1969 Ford Cortina GTL: Reader Ride

By: Bruce Firth, Photography by: Bruce Firth

Presented by

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Bruce Firth's first time resto of his Ford Cortina GTL is good enough to show

 

1969 Ford Cortina GTL

After spending two weekends of every month playing around with my son’s Formula Vee race car, when he sold it I thought "I gotta have something to fill in my time". Then I bought the Cortina from an old bloke down in Hat Head, close to where we were living in Port Macquarie at the time.

Half a dozen people had had a go at fixing it up over the years and it needed a lot of work which I realised from the start. I still thought "this won’t take long and won’t cost much". Seven years and an undisclosed dollar amount later it was finished. If the kids keep it for another 40 years it might just recover its costs. I’m a builder by trade so I’d never restored a car like this at all. But I got started anyway.

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The biggest disappointment was when my engine builder put the pistons in wrong way around. I fixed that and worked on the bodywork, cutting out rust everywhere. I ended up welding on a complete rear section from a wreck.

As a GTL it’s actually a bit rare, worth saving as an Australian made car as well. It has all the Cortina GT bits – bigger brakes front and rear, dual-throat downdraught Weber carburettor, extractors and the close-ratio gearbox with the tall first gear.

The paint turned out so well that my cruiser is almost a show car.


VALUATION: Ford Cortina GTL

Roughies can be had for under $2000 with top shelf examples asking $15,000-plus.

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