Top Gear hosts take classic Ford Cortina, Fiesta and BMW 323i for a spin

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From the legendary Ford Cortina to the super quick BMW E21 323i, the boys will get behind the wheel of cars that defined their childhood. The three models were icons of the 1970s and 1980s and have remained popular among classic car collectors to this day.

Ford Cortina – Freddie Flintoff

Ford released five generations of its legendary Cortina model between 1962 and 1982 and is one of the most iconic cars of the era.

The Mark V Cortina used in the show was largely an update of the previous Mark IV design with an updated body.

The car was fitted with a 2.3 litre V6 engine and came with a slight boost in power over the Mark IV to 166bhp.

Mr Flintoff said: “You don’t see many Cortina’s knocking about these days but back in the day these were everywhere.”

Ford Fiesta – Paddy McGuinness

The Fiesta has been the UK’s most sold car for decades with over four million models leaving forecourts.

The first-generation model was first launched in June 1976 and was the brand’s first globally successful front-wheel-drive car.

The model hit UK forecourts in January 1977 where it was available brand new for just under £2,000.

The Fiesta Mk2 was introduced in 1983 and the model has since gone on to become one of the staples of the Ford range for four decades.

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Mr McGuinness said the Fiesta was where his love affair with Ford began with the model continuing to hold special memories.

He said: “When my Dad used to pick me up at the weekend he’ll roll up outside our house and he’d always drive over the grid in front of our house.”

He added every time he sees the Fiesta he remembers the grid and memories of driving alongside his Dad in the car.

BMW E21 323i – Chris Harris

The BMW 323i was the top E21 model in its range when it was introduced to the market in 1977.

The car is powered by a 2.3-litre six-cylinder engine and is capable of top speeds of up to 124mph.

The car proved it can handle itself in a straight line, getting to 0-62mph in just 8.7 seconds.

Mr Harris said: “It has to be said the BMW 323i always was a very special car.

“Think about it, it’s a small compact rear-wheel-drive saloon car with nearly 150hp. 2.3-litre fuel injected inline-six.

He added drivers could always tell a six-cylinder model as they had four lights at the front of the model. 

The hosts will take on a series of challenges with the models to test their speed and agility. 

The new series of Top Gear will run for four weeks on Sunday evenings at 8pm. 

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