Classifieds Hero: Rally-prepared 1965 Ford Corsair V4

Lurking within the AutoClassics ads is this steroid-fed Corsair V4. Complete with all the toys, it’s ready to hit the classic stages

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Built from a solid bodyshell, this rally-prepared 1965 Ford Corsair not only looks the business, it can tear along with serious purpose due largely to its adopted 1700cc V4 engine.

Transformed from a family-friendly staple of the swinging 1960s into a classic safari warrior back in 2008, this Corsair on cocaine has since taken part in various classic car events both in the United Kingdom and all over Europe. Having established its tenacity and strength over numerous brutal and blistering courses, it’s one of the most interesting machines to date to appear in the AutoClassics classifieds.

Ford’s sturdy saloon has a proven rally heritage, thanks to the exploits of main Ford dealer Eric Jackson among others. One particular story sums up the Corsair’s spirit of adventure.

Ford Corsair vs RMS Windsor Castle

With Eric making waves throughout the 1960s as he undertook diverse long-distance efforts behind the wheel of his Corsair, Ford UK clocked his achievements and planned a publicity stunt to grab worldwide headlines. A race was set up – one like no other of its time. Mr Jackson and his trusty Ford would be pitched against an ocean liner, the RMS Windsor Castle, from the tip of South Africa to Southampton.

Union-Castle Line’s largest passenger and cargo liner would have to hit an average speed of 24mph to pip Jackson to the finish; the captain was confident his would be a simple victory. Meanwhile, it was far from a smooth journey for Team Corsair; Jackson encountered an inestimable number of punctures, the inner tubes of his tyres chafing and rubbing against the crossply tyres.

Stories abound of Eric changing tubes and fixing punctures while still on the move – whoever said men can’t multi-task? (We should point out that he had a crew alongside to help – he wasn’t driving and changing a tyre at the same time...)

Upon hitting the border with Cameroon, the car was refused entry and had to be flown in with a special airlift. Hours behind where he wanted to be, Jackson drove hard without rest once clear of the country, before hitching a lift across the English Channel by ferry. Amazingly, he reached his hotel in Gatwick the night before the Windsor Castle was due to dock – and he arrived at the Southampton dockside just as Captain Hart manoeuvred the cruise liner into port.

Despite the efforts involved, due to the use of an airlift, the race was deemed a draw. Nonetheless, the Corsair had made it – and in one piece, too.

From the classifieds

Believed to be one of only a small number of 1965 Ford Corsairs in existence – and certainly one of very few prepped for rallying – this specimen is in fine fighting form. Ready to go and complete with the necessary equipment to secure a top podium position, it’s something a bit different yet capable of claiming titles both domestically and abroad. We reckon this Corsair can do no wrong.

You can view the full advert in the AutoClassics classifieds.

Specifications:

  • 1700cc V4 engine
  • Uprated suspension
  • Strut brace
  • Corbeau rally seats
  • Luke harnesses
  • Rear hoop roll bar with backstays
  • Trimmed rear seat around roll bar
  • Terratrip trip meter
  • Auxiliary power sockets
  • Rostyle wheels
  • Two spare wheels
  • Driving lamps x four
  • Reversing lamp
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Increased-capacity radiator

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