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Lot 215: Ford Cortina GT to full Lotus Cortina Specification

Cars & Motorcycles, Historics at Brooklands (26 May 2012)

The history of the Lotus Cortina began in 1961 after Colin Chapman decided he wanted to build his own engines for Lotus. His chance came when he commissioned Harry Mundy to design a twin-cam version of the Ford Kent engine. The engine's first appearance was in 1962 at the Nürburgring in a Lotus 23 driven by Jim Clark. Immediately after and almost as soon as the engine appeared in the Lotus Elan, it was recalled and replaced with a larger capacity unit to get the car closer to the 1.6 litre capacity class in motorsport. Whilst the engine was being developed, Walter Hayes from Ford asked Colin Chapman if he would fit the engine to 1,000 Ford saloons for Group 2 homologation. Chapman quickly accepted and the Type 28 or Lotus-Cortina was duly launched. Ford supplied the two door Cortina body shells and took care of all the marketing and selling of the cars whilst Lotus did all the mechanical and cosmetic changes. The major changes involved installing the 1,558cc engine together with the same close-ratio gearbox as the Elan. The cars also received front quarter bumpers and round Lotus badges were fitted to rear wings and to the left side of the radiator panel. Interior modifications were limited to a centre console designed to accommodate the new gear lever position, different seats and the later style dashboard featuring tachometer, speedometer, oil pressure, water temperature and fuel level gauges as well as a wood-rimmed steering. The early cars were very popular and earned some rave reviews; one magazine described the car as a tin-top version of a Lotus 7. It was 'THE' car for many enthusiasts who before had to settle for a Cortina GT or a Mini-Cooper and it also amazed a lot of the public who were used to overweight 'sports cars' such as the Austin-Healey 3000. The Lotus Cortina had by this time earned an awesome competition reputation and is still highly prized today. Originally leaving the factory as a standard road going GT, this stunning tribute to Colin Chapman's vision has been put together by not just an enthusiast, but a professional in his field as well as an equally experienced and lauded Lotus Cortina racer over the last 15 years. It would be fair to say that this is a pure-bred, Lotus-fed restored Cortina in all but logbook. The attention to detail is relentless and includes, as you would expect, the full Lotus drive train, including rear differential bump, correct anti-roll bar and rear anti-tramp bars as well as 5½" J steel wheels. The interior has the six dial dash, the correct centre console and a fully restored interior. Complete with a full one year's MoT test certificate, UK registration documents and a collection of bills and invoices, this fine example is road ready and quite excellent.

Lot Details
Auction Cars & Motorcycles
Historics at Brooklands, Brooklands
TypeCar
Lot Number215
Estimate£15000-£20000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£16240
Year1965
Condition rating1
Registration numberFJN 43C
Mileage-
Chassis numberBA77EJ29817
Engine number114917
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors