I actually skipped the Mk.3 Estate, having first , a Mk.2 Estate & then a Mk.4 Estate.
The Mk.2 was ok but as it got older & the suspension softer, fully loaded & with a trailer & FF in tow, I used to frighten passengers, on roundabouts, in wet weather, by see-sawing the steering wheel while the car would more or less stay on its own trajectory. Very amusing...
The Mk.4 served me well. First thing I did with it was to act as the wedding car for my best mate. Him being an Aussie, was well pleased, believing it to be height of luxury.
But for 3 years or so, it served as the tow car (with trailer) for races in Europe, regularly travelling to tracks in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Austria & France as well as serving for general touristing.
I also slept in the back & it became known as the 'Hotel Cortina' by many people in the paddock.
After a while, it developed a habit of not starting in cold weather. After gradually going through the obvious checks to carbs, timing, electrics etc. I could not find the problem. I lived in Brussels on a road on a hill, so I took to parking near the top overnight. So in the mornings, I could push the car downhill then deftly jump in and bump start the thing. Having UK plates, it stood out a bit & provided a bit of entertainment for the neighbours.
If it happened not to start, I would leave it at the bottom, take the spark plugs out, take them to my apartment, pop them in the oven to heat up, then take them back to the car in oven gloves & fit them again. Worked every time!!!
It had been using a bit of oil for some time but Its final trip was an epic. I needed to take the FF engine to the UK for a rebuild. I set out from Brussels with the engine in the back. The car soon started blowing out white oil smoke & I quickly realized that I had over filled it with oil. Needing to get to the ferry at Zeebrugge, I hoped for the best and pressed on. The smoke got worse & worse, then a mechanical noise started also. I decided that I was at the point of no return for the ferry & pressed on in an ever thickening oily white cloud of smoke, enjoying the attention of truck drivers & alarmed car drivers on the motorway. The crew of the ferry were less than impressed though, having to work in the below deck in a fog of foul smelling smoke.
I got the engine to Ipswich then set off for west London, my destination. The smoke & mechanical noises getting increasingly worse, it JUST made it & I straight away drove it to have a recon. engine fitted.
Do you think I did the right thing in missing out the Mk.3?,,,