The Cortina joins the fifties club

The Cortina Club of Ireland will be celebrating the 50th birthday of the iconic Ford Cortina at a weekend event that will see some 70 Cortina models converge on Roscarbery, West Cork, from September 7 to 9.

The Cortina Club of Ireland will be celebrating the 50th birthday of the iconic Ford Cortina at a weekend event that will see some 70 Cortina models converge on Roscarbery, West Cork, from September 7 to 9.

Produced at the Ford factory in Cork, the Ford Cortina was first launched in Ireland in 1962 and very quickly became a favourite with Irish motorists.

With the launch of the Mk III model in 1970, the Cortina began more than a decade as Ireland’s most popular car. It was the top selling model every year for a 10 year period (1972 to 1981 inclusive).

“The Cortina is truly an iconic Ford with a great Irish legacy,” said Eddie Murphy, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland. “For anyone who lived through the 60s and 70s, the Cortina was such a common sight on our streets and driveways. It was a car that was loved by motorists across the country both for its modern new design and its great driving ability.”

The Cortina Club of Ireland which has over 100 members around the country was set up in 1995 and gives an opportunity for dedicated enthusiasts to get together, display their cars and share views, technical advice and spare parts.

Speaking about his love of the car, treasurer with the Cortina Club of Ireland, John Noel Cronin of Mallow said he used to own a Mark I Cortina in the 1970s and the beauty of the car was that it was so easy to work on.

“Just about every mechanical part in it unbolts and, with a little confidence, one can turn the saddest of Cortinas into a roadworthy classic,” he added.

Originally conceived as a replacement for the Ford Consul in 1962, the car ceased production in 1982 when it was replaced by the Ford Sierra. The car was named after the chic Italian Alpine ski resort, Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The Cortina was produced in five variants (Mark I through V) and in motorsport, Cortina was a hugely successful nameplate during the 1960s and into the 1970s.

The Cortina Club of Ireland celebration of the 50th anniversary of Cortina will take place at the Celtic Ross Hotel, Roscarbery, from Sept 7 to 9.

TG4 has made a programme about the 50th anniversary of the Cortina that will be screened during December.