22 March 2013

Digging In The Crates: Rover-Powered Corsair Hirider

As a nation of car nuts we love our old Fords; the MKI/II Escorts have a near-godlike following, the Capri is getting to a similar level and the once-humble Cortina for the most part is cherished where once it was more likely to end up as banger racing fodder.
The Corsair though, for all of it's MKI 'Tina underpinnings, is only really beginning to ascend the path to Old School Ford enlightenment. Created as a model to sit between the Cortina and Zephyr/Zodiac, the Consul Corsair (to give it's full title) always seemed to suffer from a combination of factors. Firstly, underwhelming performance from initially the pre-crossflow 'Kent' and then one of the most unloved engines Ford have ever produced - the 'Essex' V4, effectively a cut-down version of the much-loved V6 found in Capris and Zodiacs. Then there's the styling; personally I've always loved that pointed prow, but it left a lot of people cold when new, which contributed to Ford not directly replacing it in 1970; the new Consul/Granada, MKII Cortina and that recently launched small car called the Escort were the way forward for Ford in the 70's.
That V4, which from personal experience responds well to tuning as it shares a lot of components with the V6, has another peculiarity that makes it a natural for a certain engine to drop straight in - the auto version uses the Borg-Warner 35 gearbox, as does the Rover V8...
Paul Wotton had obviously put the connection together; his Corsair has the Viking's finest sitting between the McPherson struts, but that ride height is the main story; the Jag rear end, welded back doors, Appliance mags and that dinky little vinyl roof turn FoMoCo's geeky lost child into a jet-propelled dart.
Full story on the car below. Enjoy.
- Amazosan


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