As retro Fords become increasingly popular we thought we’d take a look at one that you might not have seen (or heard) for a while – the Ford Corsair V4.

Closely related to the Cortina, the Corsair was built at Dagenham and Halewood between 1963-’70, taking inspiration for it’s v-shaped chops from it’s futuristic Ford cousins over the pond. Powered at first by a 60BHP inline 4, this model then got the more powerful Essex V4. Ford’s marketing men were clearly on the space dust back then, calling the V4 “the car that’s seen but not heard”, clearly having ignored the less than silky-smooth sound this engine can make at idle. Actually, that’s a bit unkind, it was pretty pokey for the Sixties; 110MPH was possible for those attempting to break free from the earth’s orbit.

This spotless example is owned by Pete, and was previously owned by his parents who bought it with just 700 miles on the clock. The cool paper model was made by his wife, June.

Why aren’t Corsairs more popular today? They’re inexpensive, robust, handle nicely and despite being commonplace in the sixties are a rare sight now. They had rally success with a Lotus twin cam engine fitted, Jim Clark used to drive one, and it didn’t really need Jean Shrimpton to make it look pretty.

It’s great to see this Corsair restored, thanks to Pete and June for sharing it with us MotorPunks, and to Rad for the excellent pics. There’s a handy little Ford Corsair buyers guide online here, ‘car and classic’ have some nice examples for sale here and there’s an owner’s club for advice here. Corsairs should be seen and heard more often.


Pics: Rad Pajor, Wiki & Pinterest. 

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

3 Responses

  1. Leslie James Payne

    I used to drive one from Leith to Edinburgh giving its owner a lift both ways to Night School. He was an ex WW11 Bomber Pilot who could fly a Plane anywhere in the World. But he had let his Drivers Licence lapse between 1946 and 1965.
    There was often a stalling problem, because of the Automatic Choke. After getting the car started to return to Leith, if I had to stop at a junction or at Traffic Lights, it would stall and was an ‘absolute pig’ to get it started again!


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