In 1962 Ford UK announced the launch of the Cortina Mk I, probably the most important new model in the company's post-war history and its first million sellers in Great Britain.

Initially, the Ford marketing men launched the new model as the Consul Cortina, but the public seemed to prefer the simple Cortina title, so the Consul badging and naming was dropped after two years.

Designed with the mass market in mind, the Cortina Mk I   was the first Ford to offer so much space at such little cost, while at the same time saving so much dead weight.

The Mark I Cortina was the first of many Fords for which US-style product planning (different engines, various trim packages) was so strongly felt.

Constructed on a 98in monocoque -wheelbase, and weighing in much lighter than previous Fords in its category, the Cortina was always intended to be produced in two-door, four-door, and five-door estate types -powered by either 1198cc and 1498cc engines.

These two engines could be matched to a choice of manual gearboxes with the centre floor or steering-column change or even automatic transmission.

Simply equipped, the Cortina Mk I was also to be offered in several different trim levels, which were all launched in the first year, along with the charismatic 78bhp 1498cc Cortina GT, which came complete with a remote-control gear change and front-wheel disc brakes.
Other Cortina versions retained all-drum brakes to the end.

Early models came with an everyday fascia styling, which curtailed demand and they were soon updated.

In October 1964, Ford UK handed the Cortina Mk I another brand-new fascia style, face level ventilation by swivelling "eyeballs," and air outlets in the rear quarters; at the same time the grille was widened.

The first Cortina Supers came along in January 1963, the hugely successful Cortina GT in March 1963.

From January 1964, Ford began to offer a Borg Warner automatic transmission option - although only on - non-GT 1498cc engined versions.

From late 1964, Cortina GTs got extra radius arm location to the rear axle

In1966, with the model firmly established in the UK, Ford discontinued the Mk I Cortina replacing it with the rounder and roomier Mk II, having sold over a million versions.

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