We get the lowdown on long-running Mk1 Cortina Owners Club from chairperson, Mike Jordan.
When was the club founded, and why?
The club was founded in 1982 by myself and Roger Raisey who’s sadly no longer with us. I had a problem getting parts for my GT (which I still have) and ended up putting a letter in Practical Classics asking for anyone who might be interested in starting a club with me to ensure these cars remained available and around for future generations.
You have to remember this was the car that put Ford on the map in Europe, with a brand-new plant on the marshes at Dagenham. They built over 1.25 million in four years, resulting in other companies adopting similar working methods (it was only an assembly plant, virtually nothing was made on site), and gave rise to women striking for equal pay, and went on to win many rallies. The tie-up with Lotus also set new ideas for other organisations.
Which models do you cover?
We cover all models from the basic fleet/Standard version through to the GT and Lotus, as well as the Estate.
What does your club offer to new members?
The club offers a wealth of advice, a Facebook page to use as a platform for passing ideas and solutions, a club magazine, £330,000 of spares despatched anywhere in the world, plus the advice of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs — we are active members!
How many members do you have?
Approximately 1000 -— all paid-up!
Can you describe a typical member?
They’re of all ages but typically male. We did some research a while back and on average they own two Mk1s — usually at some stage of restoration.
Do you have any members from overseas?
Yes, wherever the Mk1 was exported to, or sold as CKD kits.
Do you host your own show?
Yes, we host our National Rally weekend at Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse usually the first weekend in August — this year’s is August 3-4. It’s probably the biggest gathering of Mk1s in Europe.
What other shows does the club have a presence at?
We’re always at the Classic Motor Show at the NEC in November, and attend many small shows local to members.
Does the club run a spares service? If so, do you have parts remanufactured? What sort of things?
Yes, we have a large unit in the North East and supply service items, repair panels, trim, steering and brake bits, cooling and gaskets, rubbers — it’s all listed on the club’s website.
Do you have any funny stories about the club?
We are always game for a laugh at our own show — we do a run out on the Saturday and that can go pear-shaped in terms of everyone getting there… and getting lost.
What are the club’s goals for the future?
We’re in the process of sorting out a more efficient website, and would like to employ someone to help with all the voluntary work that’s involved in running the spares department. Above all though, it’s ensuring the cars stay on the road in one form or another!
Membership costs: £30 per year
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