Ford never offered an open top version of the Cortina, but Crayford Auto Developments of Westerham Kent did!
The MkII Crayford convertible, only 12 were sold in the UK with another 40 exported.
Of those 12, seven are known to the Crayford Convertible Car Club.
They did make a lotus convertable version also!
At that time it was normal for Crayford to build two prototypes of each car they converted for evaluation and development purposes. In the early days these would normally have been the base model of whatever car they were working on.
In the case of the MkII Cortina, two 1300 deluxes (both in Blue Mink) were supplied from Ford two weeks before the official launch of car at the 1966 Motor Show. Crayford managed to get one MkII Cortina to the show, and so they launched their latest convertible simultaneously with Ford launching the rest of the MkII range.
[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
"The MkII pictured is one of the two prototypes. It could well be the motor show car, but unfortunately there are no records to confirm this as neither car was registered at the time. What is known however is that the car went back to Ford to be changed into a GT and then went back to Crayfords before it was registered to be given an automatic gearbox.
This having a floor shift rather than the column shift that the other production autos have.
"Around 400 MkIIs were converted by Crayfords, mostly based on the GTs but all models where available - they even got hold of a 2dr 1600E and converted that!
I'm told that it still exists to this day.
"Two types were available, a straight forward convertible where the hood simply folds down on to the back parcel shelf and the cabriolet where the rear seat was narrowed to allow the hood to be stowed completely out of sight. Significantly fewer cabriolets were produced than convertibles, probably because of the much higher cost of the cabriolet.
One of the rarest MkII convertibles was based on the Lotus, it is believed that just 20 of these were built with only 3 being the cabriolet version that still exist.
The Lotus cost £1069 when new (£810 for a GT and £669 for a 1300 deluxe) but with Crayford's work the cost was a massive £1473. Don't forget that the cabriolet was even more than this.
Crayford also did engine conversions to MkIIs and just a few of these are known to exist today. Two known cars have the 3L Essex fitted, one is built around a 2dr GT (still with its Ford metal roof) and the other is actually a convertible. The owner Ken Clarke believes this car to be unique. Ken also owns a Lotus Crayford, the only black one ever to have been built.
Crayford are also known for the Savage Cortina!!The Savage
The development of the V6 Savage Cortina was undertaken by Jeff Uren.
Jeff Uren who is something of a maverick it seems had been involved on and off with Ford's racing efforts since the late 50s, when he was attempting improbable things with Zephyrs, like installing triple carb setups. At the time of the MkII Crayford Cortina Uren had a company called Race Proved. Race Proved turned out many unusual beasts in their time including 3 litre V6 'Comanche' Capris, with a choice of 170, 180, 190 or 220 bhp, 2 litre 'Navajo' Escort estates, 3 litre V6 'Apache' Escorts, and the Capri 'Stampede' which ran a Boss Mustang V8 (yikes!). The 3 litre Essex V6 Savage Cortinas were developed with Ford's knowledge and assistance, GTs and 1600Es where usually the starting points, although the odd two-door or wagon got the conversion also.
Many structural modifications were made to cope with the weight of the V6, the same as that used in the Zephyr & Zodiac. The chassis members down the sides of the engine bay were seam welded and a new cross-member fitted. The suspension mounting holes were left blank by Ford so Uren could drill them out himself to give the car some negative camber. New engine mountings were also required as the weight of the V6 sat well further forward than the usual four cylinder. The 2000E gearbox was used.
Modified springs and shockers were used, with carefully developed new ratings that avoided axle tramp. A lot of effort was put into the rear springs: they were designed so that the front linkage would act as a locating swivel for the axle, while the rear linkage supported the weight of the car. The rear axle was the same as that used in the 1600E.
Other modifications included a new wiring loom, the relocation of the battery to the boot, an alternator conversion, an uprated exhaust system, a special diff ratio, a 22-pint cooling system and most important of all a footrest.
So you could pick a Savage out in the crowd it also had 'Savage' badges on the front quarter panel behind the wheel arches and on the boot lid. V6 badges also appeared in the place where a GT badge would normally be found.
Performance was pretty startling for a Cortina but what would you expect from a 136 bhp V6 with 182 lbft of torque? Two and four door versions were available and also estates as well. I believe it was also possible to take in your own car and have it converted as long as it was deemed to be suitable. Several hundred Savages were built.
V6 Cortina Savage times:
Standing Quarter: 16.6 secs
Standing Kilometre: 31.1 secs
Maximum Speed in Gears:
Top: 104 mph
3rd: 70 mph
2nd: 50 mph
1st: 33 mph
From Rest Through Gears to Speeds:
30 mph: 2.7 secs
40 mph: 4.5 secs
50 mph: 6.4 secs
60 mph: 8.8 secs
70 mph: 12.2 secs
80 mph: 16.0 secs
90 mph: 21.3 secs
100 mph: 36.6 secs
Fantastic for its time!!! Super Speed
Crayford and Race Proved were not the only people to put 3L engines into the smaller Fords. The next largest company to do this were Super Speed, again converting Cortinas & Escorts etc. Super Speed cars had a very distinctive stripe added, a sort of Lotus stripe but with the point to the back of the car.