$1,500 Barn Find Ford: 1969 Ford Cortina GT MK II

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I’m in Huntsville, Alabama right now and I jumped onto Craigslist hoping to find a cool vehicle or two. I ran across this 1969 Ford Cortina MK II that’s down in Cullman, Alabama, halfway between Huntsville and Birmingham. It’s on Craigslist with an asking price of $1,500. It’s been in a barn since 1980 so you’ll have to go through everything, but it looks straight and solid!

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The neat-freak in me always wants to clean up a car like this when I see them in decent condition but just dirty, dusty, and crusty. Although, there’s a bit of rust below the Cortina 1600 GT badge and it also looks like maybe some starting on the bottom of the driver’s side door, maybe? There are only four photos on this ad but from what photos there are it looks like a really solid car. There are no interior photos at all, unfortunately, but it should look similar to this under all of that dirty glass. An old South African advertisement is pretty crazy to see now, asking wives to pledge to do the housework before driving their Ford Cortinas. Wow.

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This car hasn’t been on the road, or started, since 1980! There is no mention of the mileage but just from the condition of the body it looks like it was driven in the snow a lot if at all. But, like with any stored car, be prepared for a lot of rodent damage on the interior and possibly elsewhere. The Ford Cortina MK II was made from 1966 (for the ’67 model year) to 1970 and they were made by Ford of Britain. This appears to be a left-hand-drive car so it was either made for the North American market or another non-right-hand-drive market. I love the look of this car, and being a two-door makes it even more appealing to me.

The GTs had power front disc brakes, a blackout trim between the tail lights and on the grille, a wood steering wheel, buckets seats, and a few other goodies that didn’t really make the car any faster but gave it some bling. I love the look of the stock wheels. I wouldn’t change a thing on this car; just clean it up, get it working like new, and drive it.

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D’oh! Ok, there’s a little work to do under the hood, but if I would have been in storage for 36 years I’d need a little work under my hood, too. I’m guessing that not all of those years were spent inside of a barn due to the pine needles and acorns under the bonnet. Mice and other destructive rodents may have carried some of the acorns under there but I’m not sure if they would have put those pine needles in there. This is Ford’s Kent 1.6L Crossflow inline-four cylinder with around 93 hp and 97 ft-lb of torque. This car only weights a ton so that’s not a bad amount of power and the 4-speed manual transmission will help to make it a fun car to drive. This same engine was available for the Ford Pinto in 1971, ’72, and ’73, but I’d much rather have this Cortina GT. Have you seen a Cortina GT before? Or, better yet, have you ever owned or driven one? What do you think of $1,500 for this example?

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Comments

  1. Oingo

    Not driven one, too young back in the day but been in one. They had them in Canada in the 70s bu the tin worm killed them. I much prefer the mk III but this one looks to be a good buy, I am with you one the clean up but am not a fan of those wheels or the color but if the paint is ok I say keep it no matter what the color. Here is a Canadian one, red is not my fave but the sport look is well done.
    http://driving.ca/ford/auto-news/news/collector-classics-1969-ford-cortina-gt-an-ultra-rare-sight

  2. NotchNut

    With an Eco-Boost 4 cyl it would be a great sleeper.

    Like 1
  3. Dee-Tee

    I’ve had three Cortina Mkll back in the seventies and eighties, 2 sedans and 1 wagon. The tranny went in one of them and I swapped in a Lotus 4 speed with a short shifter so I’d have to reach under the dash to shift, its all fun when you’re young.Even ice raced a couple of Mk 2s. Lots of fun.

  4. Marcel

    Wait a cotton pick’n minute, that underhood shot is NOT from the same car! I call shenanigans.

    • Jorge

      It certainly is NOT!

  5. Bob_s

    Well, the hubcaps look like there from a Pinto and the picture of the engine compartment isn’t of a Cortina. My guess is a Toyota engine compartment.

