Ed Roth’s Cars

I recent pod cast from Sweden about American cars brought up Ed Roth and how he was way more than a car builder. He was an amazing artist in so many ways.

That got me looking in my old “photo album”. For you millenials, it worked like this:

  • You first bought a roll of light sensitive material made from celluloid that could hold 24 or 36 pictures.
  • You stuffed said roll in your 2 lbs camera and took pictures.
  • Then you got in your 10 mpg Yank Tank and drove to some store for them in to be developed to little hard 3X5 inch paper cards.
  • A week later, you could drive back and pick them up and at a cost of about $10.00 for 36 pictures. Since this is the first time you see your work,  you probably end up throwing away half of them as they did not turn out.
  • Then you go to the book shelf and open up a huge hard backed book with clear plastic inserts and you put your little pictures in the pockets.

ANYWAY…I was walking around in So cal sometime in 1979, I THINK it was in Santa Ana. I stumbled across a nondescript building that said car museum or something like that. I had to walk in. The place was full of cars I had only seen in the movies. I apologize for dark photos as they are scan of said paper copies.


My notes on the back of this space ship said: Dual Triumph engines capable of 15 mph. I recall that the sign said something like this: Roth built this vehicle for a movie but the director got inpatient with the progress of the build. The director told Roth that it is only going to be backed out of a garage anyway and walked away. Roth build the car so it only went backwards. (I could be wrong about this story as this was like…100 years ago.


As an OCD Swede I had trouble with that the whole “museum” was very run down and dirty. Also, the cars appeared to not be well taken care of.

Red Baron

Who did not have a model of this one?? I sure did, back in Sweden in the late 60’s?

Mail Box Trike

Beatnik Bandit

Druid Princess

 The Addams Family TV series that ran on ABC-TV needed an appropriate vehicle for the Adams family. Roth and his team responded with Druid Princess.

Not a Roth car but worth an honorable mention, the roadster pick up seen on the Happy Days show.

Another car worth mentioning was the Beatles Flower Power painted Rolls Royce.

What really blows my mind about this is that it was about FORTY years ago!!

The History Of The Ford Cortina

Ford Cortina Front






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2013 sees the 51st anniversary since the first ever Cortina rolled off the production line at Ford’s Dagenham plant.  The UK’s best selling car throughout the entire 1970’s, it stayed in production for a mammoth twenty years between 1962 and 1982.  In order to celebrate its success, the guys at CVI take a look at its various incarnations throughout this period, and its place as one of the highest ever-selling cars in the UK.

Mark I (1962-1966)

Launched in the September of 1962, the new Ford Cortina was aimed at the family market, and featured at that year’s London Motor Show.  Originally available with a 1.2l or 1.5l 4-cylinder engine, as either a two or four-door saloon, or a four-door estate, the Mark I Cortina originally marketed at just £639. It was initially designed to be economical to run and inexpensive to produce on a mass-scale.  Throughout its production, the Cortina was in an almost constant state of evolution, particularly when it came to its engine.  The standard 1.2-litre was considered insufficient for the needs of its average purchaser, and versions of the Cortina Super were developed in response.

Mark II (1966-1970)

Ford Cortina side blue







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By 1966 a new version of the Cortina was ready for launch.  Under the slogan “New Cortina is more Cortina”, the car quickly became the most popular new car of 1967.  Amongst its improvements were; increased interior space, a smaller turning-circle, self-adjusting brakes and clutch and softer suspension.  For the UK and some other markets, a new five bearing 1300 cc engine was also available. 

TC Mark III (1970-1976)

Ford Cortina front side








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With the new decade came the new and improved TC Mark III Ford Cortina.  With a renewed focus on its aesthetics, the ‘coke bottle’ shape heavily influenced the design.  Its weight had also increased, providing a safer ride for its passengers.  A strike by Ford workers in 1971 ensured slow starting sales but, with production back underway, the Mark III became Britain’s biggest selling car.  Forty years on, it is now considered a rare classic car. 

Mark IV (1976-1979)

The biggest change with the Mark IV model came in the shape of its new Ghia engine.  Reverting to a more conventional design, it continued its domination of the UK car market.  Much heavier than its predecessor, it also featured much larger windows for increased visibility and a brighter interior.

Mark V (1979-1982)

Ford Cortina late model







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The fifth and final incarnation of the Cortina was launched in 1979.  Now available in its basic 1.3l model for £3,475, the Mark V featured a much wider grill to its front, and boasted engine improvements in both fuel economy and power output.  The Ford Cortina’s status as Britain’s biggest selling car was maintained between 1972 and 1981, and with over 2.5 million cars sold, cement its place as an integral part of the UK’s motoring history.