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1982 Ford Cortina Crusader MK5
(Featured on 26th May 2013)

Make: Ford
Model: Cortina
Year: 1982
Mileage: 36,000
Registration: THE 255Y

Sellers original description:

A remarkable, rare, sought after and highly desirable 1982 ford Cortina 80 (Mk5) 1600 Crusader.

It is over thirty years since the last Cortina left the production line and fifty years since the first. This is one of the very last Cortina’s ever made.

Built in the last month, in fact in the last few days, of the 4.5 million Cortina production run.

Presented in outstanding original condition with all of its original panels & glass, never welded and retaining the vast majority of its factory applied paint finish.

Dinitrol Rust Proof treated from new and regularly waxoyled since.

Exemplary interior.

Just 36,000 genuine miles.

Only 1 owner from new dry stored for many years.

Always garaged, well maintained, cherished and cared for the car is now presented in exceptional original condition and has just been recommissioned for use.

Amongst the very best of the best original examples.

The Cortina was the start of a most successful chapter in Ford's history. Launched with the Mk1 in 1962 and named after a district in Italy its design was to become the benchmark for family and business motoring that would last for exactly 20 years.

Getting on for Four and a half million Cortina’s were built. It is over 3 decades since the last Cortina, a Silver limited edition 1.6 Crusader, left the production line on the 22nd of July 1982.

Cortina’s have always had a huge following in the classic and collectors market with each successive model becoming highly sought after as they age and become harder to find.

Those enthusiasts and collectors with vision have for some time been turning there attentions to the last series of cars produced in the Cortina range. Officially called the Cortina 80, after its launch year, but more commonly known and loved as the Mark 5 or MkV

The MkV followed the Mk4 in being the most popular production car in the United Kingdom throughout its production life. Despite this, they are now the rarest of all Cortina’s, with unrestored, exceptionally low mileage, original, well cared examples becoming increasingly hard to find. Consequently, these are the examples that are desired most.

The top of the MkV range was the Ghia but as production drew towards an end for the run out Ford launched, as they had previously done with the Mk2 1600E, an opulent limited edition this time called the Crusader.

The Crusader was based on the GL model but actually shared much of its trim level more with the Ghia.

The specification included sports wheels with bright embellishers, laminated windscreen, smoke tinted glass, black side window frames, black grille, bright bumpers, gold crusader rear badge, black windscreen and rear window inserts, two tone pin stripping to the bonnet and sides.

Inside there was a four spoke steering wheel, Durham crushed velour trim, wood veneer facia and door cappings, colour coded loop pile carpets which covered part of the door cards, reclining front seats with adjustable headrests, door bins, seat valances, rear centre arm rest, full centre consul with Ford P21 radio.

Phew quite a spec! No wonder buyers clambered for them in 1982 in preference to buying the new ‘jelly mould’ Sierra.

We offered another Crusader last month at that time we said “The ultimate Crusader must, of course, be the last ever Cortina made on the 22nd July 1982. That car still exists. In fact it went straight from the production line into Fords own museum at Dagenham and Ford still own the car today. They are highly unlikely to ever part with it though and if they did we hate to think how much it would be worth! – Tens of thousands we would guess.

We suppose that as second best the closest that you could ever hope to get to the last Cortina ever made would be to find a Crusader that was also built in the last days of Cortina production. However that in itself is not an easy task as most of them 30 years on have long disappeared. If you could find one of that age though that in its self would not be enough.

To be close to the one in the Ford museum it would have to be totally original and never even have had any paintwork done since it left the factory. It should only have had one owner from new and be exceptionally low mileage. Talk about a tall order!

Dead easy, piece of cake - there’s loads of them.

Actually no there isn’t there’s only one”

Well that’s what we said then. However as it turns out in fact there are two!

As occasionally happens when we offer a very special car we are contacted by the owners of other similar cars that have never been offered on the open market before. Remarkably in this case it turns out that an almost carbon copy of the first car we offered, that is now sold, exits.

This one though is a 1600, the other was a 2.0L, it is finished in the colour that many believe best suits the Crusader - Cardinal Red, it has covered even less mileage and its build date is even closer to that of the final Cortina ever built – we never would have believed it possible –

Nonetheless it is and here is that car!

