16 February 2015

Cortina Savage Estate - Uren Good Company

Words: Amazosan
Pics: Matt Woods

This car should not exist.
Well, not this particular car, just the idea of it. There are several examples of more powerful versions of' cooking' family estates over the last 20 years or so, but in the age that the MKII Cortina estate was designed in, estate cars were lowly people (and luggage) carriers that performed a task and nothing else; it wasn't their place to have equality with their saloon counterparts. And if the MKII Cortina saloon wasn't destined to receive the V6, the estate stood a Vauxhall's chance in hell of getting it.
Enter Jeff Uren, former British Saloon Car Champion and founder of Race Proved Performance and Racing Equipment Ltd. Uren's specialty was stuffing Ford engines in Ford UK cars that Ford UK never planned to. As well as the iconic Savage, they offered conversions for the 3 litre Capri MKI (Comanche), 3 litre Mk1 Escort (Apache), 2 litre MK1 Escort (Navaho), 2.5 litre Cortina MKIII (Cheetah), 3 litre Granada/Consul MKI (Seneca), 5 litre V8 Capri MKI (Stampede) and the 3 litre MKI Transit (Easypower).
Now, approximately 1700 cars of all types were converted (including around 1000 Savages), while the majority of MKII Cortinas converted were 1600E's, GT's and even (gasp) a few Lotus' supplied by customers. The amount of MKII estates converted was minuscule, making this GT estate a rarity within a rarity.
As the eBay description explains, this particular car was was converted for a Mr JL Rogers of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire and was the second to last Mk2 Savage estate built. If that isn't enough to ensure this Savage carrier 'endangered species' status, the length of extras fitted by RaceProved for Mr Rogers will, and they near-doubled the cost of the conversion: Traveller reclining front seats, Weathershields Sunway folding roof, the always-welcome Dunlop D1 wheels, Lucas quartz halogen headlamps and Silver Sabre spot lights. The car was bought by a Savage enthusiast in 2005, who treated it to a full restoration (£45,000!) and added even more period goodies, like uprated leaf springs and vented front discs, but the cherry on the cake is under the skin. The engine was rebuilt by Oselli to their '230' specification: a .60 over rebore to take it to 3.1 litres, with a single Weber 40 DFI5 single carburettor, Swaymar exhaust manifolds and a bespoke bespoke stainless steel exhaust system by Chris Tullett have been fitted. This tasty combo drives through a rebuilt Mark 1 Capri gearbox with a 3.09 ratio Capri LSD.
Given the car, the spec, and the work put into it, £24k seems like a relative bargain for this Savage to bring out the beast in you.

- Amazosan

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