  6. BMWRACER

    Is there any prize for the first person to come up with what the “Under hood” picture is? I don’t know what it is (some kind of Japanese truck?) but it’s not a Cortina

    • Scotty Staff

      Whoa! You are correct, sir. My apologies, I should have known that that engine bay, let alone the engine, wasn’t Cortina-like.

  7. Oingo

    I was looking at that too not finding it looking like a Ford Kent crossflow which seems to be what it should have.

  8. Rob

    Having been in the Huntsville area and familiar with the area of Cullman as well I’m not surprised. But the one thing I hated while living there is they put a salt brine down on the highways during the few times a year they have ice and snow storms. So if this metal is susceptible to rot that wouldn’t do it any favors.

  9. Don E

    Good call @BMWRACER ! I believe it’s an engine bay shot of mid 60s Fiat 1500 Spider. The steering gear mechanism gives it away.

    So the question is: too cheap and false pics = scam? I hope not, cuz I’d love to have it if someone could touch it for me ??? Hello … Hello … anybody there ?! We know Scotty is there.

  10. Don E

    No worries Scotty. How would anyone know unless familiar with one or the other of those cars. Not sure if you are still in the area to touch it or not?

    BTW, the phone listed in the ad is not a valid number, when called. Strange it’s been on CL for 25 days and not been flagged.

  11. DolphinPorsche

    agreed on the FIAT compartment/engine,I’ve had the MK1GT, the 66 Lotus Cortina, the 68 1600 and the 1600GT along with other limy Enfos, They are super users and successfully competed in road racing and rallys here and abroad. EnFo offered more thn you could dream of in racing bits–how about an alloy diff carrier, 4 valve head dual webers–of course. the GT came with a weber, headers, more compression, bigger valves and that one had a close ratio tranny!

  12. angliagt

    I’ve had so many Cortinas over the years-
    my “claim to fame” is the only one in the US to have
    a MKI,II,& III all at the same time!
    The GT is the one to have,but I’d want to see
    this one up close,to see just how bad the rust is.
    Since I sold off almost all of the Cortina parts-
    except the 1600 crossflows (for my Anglia 105E),I
    won’t be tempted to buy another.

  13. Howard A Member

    Good call on the engine, all. Gonna have to try better than that to fool us here. Stop me if you’ve heard this one,,,,,my old man had a car just like this, only not a GT. He bought it, stuffed hard in the right door. He had it repaired, and he let my brother take it to school. About a week after we got it back from the body shop, some kid lost control of daddy’s Buick,( at a high rate of speed) and wiped out 4 parked cars, including, the poor Cortina, and the car was scrapped. I remember, it was a lackluster car, but a good car, the 1600 motor was a good engine. On par with any Asian car of the time. Cool find.

  14. sir mike

    I own 68 and 69 GT’s.This one is nice for $1500.Just wish the motor picture was of the Cortina.Would like to see what the shock towers look like.And a interior picture would be nice.

  15. piper62j

    There are portable car crushers available now..

  16. Fred W.

    13 hours between posts….need my BF fix…must have my BF fix…..!

    • Josh Staff

      Sorry about the gap Fred! We tried our hardest to get all the posts done for the weekend on Friday, but we came up a bit short and we needed to get all of our various chores done at home. We will do our hardest to keep the posts coming! We don’t want anyone suffering from BF withdrawals!

  17. Chebby

    WOW that ad. Different world.

    The interior picture appears to be from another car as well. Sometimes when a seller has a few cars for sale and lot of gallery pics, they’ll upload a wrong one or two, that may be the case.

  18. Tony Geloso

    If I’da known then what I know now…

    Had a 72 Pinto w/ the 1.6 w/ a 4 spd and liked it.

    Also heard that the 1.6’s were used in Britisg taxis and they were good there as well.

  19. Kiwi Cortina

    Here is a picture of what it should look like under the bonnet.

