classic car shows together; my E and my dad’s GT, they were great times but I was never allowed to drive the GT.

I could clean it for him & check the levels but not drive it so after he passed away I drove it for the first time and it was amazing, it drove better than my E.

The GT still has its original interior with no rips as he had seat covers on it from new & still has the original engine and running gear. If you look at the top of the front screen it still has its original GT sticker from new and the same as the GT sticker on the glove box.

I decided, in 2019, to have the GT restored so it had a bare metal respray and 2 new rear arches. When they cleaned all the old 50 years oil & grease off the chassis it was like new and only needed 2 small areas of rust done. It looked amazing when it was done but sadly, after I got the car back, my wife got ill and sadly passed away. We always went to car shows together so I did do a couple of shows on my own but it was not the same and I lost interest, so that is why I decided to sell it.

I came and saw Gordon and he loved the car so he ended up buying it. I do miss it very much but I have no one to pass it on to so it was a hard decision to sell it.

I hope whoever wins it the second time around will cherish it as my dad and I did and yes I will buy a ticket, as you never know I could win it back again. If you want to pass my name on to the new winner I would gladly give them as much information about the GT as I can.”

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3 responses to “Nostalgia – 1970 Ford Cortina 1600 GT”

  1. Peter Morris avatar
    Peter Morris

    What a lovely story of the history of this beautiful car, but sad to hear that your wife passing away took away the enjoyment of attending shows (although I do understand the sentiment). I bought tickets for this car before I read this background story. I promise that if I win it I will cherish it as much as you and your father has, and, when the time comes, I will pass it on to my son. Best wishes.

  2. Simon Boone avatar
    Simon Boone

    Richard, You have nothing to worry about. I will look after this car no expense spared. I have a big garage where she will be very happy and I look forward to next spring/summer when I can take her to the rallies and shows in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.

    1. richard chambers avatar
      richard chambers

      Hi Simon thank you i hope you enjoy the GT as much as my dad and i did i hope you have lots of fun and memories with the car and if you need anymore history on the car then please get in touch it was a very popular car at shows mainly my dad won best in show 1 year then i won best in show a few years later . and if you want to join the cortina 1600E and cortina mk 2 club then get in touch with them as the GT had been in the club for many years and have a lot of shows they attend in your area the GT was going to be on there stand at the nec but it was to far to travel from suffolk anyway i hope you have fun in her and if you want you can send me some photos of her new home as i am on face book would be nice to see her in her new suroundings . take care Simon

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