Ford Authority

1970 Ford Cortina Owned By Soccer Star Heads To Auction

In the U.S., the Ford Cortina isn’t exactly a common sight these days. However, the Cortina was a top-seller in the UK and across certain parts of Europe for the better part of two decades and five generations, and from time to time, we see one pop up for sale in the states – or, even hiding in a barn somewhere. Now, a very special 1970 Ford Cortina is set to be auctioned off in a few months, too.

1970 Ford Cortina Owned By English World Cup Soccer Star Francis Lee - Exterior 002 - Rear Three Quarters

This 1970 Ford Cortina 1600E is slated to be sold at the upcoming H&H Classics Imperial War Museum auction in Duxford on October 9th, 2024, but it’s not just any old ordinary Cortina – rather, it’s one of 30 that was loaned to the defending World Cup champions from England that very same year. This particular Ford Cortina was driven by Francis Lee, who was part of that very same team, as well as Manchester City.

1970 Ford Cortina Owned By English World Cup Soccer Star Francis Lee - Interior 001

This very cool piece of memorabilia was purchased by Lee once his loan was up, and today, has just 28,500 miles on the clock. It was treated to a comprehensive restoration in the 1990s, however, and today, looks as good as new. It also has some cool features on the outside that include “Chosen for England” script, British and Mexican flags, and the English team’s logo.

1970 Ford Cortina Owned By English World Cup Soccer Star Francis Lee - Engine Bay 001

Lee passed away just last year, and his Ford Cortina has changed hands several times over the years following his time with it, but now, it’s bound to appeal to any big time English soccer fan. They may even get to bring the cool classic home at a relatively reasonable price, as the auction estimate for the small machine is currently listed at £50,000-£60,000 ($63,391-$76,069 USD).

We’ll have more cool auction finds to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Cortina news and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. PJT

    A sharp car and a real time capsule. I never understood why Ford didn’t adapt this car for the US rather than start from scratch to develop the Pinto.

  2. Lurch

    The Cortina was sold in the United States from 1967 to 1970. That’s why we still occasionally see them here, not because of private exports.

    1. PJT

      Didn’t know that – thanks for the tip! That explains why I saw one at my high school in about 1980. I mistook it for a Datsun 510 but was corrected by the owner.

      I can imagine the Cortina was an odd sight next to the domestic Fords in the showroom of the late 60s, but still think it would have been a better bet than the Pinto and Maverick.


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