Ford were looking to race the MkI Cortina in the Group 2 category, for which 1,000 `homologation specials’ would be required. The obvious powerplant was the twin-cam version of the ubiquitous Ford `Kent’ engine that Lotus genius Colin Chapman had already developed for use in the Elan. A deal was struck and the Lotus Cortina was born in 1963. The car was based on the two-door Cortina. In addition to the 105bhp 1558cc twin-cam engine, the changes included: a close-ratio gearbox, shorter front suspension struts, and trailing arms and coil springs with `A’ bracket at the rear.
Wider 5.5J steel wheels were added and lightweight aluminium panels were used for the doors, bonnet and boot. The cars also received front quarter bumpers, Lotus badges on the rear wings and right side of the radiator grill. Interior amendments included: a new centre-console to house the remote control gear lever, different seats and fascia, and a wood-rim steering wheel. All factory cars were finished in white with green side stripes.
The MKI model was made until 1966, during which time the troublesome `A’ bracket rear suspension was replaced with leaf springs and radius arms. Homologation was granted in September `63 and the following season Jim Clark won the British Saloon Car Championship in one and countless other laurels were accumulated in both racing and rallying.
This well sorted Lotus Cortina has benefitted from an extensive restoration to rally/race specification, and is described by our vendor as being in excellent condition in all respects. What better way to enjoy classic motorsport than in the sporting saloon car of the 1960s?