A CAR thought to be the world’s last ‘brand-new’ Ford Cortina is up for sale – and it hasn’t done a single mile in 30 years.
Dundee car enthusiast Frank Sheach is to put his 1981 Ford Cortina Mark Five for sale at auction.
The car only has delivery mileage and, never having been registered, doesn’t even have its own number plate.
The 47-year-old National Express engineer says it is time to sell his prized possession, which he bought from a dealer in 2005 after the previous owner died.
He has kept it locked up and it has only been transported to classic car shows on the back of a lorry.
The car would have been worth £5,500 in 1981, Mr Sheach says, about £19,000 in today’s money.
Mr Sheach said he liked the car’s practical nature: “I suppose it’s a trip down memory lane, I worked on them when I was a lad.
“I liked them as cars, they were easy to work on. I was sorry to see them being discontinued for the Sierra.”
The iconic Ford Cortina was the best-selling car of the 1970s.
The mark Three version of the car found new fame in the recent BBC show Life on Mars.
He said he was tempted to drive the car after seeing the show, but said: “It would be illegal.”
He said he managed to resist the temptation to take it on the roads as Tayside Classic Car Club, which he was a member of, encouraged him not to spoil its authenticity.
Mr Sheach said: “I didn’t want to take away from the authenticity.
“I’m going to give someone else the opportunity to own a piece of history.
“It’s the only one I’m aware of that’s not been driven.”
He owns another Cortina, which he painstakingly restored himself.
So he is not keen to put any miles on the ‘brand new’ 30-year-old car.
He said: “It would be pointless to put mileage on it. So it’s been locked up in a garagee for seven years.”
The car has only been taken to car shows on the back of a trailer.
Five different versions were produced, Marks one through five, with the five boasting 108 brake horsepower.
Each version sold more than one million models, becoming successively more popular until being replaced by the Sierra.
It could reach a top speed of just over 100mph, and is widely considered a landmark in British car manufacturing.
Mr Sheach said: “I don’t think there will be another one in this condition. There’s only delivery mileage on the clock and it’s brand new.
“I got it after was told about it by someone in the car club.
“They said a multi-millionaire enthusiast had kept it in his collection since buying it new.
“Apparently he used to buy the last model made of different kinds of cars and he bought this one when Ford stopped making Cortinas and started the Sierra.
“The man was a car dealer from down south- TC Harrison was his name and he kept it in his collection until he died.
“I bought it seven years ago and although I wanted to drive it I’ve resisted it.
“Since then I’ve taken it round car shows but you can only do so much of that.
“I’ve decided to auction it off now, although I don’t know how I’m going to go about that yet.
“It’s a Mark 5 and has never been registered. It came out the same year the Sierra was launched and it doesn’t even have a number plate.
“Anybody who buys it can choose their own number plate if they want to register it. I went to the DVLA abd asked what number it would get and they didn’t know. It completely flummoxed them.
“Eventually somebody got the answer and said that there was no reason why it couldn’t be given the latest number available, although they would need proof that it exists and hasn’t been registered before.
“But they actually said it could be given a number plate that would have been generated on the computer from 1981, they would just stick the next one on it from that year.
“I’ve no idea what it’s worth now but it would have been about five and a half thousand back then.”