The Corsair may have become a bona fide classic since the Ford Corsair Owners Club was first founded, but the mission remains the same, reckons Paul Watts.
When was the club founded?
The club was founded by Robbin Hodder back in 1985. Robin had a Corsair and there was little interest in ‘The Forgotten Ford’ unlike the rest of the range. Us early members were the pioneers — now others are cottoning on to them and restoring them as opposed to just owning one as a vehicle to use.
Has the direction of the club changed much since those early days?
It’s hard to say really. We still try and promote the Corsair with attendances at various shows — the NEC being a big example especially with the Classic Car & Restoration Show, with work being carried out on members’ cars which has gained awards and praise. The peak of membership was in the 1990s but has dropped off a fair bit which has resulted in the availability of spares to members decreasing.
Which models do you cover?
All Corsairs are welcome from the 1500 Consuls to the later V4s with Estates and Crayford conversions. Standard and modified — all are welcome.
What does your club offer to brand-new members?
We have a bi-monthly club magazine to help keep non-computer users in touch, although this is also available in email form if preferred. With imported cars now turning up more and more our chairperson, Rob Shand is the recognised club official for dating and verifying authenticity of Corsairs so this is a big help for them plus Footman James offers members a good insurance deal for them and its always worth being a member of a the club to get advice and help from those who have ‘been there done that’!
Have many members do you have?
We have at present 140 members. Our Facebook page has 1900 members but of course that is free to belong to.
Can you describe a typical member?
Most are I think of the older variety although there are quite a few younger members, so it’s pretty broad, I think.
Does the club run its own spares scheme?
Not as such. We did have a good scheme but with a dwindling membership getting good prices for remanufactured stuff is nigh on impossible. The sharing of a lot of parts with Mk1 and Mk2 Cortinas helps in finding stuff and of course the likes of Aldridge Trimming are a great help with the once hard-to-find interior stuff. Pleas in the club magazine can usually turn up what you are looking for.
Do you host your own show, meets or runs?
We usually hold our National Rally and AGM around June time with themed entertainment, and some members take part in the Classic Ford Tours in and around Europe, as well as the Lakes tours and local shows.
What other shows or events does the club have a presence at?
We have supported the Classic Ford Show and Bromley and Enfield Pageants as well as both the big NEC shows.
What are the club’s goals for the future?
To be bigger and better, though it’s a bit difficult at this uncertain time!
Membership costs: £22 (£27 for overseas) members though because of the pandemic it’s currently £11 for new and returning and free for existing members
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