Well, it's old, the parts aren't necessarily be as obtainable as they are for new, the deal almost sounds too good to be true.
On the other hand, there's probably not a lot of them on the road, has a fair amount of coolness factor, and it looks like it still has a soul.
It all boils down to this: how much do you love the car? If it's going to be your primary car, do you know how to work on it. Old rides, even when it looks like it's perfect, is going to have gremlins waiting to pop out.
I have a 73 truck shell with parts that date all the way to 1993. It's my toy. It does weird things, generally at the worst time, but it turns heads and it sits high in coolness factor amongst truck guys. I love working on it. It's easier to work on a car when you love the car. I don't know much about Cortinas, but that one I'd guess is 25 to 30 years old. You're going to need to love it.
Just what exactly were the build problems?Also bear in mind that of all the cars Ford made in Oz, these had the worse reputation for build quality. And yes in spite of this they have a small group of loyal enthusiastic fans.
Talking recently to some Ford executives who are old enough to remember, the notion was floated that while the Cortinas from 1972 onwards were execrable (our word, not Ford's) devices, the very last of them, the TF was actually an OK kind of thing.
The Ford staffers were wrong.
While the TF might have been the best of the bunch, it was a very bad bunch indeed. And just as the JE Camira was the last and best of that breed, you still wouldn't touch one with a bargepole in 1999.
Not only is the handling a gothic mix of understeer and vague steering (with nearly four turns lock to lock, it's never going to be razor sharp) the ride is dreadful at speed as the whole body shell-suspension relationship starts to break down.
The big-bodied Cortinas landed here at the end of 1971 with the TC model. A rounded-looking thing, it soon revealed itself to be equal parts stupidity and aggravation.
The TD followed that, then the TE and, finally, in 1980, the TF which had also progressed styling-wise to resemble the XD Falcon that was the then-current big Ford.
One suspects that were it not for Ford's investment in local production for the Cortina range, the whole idea might have been scrapped many years before the TF raised its unattractive head.
Then again, importing such a car in the 1970s with local content rules being what they were, Ford probably didn't have much choice.
And while it's natural to associate those Cortina models with England, the design work (as far as the bodyshell goes, anyway) can be attributed to Ford's German design studio in Cologne.
Of course, none of that explains why the Australian version was such a lost cause. No, that's all down to the way the cars were specified for this market. And the way they were built. Speaking of the way they were built; the first word that springs to mind is "haphazardly". Quality just wasn't the by-word when it came to Cortina production and neither panel gaps nor chassis alignment were ever of a particularly high standard. Throw in the fact that one Cortina could be vastly different to the one that followed it down the line (it's called production tolerances) and it was a bit of a lottery as to how the finished car would drive.
Then there was the specification. To be honest, the two-litre overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine suited the Cortina pretty well. It was powerful for its displacement - at the time - and was a flexible, relatively willing unit that did the job without too much fuss.
It wasn't exactly slow in the Cortina, but neither was it a hand grenade with the pin removed. No, that was six-cylinder territory.
Even the smaller (3.3-litre) of the two six-cylinder engines offered was way too much motor for the Cortina. It upset handling by placing too much weight over the nose of the car and continued to wage war with the vehicle's inherent balance by offering enough power to spin the rear wheels at the slightest provocation.
But the real monster was the 4.1-litre Falcon-engined Cortina which was sling-shot fast in a straight line but diabolical in a corner or on a wet road.
The old 250 cubic-inch engine was short on sophistication, but big on torque. Its push-rod, two-valve specification might have been stone age, but you couldn't argue with sheer cubic inches.
If you haven't driven a Cortina with the 4.1-litre engine, it's hard to explain, but rest assured, it's an exciting way to get around for all the wrong reasons. The suspension was a fairly conventional coil-sprung set-up at the front, but the rear end was good old-fashioned cart springs.
The best explanation I've ever heard for why the cars handled so badly was a combination of the obvious mis-match between front and rear and the fact that enormous amounts of suspension deflection at the front were required before the dampers started to help out.
That stands to reason, too, as the ride pitched and wobbled with an apparent lack of contribution from anything resembling a shock absorber.
Add it all up, the Cortina - even the TF - was an unhappy amalgam of crook dynamics, too much power and too little attention paid by those building them.
And even if the TF was the best, like we said, it's still not worth bothering with. That's why prices have swan-dived and even clean versions with the two-litre engine are changing hands for as little as $2000 (or less) privately.
An equally clean version with the 4.1-litre motor is worth perhaps $1000 more, but check any example carefully as many previous owners will have been hoons (it was that sort of car).
As a cheap tow-car for moderate loads, maybe the thing makes a bit of sense, but the trap is that parents will see it as a tough, dependable, cheap car for younger drivers.
In two-litre form, maybe that's the case, but a six-cylinder Cortina needs better than average skills to keep itself nice.
Basically, we can't see why you'd bother in the first place.
*5.8 Litre 351 Cleveland V8 , full Victorian Engineering,fitted with Yella Terra roller rockers,MSD 6A Ignition,Distributor & coil,heads to suit & running LPG & Custom headers HPC coated.
I've currently put down a deposit on it, of $200