1966 LOTUS CORTINA MKI - £Auction 60000
The engine that would ultimately power the legendary Lotus Cortina began its life in 1961 when Colin Chapman commissioned a twin-cam version of the Ford Kent unit and bored it out to give 1,558cc. Whilst it was still being developed, Ford asked Chapman to fit the engine to 1,000 Ford saloons for Group 2 'Homologation'. Chapman accepted the challenge and the Ford Lotus Cortina was born. Ford supplied the bodyshells, whilst Lotus handled the mechanical and cosmetic changes. The model was to dominate saloon car racing for the Ford factory as it evolved throughout the 1960s and was driven by many stars of the day, including the legendary Jim Clark. In the February 1963 Motor Sport magazine editor, Bill Boddy said: 'the modifications carried out by Lotus have turned the Cortina into a 'Q' car par excellence'. In total, approximately 3,000 Lotus Cortinas were manufactured. This 1966 example was first registered on the 3rd of October to the Ford Motor Company Ltd. in Warley, Essex before passing to a Mr.B Tucker from Barking. The car is presented in lovely condition having benefited from years of caring and careful owners. A very honest example, it appears to be largely unmodified, the panel fit is very good, the interior seems to be beautifully original and includes a period Lotus Cortina steering wheel, and the engine bay is equally tidy. From looking at the history file it would seem that the car was subjected to detailed extensive work during the late 1980s and early 1990s which included some bodywork repairs and an engine rebuild to ensure its longevity.In 2002 the Lotus found its way to Ireland where we understand it resided in a collection before its return to the UK earlier this year. It has been cherished by true Lotus Cortina enthusiasts and is currently in the custodianship of an avid Lotus collector who's simply selling to fund a race car project. What sets this car apart from most other Mk1 Lotus Cortinas is the impeccably maintained history file, which includes its original greenbuff logbook, a vast quantity of MOTs some dating back to 1971, and tax discs back to '74. Also present are extensive receipts and bills for work and maintenance undertaken over the years, the oldest of which appears to be from 1969. There are also, remarkably, most of the purchase receipts from previous owners including the receipt from the second private owner in 1969 who paid the princely sum of £680 for the car and who kept it until 1987! This history file gives a real sense of this Lotus Cortina's privileged life. These talented little saloons epitomise the new-found freedom of the mid-sixties and the Lotus Cortina has cemented itself in the hearts of car enthusiasts as a proper driver's car, a true wolf in sheep's clothing. This is a very special example and not to be missed.
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- RefCode: TA1096807