The chances are that if you own a Ford Cortina, you may not for much longer. Anyone who has kept their ear against the wall to the ramblings of the internet may have noticed Cortinas are disappearing quicker than a puddle in the desert.
Just as sure as the day is followed by the night, the classic car scene has pointed the finger at the banger racing community. Members of this community are also guaranteed to plead their innocence, albeit in stereotypically poor grammar; one must not simply tar the “majority” with the same brush.
Hold judgement for just a second and let’s consider the facts. Firstly, a large number of Cortinas have been lifted from loyal owners in the last few months, with the majority around the South East of England. But why could this mean that banger racers have been slipping their fingers into classic Ford owners’ pockets though?
Classic car enthusiasts on one popular site immediately noticed a worrying link between this community and the thefts, in the form of a link to an upcoming banger rally. Entitled “All Cortina Meeting“, the banger racing community will unite on June 5th 2016 for, you guessed it, an all Ford Cortina smash-em-up fest. Motives for crashing classic cars aside, this makes for worrying reading for all Ford fans.
Image: A screenshot of the event on Hayevent.uk.
Before we all jump on a certain bandwagon, we must first consider both sides of the argument. The meet is scheduled to commence this June, located in Essex. Most of the stolen Cortinas originate from owners around the South East, besides a couple of exceptions. As of 3rd January, 94 individual racers have sourced Cortinas, an increasingly rare commodity in the UK, during the precise time period of the sudden increase of thefts.
Banger racers have earned a sour reputation for thieving. Indeed cases have been proven, but none at this stage linking to the Cortinas in question. Regardless, many will accuse and some will object.
Despite questionable taste, the vast majority of these 94 entrants most likely acquired their Cortina legitimately. However the odds are not stacked in favour of the community as a whole.
What should be done?
Organisers and legitimate enthusiasts alike must seek to expose the “bad apples” amongst their community. They must work together with the Police and classic car enthusiasts to ensure that banger racing is free from thieving scum bags. Should we all choose to abide by these rules, we all seek to benefit. Banger racers get to engage in their hobby, classic car enthusiasts can sleep more soundly at night and the Police needn’t spend as much in time and resources to solve problems. If you have nothing to hide, there will surely be no reason to object.
Spread the word via social media (#Cortina), turn in known culprits and vet vehicles thoroughly at June’s meet. In the mean time, hide your Cortinas!
A Selection of Stolen Cortinas:
- 20/05/2015 – XPO842G stolen from Selby, Yorkshire.
- 09/09/2015 – BDG986Y stolen from Weymouth, Dorset.
- 06/12/2015 – MKN841W estate stolen from West Norwood, South East London.
- 02/01/2016 – LVB173K stolen from Chatham, Kent.
- 02/01/2016 – XPK871Y stolen from Chatham, Kent.
- 05/01/2016 – HCR296L stolen from Camberwell, South London.
- 10/01/2016 – OSF722P stolen from Chatham, Kent.
Image: A compilation of some of the stolen Cortinas, sourced from Retrorides.
by Mike Armstrong