How to Identify your Cortina!

The Chassis Plate Revealed

Have you ever thought to yourself, “what is the information contained on the Identification Plate?” or Chassis Plate as it’s otherwise known.
That collection of numbers and letters stamped onto a piece of aluminium riveted to the inner wing, under the bonnet (or hood if you’re reading this in the USA).
Well now is the time to learn all there is to know about it. Read on and find out if the Cortina you have in your possession is the model you paid for, whether it is still in its original colour and what month and year it was manufactured.
The owners of a genuine Ford Parts or Workshop Manual will find the following information is already available to them, but to the hundreds of owners who do not have access to these publications, this information is directed at you and also to anyone who is thinking of purchasing a Mk2 Cortina in the future. This information will immediately show you if there is a discrepancy between what it is being advertised and what type of Cortina it is.
There are other differences to look for between certain models, but the chassis plate is a common factor to them all.
(All the following information has an official source)

The Chassis Plate, or Identification Plate, and what it looks like.

As stated above, the Chassis Plate or Identification Plate, can be found riveted to the left hand inner wing (if standing facing engine compartment). The writing on the plate will always face towards the outside of the vehicle and not towards the engine.
If the vehicle is purported not to have undergone a re-spray, and the plate is upside down be very suspicious.
Vehicle Serial Number
The means of identifying a vehicle, and for vehicles sourced and assembled by Ford Britain, ascertaining the date of manufacture, is by use of the vehicle serial number, which comprises of code numbers and letters.
e.g. BA94FA76132

• Product source company – “B” – Ford Britain.
When a vehicle is shipped unassembled, the letters “C” or “D” will be shown in this position to denote the
territory in which it is assembled.
• Assembly Plant – “A” – Dagenham
The letter in this position denotes an assembly plant in
the territory where the vehicle is assembled.
• Body type –“94” – Cortina 2 door Super Saloon.
The key to the Body type code follows.
• Year and Month –“FA” – 1966 (F) November (A)
• Vehicle Identification Number – “761342”

Where the first letter of the Vehicle Identification Number denotes the source company (B) the date code shown signifies the date of manufacture. Where the first letter of the Vehicle Identification Number denotes that the vehicle has been shipped unassembled to another territory (“C” or “D”) the date code shown within the Vehicle Identification Number is the date of assembly within that territory and should not be used for ordering parts. In these instances the date code signifying the manufacturing date, to be used for ordering parts, is in the “S.V.C. Ref.” Box on the Identification Plate.

Body Type Code
80 Cortina Saloon (4 door Standard)
90 Cortina Saloon (2 door Standard)
91 Cortina Saloon (2 door Lotus)
92 Cortina Saloon (2 door De Luxe)
93 Cortina Saloon (4 door De Luxe)
94 Cortina Saloon (2 door Super)
95 Cortina Saloon (4 door Super)
96 Cortina Saloon (2 door G.T.)
97 Cortina Saloon (4 door G.T., 1600E)
98 Cortina Estate (De Luxe)
99 Cortina Estate (Super)

Note: No specific “Body Type Code” was listed for the 2 door 1600E as this was not officially available for the home market, nor was one listed for the “Special Order” G.T. Estate.

Year And Month Code.
Month         1966 1967  1968  1969  1970
January        L           C            B           J            L
February     Y           K            R           U           Y
March           S           D           A           M           S
April               T           E           G           P           T
May                J            P           C           B           J
June              U            Y           K            R          U
July               M             S           D           A           M
August         P            T            E          G            P
September  B            J            L            C          S
October       R           U           Y           K            R
November   A           M          S          D            A
December   G           P           T          E            G

Drive Code
R/1 – Right Hand Drive L/2 – Left Hand Drive

Engine Code
A – 1300 c.c. High Compression *
B – 1300 c.c. Low Compression
C – 1300 c.c. High Compression #
D – 1500 c.c. High Compression *
E – 1500 c.c. Low Compression
F – 1500 c.c. High Compression #
G – 1500 c.c. High Compression
H – 1560 c.c. Lotus
J/S – 1300 c.c. High Compression
K/T – 1300 c.c. Low Compression
L/U – 1600 c.c. High Compression
M/W – 1600 c.c. Low Compression
N/X – 1600 c.c. High Compression ~
P/Y – 1560 c.c. Lotus

* With Low Compression Distributor ~ G.T. # With Normal Distributor

Rear Axle
A/2 – 3.9:1 ratio C/5 – 4.4:1 ratio
A/J – 3.89:1 ratio
B/4 – 4.1:1 ratio D/9 – 3.77:1 ratio

A/1 Floor Change B/2 Column Change C/3 Automatic

The number shown under this heading will consist of an alphabetical prefix and three digits, e.g. B635. This indicates the colour and type of material used within the vehicle.

S.V.C. Ref.
This signifies the date of manufacture when a vehicle is shipped unassembled from the source company for assembly in another territory. See Identification Plate explanation on source company and date of manufacture.

Paint Code
BA/AB – Ermine White
BZ – Spruce Green
CN – Velvet Blue
CH – Purbeck Grey
CJ – Lagoon Blue
CL- Black Cherry
CM – Alpina Green
CP – Seafoam Blue
CU – Dragoon Red
AQ – Aubergine
BJ – Anchor Blue
BN – Red II 65
BV – Beige 67
A5* – Aquatic Jade
CG – Light Blue
CR – Light Green 67
A2* – Silver Fox
A3* – Blue Mink
A6* – Saluki Bronze
A8* – Light Orchid
B4* – Amber Gold
B5* – Fern Green
* Metallic paint