Green And Lean: 1968 Ford Cortina Deluxe Wagon


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When I lived in the UK growing up, these Cortina Estates were a common site on British roads, along with Triumph 2000/2500 ones and various BMC products. Over on this side of the pond, they were brought over to combat the growing tide of imports from Germany and Japan. This little 1968 wagon was purchased to be restored around 20 years ago and was made to run and drive at the time, but has been sitting since. It’s now in Potterville, Michigan (no, it’s not an Anglia!) and is up for auction here on eBay, where the opening bid is $3,999 and there’s no reserve. Thanks to fellow Barn Finds writer Jeff L. for this terrific find!


Apart from the aftermarket wheel covers, this car looks remarkably stock. The seller tells us that “it is 97% original from the paint to the drive train,” and that they got it roadworthy twenty years ago by replacing the tires, and refurbishing the fuel system and brakes.


Even though it’s a small wagon by American standards, there’s a useful load floor back there and that rear seat does fold down to make it even larger. There is some relatively minor rust at the base of each rear pillar, but other than that and a little rust at the bottom seam of a fender, the outside of the body seems pretty nice.


Tremendous kudos to the seller for including this picture and what it is in the description; if you didn’t see this you would think the car had no substantial rust at all. This is under one of the front fenders, and will have to be addressed. Something like this really gives me confidence that the seller is accurately describing the car. The seller has also loaded three sets of high resolution pictures here, here and here for you to look more closely at details.


The interior is original, and frankly looks pretty darn good other than some cracks in the top of the dash. This looks like a company that restores them, though. And a manual to boot!


The all-important strut towers are solid, and things look pretty original under here. The Brits had just changed from predominately positive ground wiring (!) which is why the “negative earth” decal is in place. That large canister should have a lid on it, but I’m honest not sure as to it’s purpose–anyone know? Overall, if you’re interested in a smaller, manual transmission wagon, this could be your car. Let us know your thoughts!


Auctions Ending Soon


  1. piper62j

    I very much disliked working on these cars.. If memory serves me right, the fenders were welded (yes, I said welded) on.. Rust and rot were major issues back then and it appears nothing has changed..

    Good find on a not so good car.. The Brits can keep it..

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  2. recar

    I had one-just like this when I got it. Fabulous vehicle -the engine is the 1600 Kent [think Formula Ford] which upgrades to as much power as you want to afford- I took mine to GT specs, fitted a monster Webasto and it towed a tent trailer with a rubber boat and 5 bikes from Vancouver to California and back…Freeway speeds? No problem, but of course happier on the coast route.Hey, its not a big old 12mpg Yank with a kick-down passing gear! You get euro/brit iron or you don’t. Welded fenders? I think not.[that was Karmann Ghia that welded fenders] Health issues have put an end to most wrenching, but…..I’m glad it’s not closer!

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  3. Steven C

    I love this! It would look really cool with the Capri mini magnum 500/rostyle wheels on it.

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      Or a Minilite type wheel.

      I love it!

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  4. Sofakingfast

    Similar one, maybe same one?? For sale. No OFFERS! Take it or leave it. Anyone else recall this about 3 or months ago?
    Seller seemed really stuck on a number….

    Is my memory failing (again) or is this the same one?

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    • wyatt

      this is my Cortina..and yes your memory failing, as it wasn’t me, or my Cortina

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  5. piper62j

    Recar… Click on the link to view the front fender of a Cortina.. You will notice there are no bolt holes to mount it to the upper apron or “A” pillar. It must be welded on to the body…Just an FYI, the Brit show “Wheeler Dealers” puffed up one of these chasis and Ed China clearly videographed the fenders being replaced.. He welded them on.. Also, the very early Ford manufactured Escort, was a spin off of the Cortina, which was mainly sold in Western Europe.. in the same..The Escort platform changed dramatically when Ford produced them in the U.S. They were no longer based on the Cortina construction.

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  6. HoA Howard AMember

    This is a great find, although, you don’t get much for the asking price. Little wagons like this are great and for short trips, can’t be beat. Great little motors, but that’s just it, little. Not meant for 80 mph interstate blasting. I too would be concerned about the rust, but looks fixable. The canister at the top appears to be part of the smog pump setup, a charcoal canister, I believe. Looks long nonoperational, and confirms this may be a Cal. car. ( except the rust part) unless all exported Cortina’s had that. Most were removed after the pump seized. I’d love to have it, just not for 4g’s.

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  7. angliagt

    This one’s been listed a few times,with no buyer.
    The canister is for the air pump.
    These are rare,& some parts,like the rear doors
    & tailgate,are wagon only.
    I had a MKII wagon,that had a 2000cc conversion
    done to it.I sold it after fixing one thing after another.

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  8. Ian

    ..if this was here in the UK in this condition there would be a line round the block ! A 1600cc moves pretty well…..certainly with most US speed limits – carries a lot with the rear seats down…and has a big following over here in all forms. Rust is fixable I a sure-seen a lot worse sorted. Been a huge upsurge of interest in Fords of this era over here too. A practical and sound usable classic !

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  9. John

    I would ask that you look carefully again at the right side shock tower. It’s a shame that these little cars weren’t less susceptible to rust. This would be the basis for a pretty neat little car. I have seen one of these that had a Capri V6 in it. But the rust quickly becomes a structural issue. Too bad.

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  10. Tara

    The old MK2 Ford Cortina estate, while they are not worth much in the US,
    they are worth a great deal more here in the UK, in that condition buyers in
    the UK would be looking at £8.000.

    Like 0

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