Because it's Monday: Let's All Bask in the Glory of the Classic Compact Estate

Since it’s the start of the work week, we need something to lift our collective spirits, and I don’t think there’s a better way to do that than to gaze longingly at a classic compact wagon with sporting pretensions. This MKI Cortina Deluxe 1500 is all that and more, as it’s decked out in GT form, with split front bumper-ettes, center dash instrumentation, and a set of sweet Minilite wheels hunkered down under the arches. You can’t see it here, but a sturdy Kent four resides under the hood, paired with a four-speed manual.
The compact wagon used to be de rigueur in any serious car maker’s lineup, and whether from the factory or modded by the owner, adding a little sport to the utility was never frowned upon. Today we get Crossovers and Sport Utilities that always seem a little too tall and a little too light on the sport quotient. That’s alright though, because as long as we have cars like this awesome little Cortina everything will be okay. 
Image: ©2017 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

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10 responses to “Because it's Monday: Let's All Bask in the Glory of the Classic Compact Estate”

  1. crank_case Avatar

    Round these parts we’d just call that an “estate.” 😉

  2. engineerd Avatar

    Rob, you just made this gloomy Monday morning a bit brighter. Thank you.
    Here’s one with a bit more sport added to it, and it’s for sale making me reconsider my bank balance.

    302/5-Speed Swapped: LHD 1969 Ford Cortina Estate

  3. outback_ute Avatar

    The closest modern car would be the BMW 320i which I’m guessing has about the same interior volume (which I like), but obviously larger external dimensions (which aren’t ideal in view of the inner-city parking game).
    This one has been lowered, but the Cortina wagon had 6.8″/172mm ground clearance, which is CUV territory these days (another mark against the 3-series IMO).

    1. Maymar Avatar
      Maybe this Skoda, which gives up RWD (and maybe a bit of interior volume), but is otherwise a pretty fair compromise.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        I suppose rwd wasn’t specifically listed, but the Fabia is a bit on the small side (short load length), the Octavia would be more comparable. Otherwise I like the Peugeot 307 for sheer space plus low load height.

        1. Krautwursten Avatar

          The Fabia estate is pretty much exactly as long as the Cortina, and I don’t see a noteworthy difference in terms of hood length. Maybe a couple centimeters.

          1. outback_ute Avatar

            I was thinking on the small side for what I want from a wagon. I don’t know what the internal dimensions are for the Cortina, so I can only guess how it would compare to the Fabia but one observation is I bet the inside of the tailgate is much closer to the bumper on the Cortina.

  4. Krautwursten Avatar

    In all fairness the crossover isn’t an all-encompassing trend. Modern hatchbacks including hot hatches offer about as much space as classic compact wagons (which were -really- small and not all that powerful, the Cortina GT had 78 hp), beyond that there are still regular sized wagons, and Europe still builds both a dime a dozen.