  20. ninja3000

    Bought a ’68 GT, bright red, back in 1974 and was in the process of converting it into a sedan racer when it was totaled — in my father’s driveway! He backed up a U-Haul truck and missed the brake pedal (I don’t think he’d ever driven a large truck in his life before that day.) Car was an exceptional runner, and I had just finished stripping the interior to fit a roll cage. I gave it away for parts. One of the saddest days of my young life. C’est la vie!

    Like 1
  21. john

    Lotsa rust behind the right rear wheel

  22. Jubjub

    Cool little car. Not sure if it’s all rusty or just wet dirt that looks rusty. Picture it on slots, Libres, Rostyles or fat steelies. Reminds me of the one Christine squashed during the shop rampage scene.

  23. Phil

    Had lots of these back in the day.
    They rotted like hell, in places you couldn’t even begin to think of, if it didn’t rot then it wasn’t made of metal.
    The GT was a cheaper relative of the 1600E which I think was a nicer car all round,
    The main obvious difference beyond badges was the 1600E had four dials in the dash center and the GT had the same gauges in a raised hump on the dash, and the E had rostyle rims + vinyl top.
    Nearly killed myself in one at eighteen !!, but I then bought a savage with the 3 ltr lump !, My folks were convinced I had a death wish.
    But it never killed me once !.
    Keep up the brilliant work all you folk at BF.

  24. Bobsmyuncle

    This is likely a scam. While I don’t remember the details there are features of the GT that are the same as the Lotus Cortina. At this price someone restoring a Lotus would have grabbed it.

  25. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Update: this posting has been deleted.

  26. Bill Zook

    I’m interested in learning more about this car. Is it for sale…?

  27. Bill Zook

    I had a white 69 as my second car I had It was great fun. The only drag was having to replace the nylon (plastic…) bushings in the drag link.

  28. Billy

    This ad was not a scam. I purchased this car back in September. As stated above, the owner said that car had been sitting in a barn/shed since 1980 (along with 5 studebakers). We were able to crank the car and actually drove it for a short distance (no brakes). Only rust on the car was on the trunk lip. VERY solid car finding parts is sort of a challenge.

  29. Charlie

    Billy,

    Check out the MK2 owner’s club in the U.K. They have a Facebook group in addition to the enfostuff website.

    Glad to see another cortina on the east coast, there aren’t too many of us.

    Also not to be pedantic, the GT’s in 68 had the 4 gauges in a hump on the dash. After that they were in the dash.
    The GT did also not come with an aluminum wheel or anything close to what you’d call bucket seats.

  30. ozburb

    I drove a 68 2 door Mk2 to work for 8 years, about 20 years ago. Absolute rust bucket piece of junk that wouldn’t die. Ended up trading it for a TV that didn’t work (fixed it, but). The sills were rusted out, as well as the passenger floor, and the spare wheel well in the boot. I just pop riveted some tin over the holes and painted it. Front ball joints (pressed into the control arms as one piece) were flogged out, but I couldn’t get spares. So wheel alingment was adjusted for slight toe out so steering was still ok and tire wear not too bad,

  31. Lem Quinones

    Yes, I drove more than one as a very young teenager, as I am on my mid 60s. Actually that is how I found this post. I was looking for one, because I remember how much fun they were. In the process came to find out that they used the same engine for the pinto, which I wished I would have known back then.

  32. Jim

    Engine bay is not a Cortina. There are no shock towers so to what are the lower control arms connected? No typical cross flow header pipes. It might not be GT but those shock towers really have be there. The 1975 Fiesta had the 1600 engine but no Weber, no header and ~ 70HP, mounted sideways, front drive. The 1967 had 4 gauges on a central hum, the 68 had them in the dash, below the lip.

    Jim 1968 GT

  33. Ronald Reed

    I once owned a white 67 two door with a black stripe along the lower body with a GT emblem, Black interior and four speed shift. I loved the car,. wish I hadn’t parted with it. Last time I saw it it was headed for the junk yard, Someone had driven it into the ground. There used to be a Ford dealer in Aurora had two in the back lot never driven back in the late eighties, I wonder what became of them. A wagon and a two door both white.

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