COMING TO AUCTION
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SATURDAY 11th JUNE 2016
BROOKLANDS MOTOR MUSEUM, BROOKLANDS ROAD, WEYBRIDGE
1972 FORD CORTINA GXL CONVERTIBLE
Crayford coachbuilders had hardly got into their stride with the Mk. I convertible with only around fifty being built on C and D registrations when Ford told Crayford there would be an 'all new' Cortina for the October 1966 Motor Show. Crayford did not want to wait up to a year to develop a Mk. II Cortina so they asked Ford if they could supply a car now for development work but were told that no pre-production cars where available and, in any case, the car was top secret until press day. They did however agree to ship, in great secrecy, a Mk. II two-door shell and all the parts in kit form.
Crayford's directors and staff then began building the car at the Westerham factory and with only two weeks to go Director Jeff Smith set about converting the car into a Crayford convertible, virtually single-handed, working night and day on the project. The result was, that when the show opened on press day, The Ford Motor Company had on their stand No.143, an entire range of six, all new, Cortina saloons and GT's - but not far away on stand No.173, surrounded by a bevy of trendy dolly girls dressed in black and white chequered mini dresses, was a shiny metallic blue mink Crayford Cortina Mk. II with a white pvc hood.
The Crayford Cortina MK. II had become Crayford's best ever selling car but in 1970 the Ford Motor Company introduced an all new Mk. III Cortina with its distinctively American coke bottle look. Crayford followed on with a Mk. III Crayford Cortina which also took on a new direction, it was not even called a convertible, but a "Sunshine Conversion" in its press literature. Like French and Italian predecessors, it had a full length sunroof that folded all the way back down to the boot. Retaining its side -windows and roof gutters helped maintain more of the convertible's upper body strength. All Mk. I and II cars had to be stripped completely internally and then interiors rebuilt after the conversions, this was an expensive process that kept production down to two cars a week.
These special Crayford Convertibles make hens-teeth look rather commonplace, to find one in its original specification and fully restored is a treat indeed. Recorded on the Crayford register, this pristine example comes with a good history including photographs and bills for its restoration by Motorline of Sussex. Complete with a Mohair hood and new carpets, you will find the underside undersealed and a brand new clutch installed. With just three thought to be left in circulation, this would generate enormous interest at any Ford meet
Copyright: Historics 2016