The story of 1972 Ford Cortina MK3

Posted by at 1 August 2014, at 17 : 49 PM

The story of 1972 Ford Cortina MK3

It all begins way back in 1978.

On the 9th November, I purchased a six year old 1972 Ford Cortina Mk3 1300 L with low mileage from my brother who owned it for the previous three years. There was one other owner from the Registration Date of 23rd October 1972.

Within the first week of ownership I had brought and fitted 5 1/2″ x 13″ and 7″ x 14″ Appliance Alloy Slot Rims and a set of Kelly Tyres. New rear Shock Absorbers were added as the car was fitted with Rear Coil Spring Jack-Up kit.

Early in 1979, I converted the look of the car from an L to a GXL, Twin Front Headlamps, Interior Extras, and to add my personal touch a Front Spoiler and Side Thrush Exhaust Pipes were fitted.

In the Spring, the blueprint was ready, and the car was prepared for painting. But first, the Wheel Arches had to be built on the car. This was done by welding a steel tube frame to the car to the shape required then plating with sheet metal. Also, this blended in with the Front Spoiler.

Then August Bank Holiday weekend the first Re-spray, this was in Ford Hawaiian Blue with Emerald Green base trim.

In December, the next item on the list to require was found this being a Jaguar ‘s’ Type Rear Axle.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 side

At the beginning of 1980, while the axle went in to have Chrome plating done, the search was on for a new Engine. In May, a Ford Capri 3000 V6 and Gearbox were purchased. This was a reconditioned Engine with a couple of thousand miles.

New Engine Mounts were made, and a Jago Cross-member was welded to the rear for the Chromed Jaguar Axle to bolt into place. A Propshaft was found at the breakers, and Servo Assisted Brakes were also added, and the car was out on the road again by June.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 rear

The colour I picked was not right, so in 1981 a Re-spray was required. This time we needed to do it correctly, so the car was completely stripped of everything, including the Windows, and the only item left was the running gear. The car was prepared for spraying and this commenced in June.

The colour this time is Windermere Blue. The drawings for the side Murals were completed and ready to be sprayed.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 wheel restoration

After many coats of Paint, the Murals on the sides were Air Brushed on, and the first coat of Lacquer was applied with Rainbow Metal Flakes, then several more coats of clear Lacquer was applied. This was not completed until October.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 bridge paint

The Bonnet and Boot Murals were now put on the drawing board.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 door paint

During the Winter, the parts were all re-fitted and the Interior was to be changed – 18 yards of Dover Blue Draylon along with 350 Buttons, Sheets of Foam and a Dark Blue Long Pile Carpet was purchased. All interior panels, including replacement Ford Granada Front Seats were padded, then covered and Buttoned in Draylon.

This took four Months to put back together, which also included a complete Re-wiring and a Scratch Built Dashboard to include additional Gauges, Car Stereo and a Television.

During the Winter of 1983, the Boot Mural was started but was not finished until 1984.

Next, we started on the Bonnet Mural.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 exterior paint

During the Winter of 1984/5, the Bonnet Mural was started. This was continued throughout the year and was finally completed in late October. Ready for viewing at the shows next year.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 exterior painting

In 1986, there was a modification required. Due to the weight of the Engine the front was very low, causing some problems because more and more Road Humps appeared on the roads.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 right side

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 right corner side

During the Winter, some Blocks were made which were to be fitted between the Body and Front Axle. Other adjustments were also required for this modification, such as the Steering Column and Brake Pipes, these had to be extended. After all the adjustments were in place, the Blocks raised the front by 4″.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 restored back

The Boot Floor and original Petrol Tank were removed in 1987. A new Petrol Tank was fitted with a Modified Floor Panel.

This was to open the view of the Jaguar Rear Axle, which also had some Re-chroming and Re-painting done, allowing a new Exhaust System with straight pipes through to the rear to be fitted.

So, in 1988 the project was Complete…Or was it?..

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 restored side view

In 1991, after getting the car ready for the year ahead, we had a very heavy snowfall in April. This seemed very unusual, but as the years have passed it seems not so now. The Engine didn’t have any Anti-Freeze and therefore it Froze, causing the Block to Break Open and the Heads to Crack.

Yes, the time was here to fit the V8 I have always wanted. I knew this would take a lot of work, this is one reason why I opted for the V6 the first time. But I have always wanted to fit a V8, so lets do it!

In May, a Rover 3500 V8 Engine and Automatic Gearbox was purchased, the Engine was Stripped, Cleaned, Painted, and Checked. To make this fit, the Engine bay and Gearbox Tunnel had to be cut back by 5″. So after cutting it back, new panels were welded into place and the body work was finished off.

Engine Mounts were altered, and new Gearbox Mountings were made. The Engine and Gearbox then slotted into place and Modified M.G.B. Exhaust Manifolds were fitted. An Elderbrock Manifold, Holly 390 Carburetor and Holly Fuel Pump were also fitted, along with a made to measure Propshaft. The Engine Bay had some Colour Coded Re-wiring done and then Paneled in a Hammered Finish Aluminum, which also included a Perspex Mirror for the underside of the Bonnet.

This was all completed in 10 weeks.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 restored engine view

During 1993 as the Dashboard was adjusted due the removal of 5″ of body for the Engine Swap in 1991, a new Scratch Built Dashboard was required. This included New Instrument Gauges and Switches, and a new Remote Control Radio Cassette and separate Compact Disc Player.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3 restored rear

As the scene changes in 1995, the car ride height was too high, so the front blocks were removed as the Rover Engine was much lighter than the previous Engine.

This would make the front lower, but not as low as before, and to compliment this the rear Jago cross-member has four ride height placements. So the lowest setting was used.

1972 Ford Cortina MK3

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