11,400 Miles! 1972 Ford Cortina 2000 Estate

Named after Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo, the “Italian supermodel of ski resorts” according to LonelyPlanet, Ford’s Cortina enjoyed decades of success in Europe and elsewhere. This 1972 Ford Cortina 2000 Estate hails from the Mark III years, the Cortina’s third generation. Called a “mid-sized” car in European marketing, it was quite small compared to American wagons of the time, 4.7 feet shorter than a 1972 Buick Estate Wagon for example, and about the length of a modern Toyota Corolla hatchback, both around 172 inches (437 cm). This example has covered fewer than 12,000 miles in its lifetime and the Alberta, Canada classic comes to market here on eBay. The No Reserve auction has attracted at least 11 bidders and a market value beyond $6000.

If those seats haven’t been recovered then the red seat upholstery clearly faded differently from the rest of the interior. Either way, they appear ready for service. Though standard issue today, the automatic transmission would disappoint drivers who might otherwise enjoy the driving experience. Call me biased; my folks ordered a V8 Plymouth wagon with a floor shifter in the ’70s. However for someone who simply wants a different sort of classic for weekend cruising and car shows, the automatic will do just fine.

Updated styling on the Mark III Cortina showed American influences. The Estate (wagon) tipped the scales at about 2400 lb, according to Automobile-Catalog, almost 1000 lb lighter than a Fox-body Mustang.

Positioned above two overhead-valve four-cylinder engines of 1.3 and 1.6 liters, this 2.0L (122 cid) overhead cam inline-four made 97 HP. American Ford fans may recognize it as essentially the same as the OHC 2.0L Pinto engine, according to Wikipedia.

My Pass / Fail grade for a small wagon or SUV is “Can I put my dog behind the rear seat?” This Cortina Estate passes with flying colors as a number of hound dogs could fit back here, and the rubber mat would clean up nicely should they leave any muddy paw prints behind. Who do you picture driving this low-mileage European classic?


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  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    That’s gorgeous – nice one, Todd!

    Like 10

      Hi from GA, USA. I owned the GT manual version of this car, a 1972 MK III in Ontario, Canada in the 1970’s. (1) It went like stink, but watch out for that rear end to fish tail or pivot on a wet or snowy surface; (2) I would not trust the mileage listing for this one further than I can touch with my hands. Those cars had a five digit odometer. (3) It was said of the Dagenham (London, UK) Ford plant that made them, that the quality and productivity were so low that output was measured in workers / car, not cars / worker. A buddy of mine who had worked there confirmed this opinion for me many years later: this car was made at the height of the British car malaise and it shows. (4) Can you say: “rust bucket”? Of course, Alberta doesn’t salt the roads, but where was it before Alberta? Mine had the plates taken off it by an inspector from the Ontario government around 1982 after he stamped hard on the floor pan and his foot went through it. Found on Road, Dead at 82,000 miles. (5) This one is an automatic. Good luck with that.

      Like 1
      • Steve

        Hi,,,i have had many of these, yes very light in the ars end ,easy for the back end to catch up to the front ,
        Very popular, expressly here in oz ,yes we had all the models here ,from the 60s to the 80s,,
        Some of ours even had a 6 cylinders and in late 70s
        A v8,,,,they go like the clappers,

  2. Big_Fun Member

    Nice find! Todd. I like this. Maverick-esque with a ’68 Mercury shape.

    Like 11
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    First time I saw a wagon was when we went to the
    Westwood race track in BC,Canada.
    I had a ’72 that I bought near Victoria,BC years ago,

    Like 4
  4. angliagt angliagt Member

    Oops! – wrong picture.

    Like 10
  5. Todd Fitch Staff

    I forgot to mention in the piece that we had a ’68? Cortina in a BRG-ish green when I was growing up. I don’t remember it well but my Mom liked it and we never saw another one, ever.

    Like 3
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      There’s a guy up near Smith Mountain Lake,
      not too far from me,who had 16 Cortinas on his
      property.He’s sold some,but still has many left.

      Like 7
  6. local_sheriff

    Haven’t seen such a beautiful TC wagon since the early 80s and never a Cortina version. Always wondered why the h… these Fords weren’t marketed in the US in place of the Pinto or Maverick as they were highly successful both in Europe and South America. To my knowledge Cortinas didn’t receive any V6 in contrast to its Taunus sibling, IMO such a shame…
    A really great and sweet find! 👍

    Like 7
    • Derek

      Not in this shape, as far as I know; there was a 2.3 V6 in the Mk 5 which was a nice thing. There’s Savage conversions and so on, too, but they weren’t official.

      Like 2
    • Quidditas

      In South Africa we were blessed with the Essex 3.0 L V6. Very, very popular and beat the Corola on the sales chart. We also had a Ford Cortina van with the the same V6.

      The Van’s, called bakkies, are nearly bullet proof with many still around.

      An honest Ford

      Like 6
    • Solosolo Solosolo Member

      We had 2.5L V6 and 3.0L V6 Cortinas and Basil Green V8’s in South Africa from about 1974. I bought a 2.5L V6 Pick-up automatic which was one of the biggest PsOS that I ever owned, gutless and couldn’t pass a gas station without hiccuping! All of them were great driving cars other than that.

      Like 4
  7. Steve Clinton

    Buy this and you’ll be the only person with one at coffee & cars in the US!

    Like 5
    • Steve Clinton

      It looks like a combination of a Pinto and Maverick…a Pintrick? …a Manto?

      Like 10
  8. Bob

    Wow, haven’t seen one of these in decades. I had a dark blue 69 Cortina wagon with a 4 speed in college, I bought it used for $125 in the late 70’s. Great little car, traveled all over the upper mid-west and parts of Canada camping, fishing etc. never left me stranded. Unfortunately had to scrap it after to many Chicago winters, the front strut towers rusted through and the front end collapsed.

    Like 7
  9. CCFisher

    Neat find! It’s interesting to see the American Ford influences – the undulating beltline, the dash layout, shifter, steering wheel, etc, etc.

    One detail – a 1979 Mustang coupe with a 4-cylinder engine weighed just over 2500 lb, 100lb more than this Cortina.

    Like 8
  10. Slomoogee

    A few tweaks to the highly tweakable pinto engine, a 5 speed, minilights, and I’d be living my dream.

    Like 10
  11. Dave

    What a nice car! I sure would enjoy this one. Certainly a stick in it would be better euro flare.

    Like 2
  12. Craig

    From 1970-82 the cortina was the UK’s best selling car except for one month when the ford escort was!
    Here in the UK I’m a leading light on the mk3-5 owning seven one the same as this but in GT trim (never offered officially) through to a Mk5 4dr sedan bought new by my late father.
    My 2dr GT I’ve owned since 1989 powered by a 302 & T5 for the last 20 years.
    This one looks a beauty & would command circa £10k here.

    Like 7
  13. mike

    And to think when Ford stopped importing Cortina’s…..The MK2 body style ended in 1970…We got the Pinto instead.We were robbed…

    Like 8
  14. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. I’ve heard of the Ford Cortina, but I’ve never seen one, not even when I visited the UK several years ago. I like the price. I hope it goes to a good owner.

    Like 3
  15. Troy

    When I first opened the email and seen the picture I thought to myself what the heck happened to that pinto. Then I started reading its nice to see one that is left hand drive. Will make someone a fun ride.

    Like 1
  16. WayneS

    This beast is a little bigger than the Pinto Wagon and with touches of the Maverick blended in for good measure. Drove one of these back in the day and was actually much more comfortable than the Pinto Wagon. This example is VERY clean

    Like 3
  17. Howie Mueler

    My parents had a Cortina wagon, same color as this, but it did not look like this. Pretty cool.

    Like 3
  18. Car Nut Tacoma

    My favourite Ford Cortinas are the Mk2 through Mk4.

  19. Peter S

    Here in Australia this model cortina was available with a straight 6 of 200 or 250 cubic inch and the250 with a 2v option. Quick cars.

    Like 2
  20. Bill D

    “Had a love affair with Nina
    In the back of my Cortina
    A seasoned up hyena
    Couldn’t’ve been more obscener”

    —Ian Dury, “Billericay Dickie”

    Like 1
  21. Freakinutz Member

    I’ve got a 68 Mk2. My first car was a 66 Mk1 GT. Followed that up with a 64 RHD Lotus Cortina. Ford decided to pull the plug on the Cortina when the Pinto came into play. Very few 1970 models made it to this shore. Great cars that looked great and drove well. Very easy to work on. This one is very clean.

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