While there were plenty of cars worth highlighting at Dubshed, it’s just not possible to cover each one in detail. Instead, I tried to pick a few cars which best show the variety or at least something you haven’t seen before. So far there’s been a untypical Impreza STI and a zombie Beetle pulled from a field.
The final car I want to share with you from Ireland’s premier VW show is a Ford.
To be honest, it’s not even a particularly nice Ford, either. Even from a distance, it didn’t look good. The matte yellow paint – which I couldn’t tell whether was rough on purpose or had just come from years of neglect – did little to disguise the imperfections all over the body.
In the UK, the Cortina was good seller for Ford across its variants, this particular car being the Mk2 version. There are many cherished and cared for examples about, although I think that as time has passed, the Cortina’s appeal has been overshadowed by that of the early Escorts. But it’s maybe because of the popularity of the Mk1 and Mk2 Escort, and the corresponding rise in prices, that people have started to look for alternatives.
Despite the bonnet being open and revealing the car’s true nature, I knew there was a reason for this Cortina to be on the main show floor at Dubshed. It wasn’t an iconic car, and the organisers would have had their pick of pristine concours-condition cars if they absolutely had to have a Cortina. The wonky badge on the back would be the only real clue that something was amiss when the bonnet is closed.
At the heart of this ’60s-era saloon is a much more modern Ford Zetec on twin carburettors. The Zetec engine is to the Ford scene what the 4A-GE is to the Toyota world, albeit a slightly more modern engine with more capacity. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet gained the ability to measure cubic capacity by sight, but going by the position of the oil filler cap it’s likely a 1.8-litre or 2.0-litre with a power figure somewhere around 150-160hp. Nothing crazy, but it’s in keeping with the spirit of the car and is likely more than double what it originally would have come with.
I could only peak through the glass, but the interior appeared to be quite contrasting to the exterior. It’s been stripped of its carpets and repainted white, with lines neatly running along the length of the gearbox tunnel. Mounted to the steering column, I could just about make out a mappable Nodiz electronic ignition system.
So it’s not the prettiest, but in a sea of perfect paint and polished engine bays, this old Cortina put a smile on my face. It was maybe the contrast between the best VW show cars or the subtle execution of a modern engine swap, but it’s always nice to find something where you would least expect it.