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My Dad's '68 Cortina Mk 2 GT 3L. V-6
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78courier



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Kelowna BC

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: My Dad's '68 Cortina Mk 2 GT 3L. V-6 Reply with quote

In í67, my dad started looking for some alternative motivation for his 60 Zephyr (See Pete and Bobs Zephyrs) and found what seemed to be the perfect fit: a new, 1966 3-litre Ford Essex V-6. It was apparently one of two in the country at that time. As it was modern, Ford and British and the price was right, he bought it. He decided not to put it in the Zeph and but found the 6 would fit in a Mk II Cortina (the Savage). In the spring of Ď68 my dad went to Jayís Imports in Hayward,Ca., picked out one of two white í68 Cortina GTís they had just taken off a transport, drove it home (about 5 miles) and started pulling it apart. He had already bought a front cross member and modified it for the V-6 using Zephyr engine mounts. The battery went into the trunk. A V-4 Corsair bell housing mated the motor to the Cortina transmission with an Austin-Healy pressure plate and modified clutch disk. As the steering box blocked the driverís side exhaust pipe, he bought a second passenger-side manifold, turned it around so that the pipe went to the front and then back. For ďstealthĒ the exhaust system remained a single but larger, outlet. As the top of the carburetor sat slightly higher, he made a thinner air cleaner to clear the hood. A Mustang radiator and an electric fan went under the hood. To give it more legs, on went a Lotus 3.54:1 gear set. Koniís resided at all four corners as did a set of larger Pirelliís on wider wheels. Inside, a Mark IV Zodiac tach fit perfectly in the hole vacated by the original 4 cylinder unit.

In theory, the formula was great: small and light with an unstressed, 144hp and 180ft/lbs of torque under the hood. In practice, once he got it on the road, it met all of his expectations. It was quick, fast, and reliable and performed like much more expensive cars of that era. Despite minimal suspension modifications and no changes to the brakes, it handled and stopped well as it wasnít much heavier than stock. Driving around town required 2nd and 4th. The best part was that other than some very, very subtle markings including small vents on the hood, it looked just like any other Cortina and thatís exactly what he wanted: a innocuous looking, little British econobox that would surprise.

And it made my dad smile a lot. He toyed with a lot other small cars of the era and with more expensive foreign cars. He tormented 2002 owners and made some muscle car drivers question their cars. I remember leaving Laguna Seca (after a day at the races so perhaps a case of the red mist came over him) and getting on the highway back to the Bay Area. There were three of us in the Cortina. Opportunity knocked and I watched a guy in a new Alfa Spider look at us and then down at his dash several times as we left him behind. The look on his face was priceless.


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joeyramone30



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 61
Location: Denton TX

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story and great pics - I love how he changed the look of the grille.
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zephyrgary



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 756
Location: cave creek,az

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't you wish you still had it? Very cool ride.
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78courier



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Kelowna BC

PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do believe that it is still around. And yes it would be nice to have. Unfortunately, even if it was available, deciding which one of the vehicles that would have to go to make room...
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steven H



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:28 pm    Post subject: V6 Cortina Reply with quote

well I have this car now and it is in very original condition it has been a project since the 80's I believe. The car has it's original block but with uprated heads from a company called Swaymar in the UK it also has triple Weber carbs and a 5 speed trans . I bought the car with it's newly rebuilt motor running but running badly so I've pulled the motor and sent it to some good engine guys to see what the problem is here are some pics of the car now.
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steven H



Joined: 25 May 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



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steven H



Joined: 25 May 2010
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



how about the two gas tanks ? very cool thinking of putting a filler on the rear deck. I have changed the wheels for a set of Dunlop D1's, it's going to be a great driver if I can sort the motor.
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zephyrgary



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 756
Location: cave creek,az

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, that's why I didn't buy it. The seller always claimed that the new oil pump that would fix it all was about to arrive. However he never fitted it which made me nervous. My brain trust in England wondered whether to over sized push rods might be causing oiling problems as the Essex is a bit iffy in that area. I agree it will be a very fine car once sorted. hopefully, at not too much expense. I figured you had boght after I saw your red on on CL. Good luck.
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zephyrgary



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
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Location: cave creek,az

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, if you need parts or advice you should contact Burton Engineering in England. They have been the experts on Ford motors for more than 30 years.
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peteleo



Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 878
Location: San Mateo,California

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob's father ( Howard ) also owned this '60 Zephyr which my dad bought around 1984.
This is the car that Howard originally was to install the 3.0 litre V6. As you can see he also installed a similar 10 gal. gas tank in the trunk giving a total of 22 gal. @ approx. 25 mpg for non-stop distance of over 500 miles without a potty break.
My wife and I drove the Zephyr to Hillsboro, Oregon for the annual June 1
All Ford event. There were only 4 Euro Fords in our group. I think this event has now petered off for the Euro class since it's hay days of the past.

Pete
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105epaul



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 206
Location: London England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link to Burtons:

https://www.burtonpower.com/

As Gary says they have been doing Ford stuff for years now.
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78courier



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Kelowna BC

PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: The Cortina Reply with quote

Yes that is the car my dad put together. It took him a year of nights and weekends once he bought the Cortina to get it on the road. He had bought the engine a year earlier and was going to put it in Pete's Zephyr but got talked out of it. Kind of amazing that three of his vehicles are still around - I have his 78 Courier Pickup. He and my mom had way too much fun in the Cortina because even in stock form it was very quick. The weakest part was the fibre timing gear - it broke in Indiana on them. They flew home to California, he built a tow bar, put it on the Zephyr and went and got the car and towed it back. Zephyr needed some engine work after that. Driving long distances where what my parents did - so extra gas tanks were a must. I also have a extra gas tank in the Courier for about a 750 mile range. Good to see both cars are in good hands
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78courier



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Kelowna BC

PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The XFJ of the licence plate - eXperimental Ford Junk is what my dad said it meant.
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peteleo



Joined: 24 Aug 2008
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Location: San Mateo,California

PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, Bob. I still have that tow bar that your father made for the Zephyr to tow the Cortina back home.
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78courier



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Kelowna BC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: Cortina Reply with quote

I think my father found a Cortina and measured it up to make the Bar. Neat that you still have it.

To the owner, please be aware that over 115MPH the font end gets a bit floaty and scary.
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