1975 Ford Cortina 2000 E (MKIII)


  • A genuine two-owner example of the increasingly rare MKIII Ford Cortina
  • A true “garage find” having been last driven in the mid 1990’s
  • Always garaged and hence surprisingly solid and complete
  • The subject of a recent Late Brake Show YouTube “Barn Find” episode - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkDhoObmOIc

The Appeal

The Ford Cortina dominated the family car market for the twenty years of its production between 1962 and 1982. It was built across five generations and became the UK’s best-selling car of the 1970’s, when our MKIII car rolled off the Dagenham production line. The Mark III looked considerably bigger and bulkier than its forebears, despite being the same length. It was a full four inches wider, however, making for a more spacious and airier interior. It also debuted Detroit’s “coke bottle” design language in the UK, lending it a more exotic American mystique.

This example is a fascinating Cortina with an intriguing history which was fully explored by Jonny Smith in a recent “Barn Find” episode of his popular YouTube Late Brake Show channel. Having always been garaged and stored unused since the mid 1990’s, this is a highly original and complete example. That history has clearly helped preserve this car in an admirably solid condition. What a story!

The History and Paperwork

  • This example was first registered in April 1975
  • The car was specified with special-order black paint
  • The Special Vehicle Order (SVO) label is still present on the radiator panel 
  • The current owner’s grandfather, Pat, bought the car in 1977 to become the second owner
  • Pat cherished the car and always kept it garaged
  • He even refused to leave the car unattended and insisted only he drove it
  • The car is thought to have been last used in the 1990’s
  • At around that time Pat garaged the car for the last time
  • Pat sadly passed away in 2003 
  • Shortly afterwards the car was trailered to its current home with Pat’s grandchildren
  • It has remained dry stored and unused since then
  • The original V5 registration document from 1977 is present
  • The original Owner’s Manual is understood to also be on hand
  • The obligatory Cortina MKIII Haynes Manual is also included

The Interior

  • This spacious interior is both highly original and in very good shape 
  • The only obvious issues are a non-original driver’s seat and a missing glove box lock
  • This cabin really oozes a mid-1970’s ambiance and is a charming place to spend time

Ford marketed the Cortina 2000E as “big on power, lavish on luxury.” That “luxury” may seem a little meagre by today’s standards, but the specification of this car represented the top of the range model for the Cortina range of the time. Highlights from the specification sheet incudes a tachometer, trip recorder, heated rear screen and individual rear seats with folding centre armrest.

This interior offers you an authentic taste of mid 1970’s motoring and all it stood for. The front seats are currently covered with sheepskin seat covers. Once removed these reveal non-matching front seats. It seems that the driver’s seat has been replaced at some point with an equivalent from another Cortina. Both front seats are in a fine, original condition and finished in the correct “Savannah” velour fabric. It is just that the driver’s seat is sand coloured whilst the rest of our car’s seats are black. The rear bench is arranged into two separate seats which are separated by a central folding armrest.

The dashboard front and door cappings are finished in “real wood veneer” which is in a generally decent condition with a little flaking in evidence around some of the instrument and vent apertures. Those instruments consist of a big white on black speedometer and tachometer. There is also a temperature gauge and fuel gauge to complete the set. These sit behind the signature, dished chevron steering wheel. A period-appropriate Sanyo radio / cassette head unit is fitted.

The black, deep cut pile carpets are in good shape, too, are surprisingly deep and seem to have retained all their pile. The perforated vinyl headlining is complete and tightly fitted. It may be a little discoloured, however, and should benefit from an additional clean. Door cards are vinyl and carpet finished and the rears feature the obligatory 1970’s ashtrays. Remember those?

The boot is surprisingly spacious and is fitted with a protective rubber floor mat. The spare wheel aperture is lidded with a non-standard wooden cover and the spare wheel is currently not fitted. An original, “Rostyle” spare wheel is present, however, and will be included. The condition of the inner panels of the boot help give an insight into the seemingly sound condition of this car’s underbody.

The Exterior

  • Finished in the rarely seen, special order black paint and black textured vinyl roof
  • Riding on the original Rostyle 51/2 inch steel road wheels 
  • Featuring the original 2000E badge set including the “E Crowns” on the C panels

Ironically for Ford, and its “any colour as long as it’s black” history, black paint on the MKIII Cortina was a special-order option. The range topping 2000 E included a host of other exterior refinements over its lesser brethren, too. These included the signature “rear panel applique,” extra bright mouldings around the windows and wheel arches and that sublime and very ‘70’s vinyl roof.

Our photographic package will help you asses the condition of the paintwork and bodywork. It is generally good for a garage-find car with most of the deterioration and discolouring seeming to be at the paint surfaces. The bodywork appears surprisingly good in the common weak areas such as the sills, door edges and shut panels. The most obvious corrosion is evident around the rear wheel arches extending down into the bottom of the rear panels. 

There is a significant tear in the vinyl roof. The cabin glass appears to be original and in good order. The car’s registration number has been etched into the cabin glass, a key security measure in the 1970’s. Our car sits on its original 5 ½ inch Rostyle wheels which are in a decent condition. A matching spare wheel is included. Given the car’s history, the tyres will clearly need replacing from a safety perspective. It is also noted that original wheel centres and chromed beauty rings are on hand and will be included.

The Mechanics

  • The 2000 E is fitted with the esteemed and ubiquitous 1,993cc OHC “Pinto” engine
  • During its recent YouTube appearance our car was started and run briefly
  • This is a manual version with the four-speed, all synchromesh box

The “Pinto” engine in this car, so called as it was used in the Ford Pinto, is a well respected and widely used unit. It was a mainstay unit for the Ford empire for well over 20 years. In the 2000E the Pinto produced 98 bhp and 111 Ib ft of torque. Modest sounding today, of course, but cars were considerably lighter then, too. Ford originally quoted a 0-60 mph time of around 10 seconds and a 106 mph top speed.

If you watch the YouTube video in which this car features, you will see (*spoiler alert!) that the Cortina eventually starts and runs. It likely would have started much sooner and more easily but the distributor cap had been fitted back to front, seemingly.

Under the bonnet you will see all the original stickers and data plates on the radiator panel. This includes that Special Vehicle Order label, detailing the black paint against order number 1255. The condition of the visible sections of the side panels, bulkhead and chassis legs all appear to be in a decent condition. You will notice that the air cleaner housing and the cambelt cover are currently not fitted. These are present, however, and will be included.


Barn finds and garage finds are all the rage at the moment as they suggest originality and a, hopefully, preserved condition. Often, however, the cars’ claims to true barn find status can be a little spurious under close inspection. Not so with this 2000 E! This is a well loved and cherished family car which has been dry stored and unused since the 1990’s.

We think when you review the condition of this car you will see that it has “great bones” and is highly original throughout. Of course, there is some obvious rust and tarnished paintwork but it remains a long way from poor. If ever there was a car that deserves another good home and to be sympathetically returned to its former glory, it is this one! 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1975
  • Make Ford
  • Model Cortina 2000E
  • Colour Brown
  • Odometer 5,849 Miles
  • Engine size 1993
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Milton Keynes
  • Location Buckinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom

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