NZ Classic Car


In 1962, when the first Cortina was introduced, most of our cars came from the UK. If you were the sort who wore string-back gloves, Viyella shirts, corduroy trousers, and brogues you could buy a good-looking sports car — there was a great choice of them, too, from Old Blighty — but if it was an affordable family car you were after the choice was limited, and the cars offered were far more utilitarian.


BMC, Rootes Group, Vauxhall, and others were turning out various medium-sized cars, none of which was setting the world alight at that stage. Ford was producing the Zephyr in both six- and four-cylinder variants. The six-cylinder version was preferred and almost ubiquitous on the local roads.


Earlier, at Ford’s headquarters in the US, high-ranking bureaucrats had decided that a certain Mr Roy Brown, the designer of the ill-fated Ford Edsel, must be punished for his sins. The car that magazine called “the wrong car for the wrong market at the wrong time”, had sealed Mr Brown’s fate. His punishment was a transfer to the UK, where he must sink or swim serving Ford’s British branch and the

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