Drawing on styling queues from the contemporary US Ford Thunderbird it was initially powered by a 1500cc 91.5 cui Ford Kent engine.
In 1964 twins Tony & Micheal Brookes set 13 World Speed Records in Italy for 1500 cc / 91.5 cc cars in a Corsair GT managing to average over 100 mph over a distance of 15,000 miles / 24,000 kms.
Errata 12 05 08 It has transpired that the record setting at Monza by a Ford Corsair is a myth that started with a Ford Corsair sales booklet. It would appear that a team of five drivers Eric Jackson, Ken Chambers, John Beckhart, Michael Bowler and John Maclean go to Monza and set some records in a Ford but in a Ford Zodiac IV not in a Ford Corsair. Apologies for any confusion caused.
Eric Jackson and Ken Cambers did however narrowly beat the RMS Windsor Castle in a race from Cape Town to Southampton in 1967. Owners of the Windsor Castle, Union Castle, were apparently gracious in defeat pointing out that all though they were not as fast as the Ford Corsair their passengers traveled in considerably more comfort.
In 1965 the Kent straight four motor was phased out in favour of the Essex V4 which led to the strap line “I’ve got a V in my bonnet”, the Essex V4 in both 1663 cc / 101 cui and later 1996 cc / 121.8 cui forms was out of balance configuration which led to rough idling and course characteristics making a mockery of the strap line “Smooth Silent V Power” that was also used when the V4 Corsair was launched.
Performance of the V4 was down with a maximum of just 95 mph achievable even with the larger engine as seen in the 2000E variant seen here at the 33rd Bristol Classic Car Show.
The 2000E, executive, featuring dechromed sides, leaving the door handles looking oddly exposed, upgraded cabin fittings, lots of dials, and reversing lights, was undercut the Rover 2000 model against which it was competing for sales by £310, £1357 for the Rover against £1047 for the 2000E.
With vestiges for the Jet Age styling prevalent in the 1950’s the Corsair was in production until 1970 with 310,000 units built.
Thanks for joining me on this “We’ve Got A V In Our bonnet” edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again, tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !