1965 Lotus Cortina Mk1
- Based on the Ford Cortina, built by Lotus for racing homologation purposes
- In great condition
- Highly original
The Lotus Cortina was a high-performance sports saloon co-developed with Ford for Group 2 homologation. About 3000 were made and this example in Ermine White with Sherwood Green stripe is highly original and in great condition, especially considering it’s over half a century old. The exterior shows no rust and inside, the black leather seats and wooden steering wheel and shift knob have been well maintained. While the odometer shows 25,000km the actual mileage is unknown.
The Lotus Cortina idea emerged in 1961 when Ford, who wanted to step up their motorsport game, got in touch with Lotus founder, Colin Chapman, to place their engines in the modest Ford Cortina. At the time Lotus had started building their own engines, transforming the Ford 1500 Kent engine into a twin-cam. During its development, Ford asked Lotus to fit this engine in 1,000 Cortinas for Group 2 homologation. These Cortinas also were also reinforced and received improved suspension. The 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine was bored to 1,557cc with power reaching 105hp, combined with a weight of well under a ton, power to weight and handling was excellent.
The Lotus Cortina competed in the Group 2 class in touring car racing and was a giant-killer often beating much more powerful cars that were also much bigger and heavier rivals. In the hands of the F1 legend, Jim Clark, it won the British Saloon Car Championship.
The Cortina was an inexpensive car that with the development help from Lotus transformed it into a legend on track.