THE 255Y

On the 4th November 1982 the first owner of THE 255Y, a Cortina enthusiast travelled the 3 or so miles from his home to local dealers Ford dealer T C Harrison (Sheffield) ltd. The purpose of his visit was to collect his new Cortina Crusader 1600.

The car was one of the very last of any model of the 4.5 million Cortina’s ever made and amongst the very last Crusaders to leave the production line. So close to the last one made was that it may have even been built the same day.

Like many Cortina enthusiasts the Owner would not entertain owning its replacement, the Sierra. He wanted to continue with the model he loved so much and that had served him so well for the past years. Despite it being 5 months since the last Cortina left the production line he had been delighted to learn that a few new ones were still available.

He even managed to get the exact model in the colour and trim that he wanted.

The owner took the wise precaution of having a Dinitrol anti corrosion treatment carried prior to the car being used on the roads. The treatment included a full underseal and a wax type sealant being injected into the cavities and box sections. Yet again we see the full benefits of these early rust proof treatments that we are sure will explain the remarkably rust free and original condition of the car today.

There were no factory options and the only dealer fitted option, in addition to the Dinitrol treatment, was fitting of a vinyl roof.

THE 255Y was its owner’s absolute pride and joy and never intended to be used as everyday transport. In the main it was used only on high days and holidays to transport his elderly parents for pleasure trips. When not in use the Cortina was cosseted, loved and garaged.

According to the service book present in the history file early maintenance was carried out by the supplying dealer. Subsequent entries in the book record low annual mileage and by June 1991 the mileage is recorded at just 24,400.

After 1991 usage reduced even further as the owners parents aged and THE 255Y spend the vast majority of time in the owner’s garage.

Following the death of the owners parents in the mid 2000’s THE 255Y after being liberally coated virtually everywhere in waxoyl was reversed into the dry damp free garage at the owners house and covered over. There it stayed untouched for the next few years until December 2012.

The genuine mileage now is 36,600.


If you have seen our cars in the past you will be aware that we have bought some of the very best original cars to the market. It is rare though that we can say that we cannot find any traces of paint rectification whatsoever on a car that is nearly a third of a century old. In the days before robot spraying many had faults rectified by the supplying dealer when new.

With THE 255Y however we could find no traces of any paint rectification having ever been carried out in the past. The paint finish was totally original and that applied in the factory in the last few days of Cortina production in 1982.

There is the odd blemish, tiny stone chip and small surface only scratch that had been touched in with a touch up brush over the years.

We have attended to a few areas that required minor paint rectification now though.

The front and rear valance, wheel arch lips were all coated in black underseal which although had done its job well 30 years on looked a little unsightly. Slight damage to the paint finish caused during removal of the underseal necessitated some minor localised paint reinstatement to those areas along with the lower edges of the rear wings.

A couple of small dings gained during storage and the odd parking scrape have also been attended to.

However the overwhelming majority of the paint finish remains the original applied in the factory.

The Cardinal red paint retains a fantastic lustre and the entire Crusader pin stripping is that originally hand finished in the factory. The Original gold crusader badge is still on the rear panel.

The underside is excellent we have removed the underseal from components to reveal still shiny nuts and bolts to the suspension and even unmarked and un-rusted coil springs still with their original and like new gloss paint finish.

As we say the car has always been garaged and cared for. Not only was a rust proof treatment applied when new but waxoyl was subsequently often applied. Consequently there is little trace of corrosion on the bodywork or on the underside of the car. All the usual Cortina problem areas are not a problem with THE 255Y.

THE 255Y has never had structural welding and does not require any welding now.

Door, boot and bonnet shuts had clear waxoyl applied and beneath it are in first class condition.

Pre delivery Dealer fitted vinyl roof remains in excellent condition.


The exceptional original interior of THE 255Y is particularly noteworthy.

Unmarked grey Ribbed and plain velour seats facings, that remain remarkably taut for a 30 year old Ford, with Durham Crushed Velour to backs and half door cards.

The loop pile luxury carpet has been covered by fitted over carpet since new and consequently is completely unmarked and would pass as weeks rather than 3 decades old.

Centre consul unmarked with original Ford radio

The brown dash top is totally original and unmarked.

The headlining is unmarked.

Excellent wood to dash and door cappings.

