Ford's Cortina was the car which should have made
it big in Australia. It was introduced at a time
when the trend from large to medium-sized cars was
just beginning to gain momentum and, by the time
of the release of the TE, had demonstrated its ability
to last through the transition.
It was in the box
seat to inherit the bulk of the enormous number of
sales thus created in its range, but it was never
the seller it should have been.
It had the right
size inside and out (if lacking a little in rear
seat leg room) and the right size engines. And it
came equipped with a range of engines to suit everyone’s
taste, from the venerable 2.0-liter four-cylinder
to the powerful and smooth 3.3 and 4.1 liter six
cylinder units, the latter giving surprisingly good
fuel economy for its size.
When the TE body style
first appeared it almost created a sensation; it
was the first of the European-look medium cars. It
looked impressive and solid, and gave an air of rugged
dependability. Buyers were familiar with the engines
and their reliability had never been in doubt.
let the TE Cortina down was a lack of quality control
at the manufacturing level, and the cars left the
factory with faults that were not fixed at the pre-delivery
stage, and often never at all. Sheer frustration
drove many owners on to other pastures.
thing was that the larger Falcon never suffered the
However, for those who were prepared
to take the risk and stick with the car until it
was finally bolted together soundly, the Ford Cortina
TE was a good buy. More effort appeared to be put
into this top-of-the-line Ghia, which bore the name
of the famous Italian coach-building firm, and was
also fitted out with all of the extras that a few
hundred dollars can buy.
The Cortina measured in at
a length of 426 cm and weighed 1138 kg in four-cylinder
form. All versions would top 160 km/h speed and the
sixes provided impressive acceleration, although
many lamented their handling quality, or lack thereof.
If you’re a Cortina
fan, its best to just leave it at that, but if your
game, check out Holden’s HZ Radial Tuned Suspension
commercial in the Media section. The six cylinder
TE Cortina was, simply put, scary.