It’s pretty rare that cars produced over such a short period of time have such an impact, but that’s the way it was with the 1968 Ford Cortina 1600E, which remained in production only until 1970. Over that period, Ford managed to sell and build over 55,000 Cortina 1600E, a clear commercial success. The ‘E’ in 1600E stood for ‘Executive’, a type of branding Ford was already applying to some of its other models. Stylistically speaking, the 1600E featured a mat-black grille and extra headlights, and sporty Ro-style wheels, and on the inside, sports seats, a wood dash and some extra detailing in the doors. This gave the little Cortina the feel of a much pricier car, which car in part explain its success.
Of course, extra and fancier trim wasn’t all the Cortina 1600E had to offer. it was fitted with the 88 horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine from the 1600GT, and while it didn’t turn it into a road monster, it was certainly fun to drive. Top speed was 98 miles per hour, and 0-60 took about 13 seconds. Acceptable, but not insane. The 1600E’s true strength was its handling, which it derived from the Lotus Cortina, which made it really fun to drive.
The 1968 Ford Cortina 1600E survived for a few short years, but unfortunately its replacement had neither the charm, nor the success of the little 1600E.