The Ford Cortina P100 pickup is an increasingly forgotten machine. Effectively the front end of a late MkIV (colloquially MkV) Cortina mated with a ladder chassis rear end and a pickup bed, most examples used the famous 2.0-litre ‘Pinto’ engine in single-choke, low compression form, whose low 77bhp tune meant it would run on wood shavings and metaphors.
For the most part, these were working vehicles. Sold in Ford’s ‘commercials’ catalogue, the P100 pickup was never marketed as a recreational vehicle in the UK, unlike the Utes and Bakkies of other nations, including South Africa, where the P100 was actually built. As a result, the vast majority were used up and thrown away. Survivors are few, and many of those which live on have strayed wildly from ‘as built’ condition. And now, for a vast sum of money,
That bombproof ‘Pinto’ engine went on to appear in the next generation of P100, which used the Sierra front end. It was around the time of that car’s launch that the Cosworth crew performed their magic, and the YB engine for the Sierra RS Cosworth was actually based on the P100’s low-compression block. No great surprise, then, that the P100 saw more than its fair share of Cosworth transplants over the years.
That’s not the only engine that fitted, though. Just as the South African Cortina was available in XR6 trim with the 3.0-litre Essex V6, that lump was also offered in the P100. And since the Cortina gave way to the similarly-powered Sierra, which received both the Essex V6 and the 302 Windsor V8 in Sierra XR8 trim, it didn’t take a lot of lateral thinking to get the Windsor under the bonnet of a P100.
And that’s what we’re looking at here. Actual specification is a little thinly detailed, but the engine is pretty and the installation clean enough to make me think that it’s ‘built’ to at least some extent. Only one further modification is listed:
Yep, there’s some kind of nitrous injection system going on, no mention of the dose size but any amount of nitrous in a V8-powered P100 is going to make for a memorable experience. Elsewhere, the looks of the machine have been kept pleasingly subtle. There’s an amount of reshaping under the nose, presumably to allow for a decent cooling setup, and there’s a set of flush-mounted hoot release catches.
There’s been a wheel swap too. Owing to the heavy-duty 5-stud hubs of the P100, regular Cortina wheels were a no-go and stock models used a unique 14″ design of their own. To get more rubber on the road, though, the builder of this has employed old Jaguar XJ steel wheels, and I think they look fantastic in this application.
This P100 has apparently been owned from new by the builder, and its condition reflects that. Still finished in Diamond White, with the correct factory P100 graphics, this isn’t even a restomod – it’s a beloved car that has been skilfully and subtly upgraded. I like it. Is it worth £14,995? To most sensible folk, of course not. But if you want the best P100 in the world – and I’ve no evidence that this is otherwise – it’ll be money well spent.