1971 Ford Cortina Mk3 2.0ltr GT

MAKEFord Cortina

1971 Ford Cortina Mk3 2.0ltr GT

  • Registered new in 1971 in the dry warm climate of South Africa 
  • Remarkably preserved because of that 
  • Refurbed recently 
  • Amazing condition 
  • Independent review video by Pete C at Cortina City
  • Please scroll down the page past the video to see the bidding and to read a full description for this lot 

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  • Registered new in 1971 in the dry warm climate of South Africa 
  • Remarkably preserved because of that 
  • Refurbed recently 
  • Amazing condition 
  • Independent review video by Pete C at Cortina City

Although there was a tonne of both, the 1970s were more than just disco music and dodgy fashion. In Britain, it was a time of celebration, discovery, rebellion and change.  For everyone it was a decade of contrasts. 

Prime Minister, Ted Heath, took us in to the European Community. Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Silver Jubilee. Punk Rock arrived. So did Mrs Thatcher. 

Into that melting pot, Ford launched it’s successor to the Cortina Mk2; the curvaceous Mk3. 

Along with red telephone boxes and the Brady Bunch, Mk3 Cortina’s were a permanent fixture in Britain in the 1970’s. Ford produced 1.1m of them, they were that popular. 

And the best one of all? It has to be the Mk3 2.0ltr GT.  

The Cortina Mk3 GT had performance on par with the Mk2 Lotus Cortina.  

105mph for the GT, 104mph for the Lotus. 98bhp for the GT, 110bhp for the Lotus. 110lbft of torque for the GT, 106lbft of torque for the Lotus. 0-60 times were near identical at 11.0 seconds. 

And then there was the style of the GT. Game over for the Mk2 Cortina then! 

It is hard to over-state the condition of this one we’ve been privileged to market for our vendor.  

We’ll take you through the detail and do look at the gallery. But moreover, you could if you wanted, ignore both of those and skip straight to the independent assessment this classic GT underwent when it visited the experts at Cortina City.  It gives probably one of the best and fairest appraisals we’ve ever seen. Grab a cuppa, put your feet up and have a watch. 


This Cortina Mk3 GT was registered new in South Africa in 1971. It returned to its ancestral home, no not Dagenham, a bit further north, in 2020. Our vendor has owned it since it landed. 

Notwithstanding that, the dry, warm South African climate preserves cars better than the Egyptians preserved their pharaohs, this GT has been the subject of one of the most detailed and painstaking overhauls we’ve ever seen. 

Note, we do not say restoration. The information on the video from the Cortina City team support our view that many items, including the body are original. This is not a UK porous Dagenham Dustbin. Quite the opposite, as you’ll see. 


As soon as you open the door, the unique ‘tombstone’ reclining front seats strike you straight-on. The design, the silhouette and the condition are all just amazing. All the seats, front and back look like they have been recovered and they do look good. 

The famous sloping dash is crack free, even though its been in a hot climate. There is a new headlining in the GT which has been fitted expertly. Our vendor tells us he fitted a new gear lever gaitor and while he had that off, fitted new plastic selector bushes to the linkage because he liked the feel of a tight new linkage. Don’t we all Phil. Don’t we all. 

The Cortina City team picked on two items inside. The rear view should be mounted in the roof. We missed that, experts, eh. The fitting is there. At the moment the mirror is attached to the screen. 

On the nearside front door, the weatherstrip around the door aperture frame fails about an inch short. 

Outside and underside 

Where to start? We’ll start with the bits the Cortina City bunch picked up.  

On the offside front A-pillar there is what we can only describe as ‘blot’. You’d struggle to see it, but if you run your hand up and down the A-pillar, as you do, you’ll feel it. We suspect some contaminant has entered the paint process, a bit of dirt for example and the paint has reacted. If you were minded it will probably polish out. We wouldn’t be. 

On the nearside rear, low down, underneath the bumper where the rear valance joins the closing panel on the bottom of the rear quarter is area where it looks like stone chips have hit the panel. You’ll see it on the video. Again, a couple of hours work would probably deal with that. We probably would.

Please note Cortina City’s Pete C describes the inner arches as being possibly “homemade” whereas in fact they were purchased from a company on the continent at a cost of over £200.

And that is the result of their near forensic examination of this Cortina Mk3 GT. Watch the Video 

Our vendor sourced four deep 5.5J Rostyle wheels. Even though they cost him around £1,500, he set about getting them how he wanted them. They were stripped, powder coated and hand painted by our vendor, who was a professional sprayer in a previous life. Judge for yourself. We know what we think. There is a standard Rostyle in the boot as a spare, which is a nice touch too. It’s nice when people care, isn’t it. 

The vinyl roof is in very good order as is all the brightwork, bumpers, door handles, grille, headlamps, mirrors, everything basically. On the door mounted mirrors, you’ll see on the video, the experts describe these as period and very hard to get hold of. 

When the car was repainted, it’s clear to us – and the experts – it was completely stripped. Furthermore, we’d suggest it was put on a spit or rotisserie. You’ll see from the gallery the underside is in colour, not horrible, aged, black underseal. It’s exceptional to see one like this. 

Engine and mechanicals 

Open the bonnet and you’re met with a near perfect engine bay, we’ll come back to that. Nestled inside is that lovely 2.0ltr GT.  

There has been an update with the sparks. You no longer have to worry about the blessed points/condenser letting you down, an electronic ignition is fitter. On the fuel side a new, but period correct twin choke Webber has been fitted. That sits underneath a smart K&N. 

On the other side is the original four branch manifold giving the GT a lovely sound as well as more power. A new ‘sports’ exhaust has been added to that. 

Looping back to the view of the Cortina City guys. They commented that a couple of the stickers are ‘not the right colour”. We’d get our crayons out and have that sorted in a jiffy. Additionally, the brake reservoir has turned opaque in the South African climate and cosmetically could do with being changed. 

The images show the mechanicals hanging under the vehicle, springs, shock absorbers, back axle all look to have been freshened up if not renewed. The quality of them is in keeping with the rest of the GT. 

The vendor tells us “The mileage stated at 65,000 is in kilometres, we also changed over the clocks to MPH with brand new ones fitted.  So the actual mileage the engine has done is only around 40,000 miles. The engine has also been fully reconditioned and also new carbs fitted.”

Our View  

This is usually the part where we waffle on about how great we think the car is. In this instance we don’t need to. Firstly, because you can see for yourself just how clean this example is and secondly, our independent expert is on hand to help via a 38 minute video! What Pete C from Cortina City doesn’t know about MK3’s could be etched onto a pinhead, so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. 


Vehicle Location: Preston, Lancashire –  it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this vehicle? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
h*****x £16,500.00 2022-03-13 18:59:06
h************r £16,000.00 2022-03-10 20:34:44
h*****x £16,000.00 2022-03-13 18:58:13
m*********s £15,000.00 2022-03-10 18:04:15
h************r £14,500.00 2022-03-03 14:44:23
m*********s £14,500.00 2022-03-10 18:03:50
t*********n £13,000.00 2022-03-01 16:36:17
h************r £12,500.00 2022-02-28 22:02:05
w********n £12,000.00 2022-02-28 21:49:17
h************r £11,000.00 2022-02-28 09:18:13
w********n £10,500.00 2022-02-28 21:48:37
t*********n £9,500.00 2022-02-26 18:48:01
a*********d £9,000.00 2022-02-25 22:32:43
m***************************m £9,000.00 2022-02-26 13:52:59
t*********n £8,000.00 2022-02-25 21:59:39
Start auction £8,000.00 25/02/2022 12:00 AM


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