19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

  Lot 102

1970 Ford Cortina 1600E 'World Cup'
1 of 30 Cortina 1600Es given to the Football World Cup squad of 1970

Estimated at £50,000 - £60,000

Lot details

Registration No: GWC 2H
Chassis No: BA97KY33276
MOT: Exempt

  • 1 of 30 Cortina 1600Es loaned to the Football World Cup squad of 1970 by Ford Motor Company
  • Loaned to striker Francis (Franny) Lee for the duration of the tournament and purchased by him (for a discount) for his wife at the end of the loan
  • Five owners from new and believed genuine mileage of just 28,500 miles on the odometer
  • Comprehensively restored in the 1990s
  • One for the collector!

Introduced in autumn 1966, the Ford Cortina MKII was styled in-house by Roy Haynes. Employing much the same floorpan as its predecessor complete with independent front suspension, a 'live' rear axle and disc / drum brakes, it nevertheless benefited from a wider track and revised steering geometry. Unveiled at the October 1967 Paris Motor Show, the 1600E utilised the same lowered suspension settings and tuned four-cylinder Kent `crossflow' engine as its Lotus-Cortina and GT 1600 siblings respectively. Visually distinguished by a black grille, front foglights and plated Rostyle wheels, the newcomer also boasted an upmarket interior complete with a woodgrain-trimmed dashboard and door cappings, bucket seating, sports steering wheel and extensive instrumentation. Capable of nigh-on 100mph and brisk acceleration, the model was facelifted for 1969 but phased out the following August after some 55,833 four-door and 2,749 two-door (export only) cars had been built.

In 1970, not only had England qualified for the World Cup in Mexico as defending champions, but the Ford Motor Company to celebrate this loaned every squad member an example of the cool and stylish 1600E. Thirty Cortinas were loaned to the squad, all registered sequentially as GWC (although no one wanted number 13) which stood for Great World Cup, which unfortunately for England, it was not. Instantly recognisable by the front wings featuring the crossed flags of Mexico and the Union flag, not the Cross of St George, with the doors crested with a logo that bore the legend ‘Chosen for England’. Upon the conclusion of the twelve-month loan, Franny Lee decided to purchase the car from Ford (at the reduced rate offered to all the squad) for his wife. A successful businessman as well as gifted footballer, he had the car registered in one of his company’s names, James & Lee Waste Ltd.

Passing through two other private owners through the 1970s, the previous custodian acquired the World Cup Cortina in 1982 and during his ownership, had the 1600E comprehensively restored. Provided with a comprehensive engine overhaul as part of the restoration, the engine had a new crankshaft and bearings, big end shells, piston rings, and water pump, as well as a new clutch. Extensive new parts were fitted before the Cortina returned to the road. Thereafter purchased by the vendor in 2005, who saw it very apt to purchase Franny Lees car (who latterly was the chairman and main shareholder of Manchester City), due to having a family member who had also played for Manchester City in the 1960s, as Franny Lee did!

Using the Cortina occasionally for local events and shows, as well as a reuniting with Franny Lee as part of a feature on The One Show at the Oulton Park race circuit, Franny was reportedly very happy to see his old car again. “This was a top car at the time. When the year was up, I recall paying around £600 - £700 for it," Lee revealed. "The only problem I had with it was the stickers as it attracted too much attention. If some people who supported a rival team knew it was my car, then they would leave their mark. So, after about six months I part-exchanged it at a Ford dealer for £1,250.”

Offered now having a recorded mileage of some 28,500 miles on the odometer, which is believed genuine, the Cortina is supplied with an MOT certificate from 1989 showing 26,722 miles. Also accompanied by copy of its buff logbook, sundry paperwork surrounding the World Cup Cortinas, previous MOT paperwork, restoration photographs, and a current V5C document. Boasting its original etched windows, the World Cup 1600Es are sadly not thought to have survived especially well, making this example a great opportunity and certainly one for the collector!

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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