Heavy Metal Affliction -- Ford Cortina Convertible
Heavy Metal Affliction is Forza Motorsport.net’s weekly look
at the cars owned by Forza community members. Each week we tell a different
story about how a love of cars can influence people’s lives and the journey of
expressing ourselves through our cars.
As we get older, if we are lucky enough to have children it
is natural to try and pass on our loves to them, in the hope that they will
learn to appreciate what we value. When a love of cars is part of the passed
on, it usually comes in the form of great
experiences, valuable time shared together, and, often, a lot of hard work.
This week we have a story of a family jewel, a 1966 Ford
Cortina Mk1 Super 1500 Crayford Convertible. The car is an heirloom passed down
through the family of Patrick Cronin, of Southampton, England. In the world of
Forza he is known by Gamertag PatC86. The
Cortina was passed on from Cronin’s grandfather to his father and someday,
hopefully a long time from now, the car will be passed on to Patrick himself.
Until that day, Cronin helps take care of the Cortina with his father.
Cronin’s love of cars started at an early age and was
unavoidable. He was raised among eclectic and unique cars such as a Mustang
Mach One, a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit, Morris Minor’s and several other Crayford
convertible conversions. This includes his grandfather’s Cortina Mk1 Crayford
As a child, Cronin was toted around the country by his dad
to attend car shows. When he was a child he remembers mostly running about and
frolicking among the cars. As he got older he began to pay attention to the
cars and one of his favorite memories is sitting in an early Dodge Viper.
As a young boy Cronin, was active in sports and played
goalkeeper in both hockey and football, he was especially promising as a hockey
goalie. At age 12 he severely injured his wrist, which sidelined him from
sports and any hope of playing at the level to which he aspired. While his
injury healed, he became withdrawn and eventually agoraphobic. He stopped attending school and was losing
hope. Racing games and his love of cars helped bring him back to school first
part time and eventually full time. Now, ten years later, he is a biochemisty student
at the University of Southhampton, plays Forza 4 regularly, and is again
participating in football, cricket and squash. Upon finishing school he hopes
to get his racing license. He also plans to carry on the tradition started by
his grandfather of showing the Cortina.
Last year the Cronins and the Cortina were invited to
Goodwood to take part in the centenary of Ford in Britain. Since Goodwood has
strict rules requiring cars to be presented in their original form, the
Cronin’s went about addressing the paint job on the Cortina. Cronin’s
grandfather had originally rescued the little car from the scrapyard where it
was found in a poor state. Over the years Cronin’s grandfather had repaired the
car to good working order. Still, it lacked original paint; it had been made
over in maroon with a blue strip in the style of a Lotus Cortina. A family
friend prepped and painted the little car for a reduced rate. The deep burgundy came out beautifully. At the
Goodwood event they proudly shared the track with the original Ford GT40, the Ford
Model T that Henry Ford used to race, and other amazing cars.
Recently the Cronins were invited to Goodwood to help
celebrate the 50th
anniversary of the Cortina. This event takes place this coming weekend
September 14-16, 2012. This year they have been working to replacing the
dashboard and the rear lights, taking the car one step closer to being completely
restored. The car will be displayed outside the Earls Court Showroom on the
race track grounds. Hopefully Cronin will grace us with some more photos from
this event in the HMA thread.
This little family jewel has all of about 60 hp but, as you
can see, it has character is spades. Originally Crayford only built 47 Super
1500 convertible conversions. Thirty of those were sent to Bermuda to be used
as taxis and have since been scrapped. Of the 17 remaining, only six are
roadworthy including Cronin’s. The car made such an impression at Goodwood last
year, it was even made into a 1:43 scale model. See this picture and others in
Cronin’s Flickr stream.
Eventually (and as their budget allows), the Cronin’s plan
on replacing the hood and hood cover and will continue making progress. The car
will always be kept in the family and passed on to the next generation.
Take a look at a few photos of the Cortina Super 1500 before
its paint job and after.
If you have a car you have been working on and would like to share it with the community post about it in the request for community rides thread.
If you would like to discuss Cronin’s Cortina or this week’s Heavy Metal Affliction do so in the HMA thread.