The secret project name was ‘Archbishop’. It was then decided to call it the Ford Consul. In 1962 it went on sale as the Ford Consul Cortina (apparently the name was inspired by the sophisticated Italian ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo, site of the 1956 Winter Olympics). Two years later, the Consul was dropped and it became simply ‘Ford Cortina’ and was already Britain’s best-selling car.The new Ford Cortina pretty well changed the face of the British motoring world and over the next twenty years it continued to sell in vast numbers albeit in five different versions. The Cortina’s chief designer was Roy Brown Jr who had also designed ill-fated Ford Edsel, for which he had been banished to Dagenham – presumably the equivalent of Siberia for an American Ford executive in those days. When the Cortina first went on sale in 1962 the heater was only optional as were the front disc brakes.
The name was inspired by the name of the sophisticated Italian ski resort Cortina d’Ampezzo, site of the 1956 Winter Olympics.
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