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PRI 2016: This 1965 Ford Cortina GT Was Our Favorite Car At The Show – Check This Little Beast Out!

PRI 2016: This 1965 Ford Cortina GT Was Our Favorite Car At The Show – Check This Little Beast Out!

The 2016 PRI Show in Indianapolis might not have had the stunning amount of cars on-hand than the SEMA show in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean that cars aren’t present. There’s just not seas of them around distracting you from what’s being shown at the booths. Except for a handful of cars that did distract and for good reason. Often times you could find a crowd around any of the Street Outlaw cars that were on the floor, including the Blackbird Vega, the new Murder Nova, or Doc’s Monte Carlo, but one car in particular had the attention of both Lohnes and myself almost immediately: the 1965 Ford Cortina GT Mk1 that was at Hawk Performance.

We know Cortinas from the many, many rally videos we’ve watched over the years. It’s design came from Roy Brown, Jr., who had been shipped off to England after his last design, the Edsel, bombed in such a way that the entire story of the brand and car became legend. Designed to compete with the Vauxhall Victor and Morris Oxford Farina, the Consul Cortina, as it was originally known prior to it’s 1964 facelift, was meant to be economical and cheap to maintain. It also wasn’t fast, with one of three four-cylinder engines making up the powertrain lineup. As you’ll see, this Cortina certainly lives up to it’s GT moniker. Apparently, the Cortina Club in the UK was considering kicking the owner out for “behaviour unbecoming”, but apparently they made amends by shipping the stock, take-off items to the UK for use as spare parts while this U.S. based beast was being built. Take a look through the photos below as we explain what has made this little monster such a beauty:


Straight to the heart of the matter: that’s a 347ci stroker Ford small block with Inglese fuel induction that’s pushing well over 400 horsepower, backed up to a T56 Magnum.


The gauges are all worked over, including a GPS speedometer, and a chrome-moly cage ties the car together.


Here’s a hint: that isn’t just a pretty trunk in the back.


Inside the Union Jack trunk is the fuel cell and a space for tools. Notice that Evinrude gas can…that’s hiding the battery.

2016-pri-fri_92 2016-pri-fri_93 2016-pri-fri_94

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14 thoughts on “PRI 2016: This 1965 Ford Cortina GT Was Our Favorite Car At The Show – Check This Little Beast Out!

  1. Gary Smrtic

    Nicely done, but I prefer the next gen of Cortina, always thought they were perfectly styled, loved the instruments on the dash pad, etc. This modell always looked a little dated to me. Still; craftsmanship is worth noting.

    1. Jerry Peters

      I preferred the mark I rather than mk11 has more personality Ban bomb tail lights , fins , stainless trim I had a 67 donor but reminded me of a 510

  2. crazy canuck

    Thats cool always loved the lotus cortina . There was a stripped shell for sale here years ago and I’m still kicking myself for letting it go .

    1. Jerry Peters

      This one was a Canadian delivery , I don’t believe the US version had the stainless trim , made its way to the US this no rust

    1. Jerry Peters

      Thanks for all the kind words , I am typically a early Porsche guy But I had this dream to build a Cortina as I felt Ford might have done with the 260 CI , a Cortina Tiger of sorts , when I told some club members I had a rust free 23k GT I was going to modify … well some weren’t happy , I sold my ’67 Lotus Cortina to provide funding for the 65 which I love because of the “ban the bomb” tail lights and the “falcon” style mini fins , a 50 year old dream and sketch while in high school made possible by my friend Johnny Riddling in his back yard shop in under 11 months !!
      I especially like the Jag style in board rear end .

  3. Mark

    Nice to see Americans appreciating British Fords. Most 50 somethings this side of the pond have a soft spot for the Mk1 Corton as we either learned to drive in one or had one of our own shortly after.

  4. Enzo

    To make it a great car, IMHO, you must cut the firewall and put the engine back for acceptable weight balance. I have one.

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