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Ford Corsair (1963 - 1970)

Last updated 18 January 2014

 
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Sharp suited, Thunderbird looks
V4 engine is far from being a peach

Introduction

The Corsair was introduced by Ford as an attempt to plug yet another gap in its range – above the Cortina but below the Zephyr/Zodiac. Known internally as the 'Bucaneer' the Corsair was the product of intense market research, and the slightly ornate styling was a result of that. Its distinctive arrow shaped nose looked like a cross between that of the Taunus in Germany and the Thunderbird in America. However, it never really caught the imagination of buyers, and sales were slower than anticipated – despite the printed circuit board inside the instrument panel – an industry first.

Replacing the existing 1498cc engines with the new V4s at 1663cc and 1996cc actually took some of the appeal out – and the car was slower the car down and less economical with these new and less efficient engines. Also, a lot of the car’s weight was positioned over the front wheels, which did not inspire confident handling. However, Ford released versions with reworked engines and high levels of standard trim to tempt buyers. Most customers still preferred the better-value Cortina and sales remained poor until the car’s demise in 1970. It was replaced by the 2-litre versions of the recently enlarged Cortina in Mk3 form.

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