Ford Cortina L Decor Automatic
This 1973 Ford Cortina MkIII Series 2 is a rare two-door 1.6-litre Automatic with the unusual L Decor trim level. It’s unique in that it’s done just shy of 19,000 miles from new!
The eye-catching Daytona Yellow paintwork is in remarkably good condition. Granted, it’s not all perfect but it’s far better than most Fords of this vintage. There is no evidence of serious rust on the bodywork or underneath.
The interior is extremely tidy, with vinyl seats and black carpets which are almost unworn. This is particularly appealing as its hard to source good trim parts for these older Fords. The only non-original items are speakers in the door panels and a later windscreen washer button. There’s also an aftermarket tilting glass sunroof which is period-correct.
The engine runs sweetly and the car is surprisingly nippy with its automatic gearbox.
Although there is no historic paperwork with the car, the last keeper did a lot of detective work and tracked down the three previous owners. The first kept it for 13 years, the second for 20 years! The second owner was frustrated that the paintwork had faded (as yellow tended to) so he had the car resprayed in 1988. Interestingly, he almost sold it to the television production company Kudos to be used in Life on Mars but a snapped cambelt put paid to that! There is a lovely written report documenting the previous owners’ stories, which makes fascinating reading. In the last year, invoices show that the car has had time and money lavished on it to ensure that it’s in good mechanical fettle.
The L Decor badging is unusual. It was only used on Fords made from August 1973 to August 1974; so M- and a few N-registered examples. The L Decor cars featured loop-pile carpets, interior grab handles, vanity mirror, illuminated glovebox, cigarette lighter and a three-speed heater fan. The exterior boasted a vinyl roof, ‘L Decor’ badging and a twin side stripe (which is no longer present on this example). The Ford Cortina Mk3 Owners’ Register suggests that the combination of L Decor, two doors and automatic transmission may make this a unique car in the UK.
This is a car that could be bought and enjoyed as is. Or it would be a great rust-free basis for a light restoration to concours standard. Alternatively, it would be a good starting point for a custom build. It’s most enjoyable to drive, with no knocks or rattles.
Philip Raby Specialist Cars is refreshingly different. We like to build a friendly relationship with customers; before, during and after you buy from us. You won’t get a hard sell but you will get friendly and professional advice to ensure that we find exactly the right car for you. We have sold hundreds of Porsches and other specialist cars and have a vast experience to share with you.
Below is an independent video review of the Ford Cortina.
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