The floors under the carpets are in as new condition; we removed the seats and carpets to make sure, please let us have an email address for photos.

Under The Bonnet:

Exceptionally clean under here.

There are no signs of oil leeks and nothing seems untoward.

Original stickers are all still in place.

Some areas have been lightly touched in with a touch up brush and invisible reinstatement only to the surface paint have been made to a couple of the tiniest of areas on the inner wing lips.

In The Boot:

Inside the boot including the underside of the lid has again been treated with clear waxoyl from new.

The boot is again exceptionally clean with absolutely no traces of corrosion in the usual places such as the spare wheel well.

Spare sports wheel with original factory fitted tyre, Jack and wheel brace.

Correct and original moulded rubber boot floor again overcovered by carpet from new and unmarked.

On The Road:

When we acquired THE 255YY direct from it’s only owner we were keen that after several years in storage he should not attempt to start the car.

We would much rather have it recovered so our mechanic could go through a proper process so as to make sure everything that he could check was right and to carry out some precautionary measures that will be of benefit to the new owner long term.

So we towed it out of the garage where it had stood in the same spot for 6 or 7 years. The brakes were not stuck on – always a good sign. After trailering it back to base our mechanic Lee started his methodical checks before even attempting to turn the engine on the key although manual tests showed it to be free and moving.

The battery of course was dead - so on with a new one. Plugs out and a little Red X which was allowed to soak for a few days. As a precaution Lee flushed the cooling system.

He then pumped out all of the old petrol as we did not want stale and perhaps dirty fuel getting into the system. He removed the petrol tank and flushed that as well before adding fresh petrol. The old petrol looked remarkable clean but an in line fuel filter was fitted just in case. A couple of gallons of Fresh fuel went in. The fuel lines distributor and carburettor were all cleaned out.

A little fresh fuel direct into the carb a dab of the accelerator and the engine burst into life on the first turn of the key. No smoke, no rattles nothing untoward whatsoever, the timing was re set the engine turned of for a while and then restarted. The choke came off when it should and the engine runs absolutely perfectly - as smooth a 1.6L Ford as we have ever heard.

The inaugural journey after several years was on private ground but far enough to ensure clutch and gear box were all as they should be and that the car accelerated as it should.

During a longer test drive everything worked exactly as it should with nothing adverse to report apart from a slight tyre vibration at 50 to 55 mph, caused no doubt from standing. It is thought this will improve with use although the tyres seem to be the original Goodyears and caution should be given in using tyres of that age without having them professionally checked.

All in all though we can report that the car drives like a dream and a new Mot will be done before auction end.

History File:

V5c showing 0 pervious keepers.
A new MOT until January 2014 will be provided
TC Harrison wallet containing all the literature that came with the car new – Ford owners hand book, Cortina Operating guide, Ford dealers guide 1981, stamped service book.
Letter from owner confirming history and mileage.
Original brochure showing Crusader in cardinal red. The owner has carefully coloured in the roof in black on the car in the brochure, no doubt to give him an idea of what the car may look like with the vinyl roof. Hand written costings are also on the front of the brochure showing the cost of the car in 1982 at £5608 plus £161 for the underseal and £55 for the Vinyl roof. Total cost £5824.45.
Some old tax discs


As already stated Cortina’s are a very popular choice of classic/Retro car. They are easy to work on; parts are inexpensive and readily available there are lots of clubs and events, plus of course Cortina’s always have and always will hold their value exceptionally well.

This is a very special car and should not be compared to the majority of MkV’s for sale. It is in outstanding original condition, is exceptionally low mileage, had just one owner and has been in dry storage/garaged away from the elements for much of its time.

It has all of its original panels and the vast majority of its original paint.

It was rustproofed from new and really wants for nothing.

It is such a proper, honest car and what you see is what you get, no nasty surprises here!

It is presented in show condition and will, if kept this way, certainly increase in value over the coming years.

It is also the most desirable model - the Crusader and whereas it was not quite the last Cortina ever made it is most certainly the closest that you will ever be able to obtain to it in terms of model, date of production and original condition.


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1982 Ford Cortina Crusader MK5 Boot

1982 Ford Cortina Crusader MK5 Engine Bay

1982 Ford Cortina Crusader MK5 Interior 1

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1982 Ford Cortina Crusader MK5 Interior 3

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