Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Ford Cortina, and while that milestone's traditional gift is gold, for today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe GT, cash will probably do.

I just noticed that we've had a lot of really old cars this week, including dipping our wick into the late sixties yesterday with a wine-colored Datsun 1600 Roadster. Well, despite the fact that most of this week's iron was built before a lot of you were, many of them seem to come with price tags that are equally old-fashioned, and in fact yesterday's cool convertible came away with robust 94% Nice Price win at its thirty three hundred asking price.

Seeing as the Led Zeppelin era is getting a whole lotta' love this week, let's stick with it and a car that's just too cool for school. This 1968 Ford Cortina GT four-door is presently residing in one of the most beautiful towns on the planet, So-Cal's own Santa Barbara, and looks totally ready to make the scene in 2013.

For those of you who are unaware, Ford imported the Cortina into the US over the better part of a decade and two model runs. Available in two-door and four-door saloons, as well as a roomy and handsome wagon, this was the car that - get ready for the jaw drop - Ford kicked to the curb upon the introduction of the Pinto. The Cortina continued on for years outside the US, actually being so popular that it defined the field - creating the Cortina class - but here in the States, we got Pintoed.

This sweet ‘68 four door happens to be of the MKII generation and as it is a GT it features a number of cool upgrades over the base car. Those included a re-ratioed 2000E 4-speed gearbox, Rostyle wheels and a lowered and tightened suspension.

Inside, the GT received a full-length center console topped by an analog clock, and a quartet of gauges in the center top of the dash. Here in the US, the GT's dash also received a plank of wood atop it (like the home market 1600E), warming up the interior, and in this car, complementing the likewise tree-based shift knob. There's also a nice three-spoke to hold in your hands and - just like a Porsche - a left hand ignition switch.


Under the GT's hood sits a 1,599-cc edition of the famed Kent four, which by ‘68 had gained a cross-flow head and Weber 2BBL carb which combined bumped horsepower to a robust 88 ponies. This car's engine is claimed to be 26K fresh, making is a bit surprising that it, and the bay in which it sits, does not share the same tidy presentation as the interior or exterior.

That exterior is resplendent in beige, a color that fits well the Cortina's simple and subtly aggressive lines. Those Rostyle wheels and the grille-mounted driving lights dress it up a bit, and the whole thing looks effectively period correct. It might be nice to have so righteous a Cortina, at the very least to be part of the marque's 50th anniversary next year.


To do so with this car you'll need to come up with $6,900 - or, adjusted for inflation, about $1,035 in 1967 dollars. That's less than half the $2,475 the car cost new, and seemingly a way to getting out of having to invest in that more traditional of 50th anniversary gifts. Of course if you think that 50 years demands an even more impressive acknowledgement, there's a holy balls! Cortina Savage for twenty grand, that's also in Santa Barbara, making it some sort of nest for the things.

But should the GT seem tribute enough, then there's the question of whether or not that $6,900 price tag makes this one worth celebrating. What do you think, does that price make this Cortina the life of the party? Or, is its price too much to party down?

You decide!

Santa Barbara Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle