Ford Motor Company Part VII – The Ford Corcel

Ford Corcel (Stallion)

Ford Corcel
1974 Ford Corcel GT

1974 Ford Corcel GT
Manufacturer Ford do Brasil
Also called Ford Belina
Production 1968–1986
Assembly São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil
Valencia, Venezuela
Body and chassis
Related Ford Del Rey
Ford Pampa
Renault 12

The Ford Corcel (“stallion” in Portuguese) is a car which was sold by the Ford Motor Company in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It was also assembled in Venezuela (along with the Del Rey). The French-influenced styling of the Corcel was unique to Brazil until late 1977. From this year, the redesigned Corcel II (as it was originally sold) bore a strong resemblance to the European Ford Escort and Granada of same era, but its Renault underpinnings remained the same. The Corcel was eventually replaced by the Del Rey, which was originally introduced as the sedan/coupe version of the Corcel.


1969 Ford Corcel Coupe y Sedan

 Original Corcel, 1969

The Corcel’s origins lay in the Renault 12. Willys-Overland‘s Brazilian operations included manufacturing the Renault Dauphine as the Willys Dauphine/Gordini/1093/Teimoso. Plans were underway to replace this outmoded range with a new car based on the upcoming Renault 12, internally referred to as “Project M”. When Willys do Brasil was bought by Ford do Brasil in 1967, Ford inherited the project. The Corcel was actually presented nearly two years before the Renault 12.

Corcel I

Ford Corcel (first generation)
1973 Ford Corcel Luxo - first year of front facelift, a bit more squared and muscular in appearance

1973 Ford Corcel Luxo
Manufacturer Ford do Brasil
Production 1968–1977
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupé
4-door sedan
3-door wagon
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout
Related Renault 12
Engine 1,289 cc Renault 810 OHV I4
1,372 cc 1300-B OHV I4
1,372 cc XP OHV I4 (GT)
Transmission 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,440 mm (96 in)
Length 4,390–4,410 mm (173–174 in)
Width 1,610 mm (63 in)
Height 1,370–1,430 mm (54–56 in)
Curb weight 920–1,005 kg (2,028–2,216 lb)
1973 Ford Corcel Luxo - rear

 Ford Corcel Luxo 1973, rear view

The first year of production of the Brazilian Ford Corcel was 1968, when it debuted as a four-door sedan at São Paulo. It was originally equipped with the 1.3 L (1,289 cc) 68 hp (51 kW) water-cooled overhead-valve “Cléon” engine picked directly from the Renault 12, albeit with a slightly lower compression ratio of 8:1 to allow it to run on 70 octane gasoline. A coupé was added in 1969 to target the second-car market, quickly becoming the fastest-selling version, followed by a three-door station wagon version called “Belina” in March 1970.

1975 Mark 1½ Ford Belina wagon, facelift version

 “Mark 1½” Ford Belina wagon, 1975 facelift version

The early Corcels had severe quality issues and sales suffered accordingly, but after Ford do Brasil received a new head (Joseph W. O’Neill) in 1970 the decision was made to ameliorate the situation. In Brazil’s first automotive recall, 65,000 owners were contacted and free repairs were made available; the Corcel once again became Ford’s biggest selling model in 1971. In 1971 two new models appeared, with the L (for “Luxo“) and the more powerful GT version added. The GT benefitted from a twin-barrel carburettor (“1300-C”) and offered 80 hp (60 kW) and could reach 141 km/h (88 mph) rather than the 135 km/h (84 mph) of the regular versions. Each passing year running styling changes were made, borrowing several details from the Ford Maverick, and becoming more and more like a pony car in appearance. The GT was updated in the form of new decals every year, and eventually also got a larger, more powerful engine.

The facelifted Corcel I (sometimes called the “Mark 1½”) arrived in 1973 and had a more aggressive look compared to the more conservative 1968 version. Some of the L and all GT versions were also equipped with a new, bored out 1.4-litre (1,372 cc) version of the existing engine. Claimed power for the regular Corcel was 75 hp (56 kW) (SAE gross), with 85 hp (63 kW) on tap at 5,400 rpm from the “XP” engine used in the GT, with its double-barrel carburettor. For SAE net, these figures became 72 hp (54 kW) and 77 hp (57 kW).

In 1975 a minor facelift occurred, in which the grille and headlight surrounds were subtly changed and the Ford logo moved from the grille onto the leading edge of the bonnet, along with the existing “F O R D” script. The taillights were now single-piece units. Also new for 1975 was the luxurious “LDO” version, available as a coupé or estate. Meanwhile, the locally developed 1.4 gradually replaced the old 1.3 throughout the lineup. This was very easy to modify for greater power and some dealers had the option to install an unofficial small tuning kit that would improve the engine’s horsepower to 95 (SAE Gross). Note that all of these power outputs were achieved using the low quality, low octane petrol available in South America at the time.

The Corcel GT was moderately successful in Brazilian Tarumã, Interlagos and beach rally street car championships during the 1970s, thanks to its front-wheel-drive stability and low weight (920 kg), which allowed a high power-to-weight ratio. It would not be faster than the V-8 Maverick and Chevrolet Opala, but it would beat everything else, including four- and six-cylinder Mavericks and some Dodge Chargers that partook of the events. These competitions uncovered that the front drive universal joint was prone to break under heavy stress, so in 1976 the Corcel line switched to constant-velocity joints.

Corcel II

Ford Corcel II
Ford Corcel II Itanhaém
Manufacturer Ford do Brasil
Also called Ford Belina
Production 1977–1986
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door fastback sedan
3-door wagon
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout
Front-engine, four-wheel-drive layout
Related Ford Del Rey
Ford Pampa
Renault 12
Engine 1372 cc 1300-B OHV I4
1555 cc CHT OHV I4
1781 cc VW AP-1800 I4
Transmission 4/5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,440 mm (96 in)
Length 4,470–4,520 mm (176–178 in)
Width 1,660 mm (65 in)
Height 1,350–1,360 mm (53–54 in)
Curb weight 862–917 kg (1,900–2,022 lb)
Successor Ford Del Rey

In 1977, for the 1978 model year, Ford launched the Corcel II. The second generation had a completely remade design and straight lines as opposed to the pony car style of the original Corcel. These changes were also applied to the Belina, while the four-door version was dropped in response to lack of consumer interest. The resulting two-door sedan was of a fastback style, with long and heavy doors. Originally equipped with the same 1.4-litre four as the first Corcel, the engine was now rated at 54 PS (40 kW) DIN for the base, Luxo, and LDO versions. The somewhat sporting GT received 57 PS (42 kW), courtesy of a twin-barrel Solexcarburettor. The Corcel II was also used for an FIA Group 1 one-marque championship in Brazil, in the years of 1979 to 1983.

The Ford Del Rey was introduced in 1981, with a more upright roofline and available four-door bodywork. The Del Rey also had a reworked, more square front design. A station wagon version of the Del Rey (called the Ford Scala until 1986) differed from the Belina only in trim and in the front design. The traditional Ford name Victoria was to be used on this version but was dropped at the last minute. The Ford Corcel II also provided the basis for a pick-up version called the Ford Pampa in 1982, although this used the shorter front doors of the four-door Ford Del Rey since there was no need to access the back seat. The Pampa would eventually also be available with four-wheel drive.

Ford Belina, a station wagon based on the Corcel II

 Ford Belina (wagon)

As of 1982, the engine was a CHT, an improved version of the Ventoux engine used in the first Corcel of 1968. It had already been bored and stroked to 1,555 cc years earlier, but with a redesigned cylinder head, a rotating valve design and many other peripheral improvements it received a new name and a new lease on life.


All had a slight face lift for the 1985 model year. The Corcel II became known again simply as the Corcel. The interior was now the same for all four models. Externally, the Corcel and the Del Rey differed at the rear; the Corcel received fastback-style bodywork while the Del Rey was of a more traditional sedan design. The Belina and the Scala, however, had by now lost nearly all of their interior/exterior differences and became near identical: only a few details, such as the taillamps, differentiated these two models. Between 1985 and 1987 the Belina was made available with the same four-wheel-drive system used in the Pampa. This system seemed to have questionable reliability; Quatro Rodas magazine did a long-term test of a Belina 4×4 (50,000 km) in which breakdowns were very frequent – the resulting bad reputation led to Belina 4×4 production ending after only a few model years, while the Pampa 4×4 continued to be available.

Ford Corcel II in Montevideo, Uruguay.

 rear view of Ford Corcel II, showing fastback rear styling

1986 was the last year for the Corcel. The Belina was also discontinued in 1986, but its name was from then on applied to what had been the Scala (a name that had never really caught on) as the “Del Rey Belina”. In 1989, as a result of the Autolatina joint-venture, the higher output Volkswagen AP-1800 engine replaced the 1.6 litre unit in all models of the Del Rey and Belina, and was made available in all models of the Pampa except for the ones with four-wheel drive.

The Del Rey and the “new” Belina were discontinued in 1991, being replaced by the Ford Versailles and Ford Royale respectively (Passat B2 version fascia). The Pampa continued to be sold on until 1997, with Ford introducing the smaller, Fiesta-based Ford Courier a year later.


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b World Cars 1984. Pelham, NY: L’Editrice dell’Automobile LEA/Herald Books. 1984. p. 404. ISBN 0-910714-16-9.
  2. Jump up^ Castaings, Francis. “Páginas da História: R12 francês, um sucesso mundial” [Historic Pages: France’s R12, a Global Success] (in Portuguese). Best Cars Web Site. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  3. Jump up^ Braunschweig, Robert et al., eds. (March 14, 1974). “Automobil Revue ’74” (in German and French) 69. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag. p. 311. ISSN 0005-1314.
  4. Jump up^ World Cars 1972. Bronxville, NY: L’Editrice dell’Automobile LEA/Herald Books. 1972. pp. 266–67. ISBN 0-910714-04-5.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Castaings, Francis. “Carros do passado: O cavalo Brasileiro (2)” [Nostalgic Cars: The Brazilian Horse (2)] (in Portuguese). Best Cars. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  6. Jump up^ Castaings, Francis. “Carros do Passado: O cavalo brasileiro” [Nostalgic Cars: The Brazilian Horse (1)] (in Portuguese). Best Cars Web Site. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  7. Jump up^ World Cars 1972, p. 268
  8. Jump up^ Automobil Revue ’74, p. 312
  9. Jump up^ World Cars 1976. Bronxville, NY: L’Editrice dell’Automobile LEA/Herald Books. 1976. pp. 252–253. ISBN 0-910714-08-8.
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b Castaings, Francis. “Carros do Passado: O cavalo brasileiro” [Nostalgic Cars: The Brazilian Horse (3)] (in Portuguese). Best Cars Web Site. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  11. Jump up^ World Cars 1977. Pelham, NY: The Automobile Club of Italy/Herald Books. 1977. p. 254. ISBN 0-910714-09-6.
  12. Jump up^ Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1978). World Cars 1978. Pelham, NY: The Automobile Club of Italy/Herald Books. p. 318. ISBN 0-910714-10-X.

Ford Motor Company Part VI – The Ford Consul Classic

Ford Consul Classic

Ford Consul Classic
1962 Ford Classic four door registered May 1498cc

Ford Consul Classic 4 door saloon
Manufacturer Ford of Britain
Also called Ford Consul 315 (export markets)
Production 1961–1963
111,225 made.
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door saloon
4-door saloon
Related Ford Consul Capri (335)
Engine 1.3 or 1.5 L Straight-4
Wheelbase 99 in (2,515 mm)
Length 170.75 in (4,337 mm)
Width 65 in (1,651 mm)
Height 56 in (1,422 mm)
Curb weight 2070 pounds (940 kg)
Predecessor Ford Consul
Successor Ford Corsair
1963 Ford Classic two door 1498cc

 Ford Consul Classic 2-door
1962 Ford Consul Classic

 Ford Consul Classic

The Ford Consul Classic is a mid-sized car which was built by Ford in the United Kingdom from 1961 to 1963. It was available in two or four door saloon form, in Standard or De Luxe versions, and with floor or column gearshift. The name Ford Consul 315 was used for export markets. The Ford Consul Capri was a 2-door coupé version of the Classic, and was available from 1961 until 1964.

It is sometimes referred to as the Ford 109E, though that was only one of four such codes utilized for the Consul Classic, as explained below. Obvious competitor models at the time included the Hillman Minx and Singer Gazelle from Rootes Group.

Ford Classic model codes

The Classic (and related Consul Capri) had the Right Hand Drive and home market Ford code of 109E (but 110E if L.H.D.) for 1961–1962 models with 1340cc engines, or 116E (but 117E for L.H.D.) for 1962–1963 manufacture with 1500cc engines. Those codes also distinguish the gearboxes and steering components which are not greasable on later cars, so cutting first-user servicing costs. Despite all these codes the cars all looked the same throughout production 1961–1963, the visual distinctions being the number of doors, the trim & equipment level between Standard and De Luxe and their exciting choice of colours.

Concept and development

The Classic was made by Ford to be “suitable for the golf club car park”, and was originally intended for introduction earlier and deletion later than actually occurred. The styling exercises were mainly undertaken in 1956 under Colin Neale. The main styling cues came straight from Dearborn, as they so often did, defining the car as a scaled down Galaxie 500, from the waist down, topped with a Lincoln Continental roofline. Other aspects of R&D followed, and it is likely that a recognisably similar car could have been introduced in 1959 subject to different senior management decisions. In practice the run-away early success of the Anglia (1959 on) used up most of the car manufacturing capacity at Dagenham, vindicating the decision to compete against the BMC Mini (the Halewood plant did not open until 1963). Ford therefore entered the 1960s with the small Anglia, Popular and Prefect, the big “three graces” launched back in 1956, and not the mid-size market Classic.


The Ford Classic was similar in appearance to the more popular Ford Anglia, featuring the same distinctive reverse-rake rear window. This feature was imported from the 1958 Lincoln Continental where it was necessitated by the design requirement for an opening (breezway) rear window. With quad headlamps and different frontal treatment it was longer, wider and so heavier than the Anglia. In fact, from the windows down the body design was a scaled down version of Ford’s huge, US Ford Galaxie. Inside, the separate front seats and rear bench had a standard covering of PVC but leather was available as an option. There was a choice of floor-mounted or column-mounted gear change. Single or two-tone paint schemes were offered. Several of the car’s features, unusual at the time, have subsequently become mainstream such as the headlight flasher (“found on many Continental cars”) and the variable speed windscreen wipers.[4] The boot or trunk capacity was exceptionally large, with a side-stowed spare-wheel well, and more important, the huge high-lift sprung lid allowed a great variety of loads to be both contemplated and packed. At 21 cubic feet, this was 15% larger than Zodiac mk2 and had obvious advantages for business use.

The Consul Classic was also mechanically similar to the Anglia, and used slightly larger 1340 cc and from 1962 1498 cc variants of the Ford Kent Engine. The car had front 9.5 in (241 mm) disc brakes and was fitted with a four-speed gearbox: early cars provided synchromesh on the top three ratios, while the arrival of the 1498 cc version coincided with the provision of synchromesh on all forward gears. Suspension was independent at the front using MacPherson struts, and at the rear the live axle used semi elliptic leaf springs. A contemporary road tester was impressed, noting that “probably the most impressive thing about the Classic is its road holding”.


A car tested by The Motor magazine in 1961 had a top speed of 78.4 mph (126.2 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.5 seconds. A fuel consumption of 35.8 miles per imperial gallon (7.9 L/100 km; 29.8 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car was a 4-door deluxe version costing £801 including taxes, but the sticker price on a two-door standard Classic with the same engine was just £745 including taxes.


The Consul Classic was complex and expensive to produce and was replaced in 1963 by the Ford Corsair which was largely based on Ford Cortina components. Only 111,225 Classics and 18,716 Capris were produced (Including 2002 ‘GT’ Versions). These are small numbers by Ford standards, and probably indicative of the public not taking to the controversial styling along with the availability of the cheaper, similar sized Cortina.

Consul Capri

Ford Consul Capri
1963 Ford Consul Capri

1962 Ford Consul Capri
Manufacturer Ford of Britain
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupé
Related Ford Consul Classic
Engine 1340 cc I4 (OHV)
1498 cc I4 (OHV)
Wheelbase 99 in (2,515 mm)
Length 170.75 in (4,337 mm)
Width 65.3 in (1,659 mm)
Height 54 in (1,372 mm)
Kerb weight 2,100 lb (953 kg) approx

The Consul Capri was a two-door coupé version of the Classic saloon made by Ford of Britain.

The Capri Project was code named “Sunbird” and took design elements from the Ford Thunderbird and the Ford Galaxie Starliner. It was instigated by Sir Horace Denne, Ford’s Sales Director. He wanted a “co-respondent’s” car to add glamour to the product line. It was designed by Charles Thompson who worked under Neale and had sweeping lines, a large boot space and a pillarless coupé roof.

On its September announcement the Consul Capri was for export only but went on sale to the domestic British market in January 1962. The bodies were sub-assembled by Pressed Steel Company, with only final assembly of the drivetrain taking place at Dagenham and from February 1963 at Halewood. It was intended as part of the Ford Classic range of cars but the body was complex and expensive to produce. With new production methods, time demands from Dearborn and a need to match opposition manufacturers in price, the Ford Classic and Consul Capri were almost doomed from the start. The Ford Classic was made from 1961 to 1963, and replaced by the Cortina-derived Ford Corsair.

The Consul Capri included Ford Classic De-Luxe features, including four headlights, variable speed wipers, 9.5 in (241 mm) front disc brakes, dimming dashboard lights, and a cigar lighter. The four-speed transmission was available with either a column or floor change. It was proclaimed as “The First Personal car from Ford of Great Britain” (Ford of Great Britain, sales literature, December 1961)

Initially fitted with a 1340 cc 3 main bearing engine (model 109E), the early cars were considered underpowered and suffered from premature crankshaft failure. Engine capacity was increased in August 1962 to 1498 cc (model 116E) and this engine with its new 5 bearing crankshaft was a vast improvement. The first 200 Capris were left-hand-drive cars for export including Europe and North America. In Germany at the 1961 Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford sold 88 Capris.

In February 1963 a GT version (also 116E) was announced. The new GT engine, developed by Cosworth, featured a raised compression ratio to 9:1, a modified head with larger exhaust valves, an aluminium inlet manifold, a four branch exhaust manifold and, most noticeably, a twin-choke Weber carburettor – this being the first use of this make on a British production car. The same engine was announced for use in the Ford Cortina in April 1963.

Overall the car was very expensive to produce and in the latter part of its production was running alongside the very popular Ford Cortina. Sales were disappointing and the Consul Capri was removed from sale after two and a half years with 19,421 sold, of which 2002 were GT models. 1007 cars were sold in 1964, the last year of production, 412 of them being GTs. The Consul Capri was discontinued in July 1964. The Consul Capri (335) is one of the rarest cars from Ford of Great Britain.

A Capri was tested by the British The Motor magazine in 1962 and had a top speed of 79.0 mph (127.1 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 22.6 seconds. A fuel consumption of 36.7 miles per imperial gallon (7.7 L/100 km; 30.6 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £915 including taxes of £288.

1962 Ford Consul Capri (335)

 Ford Consul Capri (335)