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Heavy Metal Affliction -- Ford Cortina Convertible

John Schommer
Friday, September 14, 2012


Heavy Metal Affliction is Forza’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 Convertible.


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 While his injury healed, he became withdrawn and eventually agoraphobic.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.