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*Please note that this car is titled as a Ford.
This outstandingly original Lotus Cortina was sold new in the state of Texas by Kenray Ford Sales Inc. of Dallas to Mr. Charles Barnes, and the title was issued in his name on May 10, 1967. Mr. Barnes then retained ownership of the high-performance British Ford until mid-2013, having driven the car just 18,500 miles in 46 years.
Finished in Ermine White paint with the requisite bold accenting Sherwood Green stripe; and though thin in spots, this Cortina amazingly retains its original paint and still presents beautifully. Being a later-production Mk1, it has the redesigned Aeroflow dash featuring simple Smiths gauges set in a purposeful panel of grained aluminum. Complementing the dash, the Lotus-built Ford required a uniquely designed center console to allow the use of the lightweight transmission borrowed from the Elan’s production line. The balance of the interior is equally original and just minimally worn in appearance.
A closer look reveals that the Cortina is astonishingly clean in its engine bay and underside with the 47-year-old components showing only the lightest patina. Each surface has a pleasing and authentic look that can only be the result of years of careful enjoyment and sympathetic detailing.
Among the first high performance sedans, the Lotus Cortina clearly paved the way for the four-place sports cars to come, and it has rightly earned a loyal following. Designed and driven by some of the most legendary names in 1960s racing, the Lotus Cortina stands as an important and truly groundbreaking machine. Very rarely seen so outstandingly original and beautifully preserved, this most special Lotus Cortina Mk1is worthy of very close inspection.
The Lotus Cortina
When Ford made the decision to compete in the popular and competitive Group 2 European Touring Car class, Lotus founder Colin Chapman was tapped to partner in the construction of a very exciting car. The Cortina was developed as a high-performance variant of the British Ford Consul model, incorporating major Lotus- designed modifications to homologate the car for racing.
The suspension is truly where Chapman’s genius is seen in the Cortina. MacPherson struts up front with leaf springs in the rear gave the Mk1s their distinctive and effective cornering characteristics and inner front-wheel lift when pushed hard. Power brakes coupled with a low 1,900-lb. curb weight round out the Cortina’s competitive package.
With a 1,588 cc twin-cam engine, Lotus transmission, and radically modified underpinnings, Cortinas became serious racing contenders, campaigned with success by drivers such as Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Jack Sears, Vic Elford, and Jacky Ickx. In fact, Jim Clark won the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship in his works-prepared Mk1. Under Group 2 homologation rules, 1,000 cars had to be built each year the model was in competition. One of the fastest sports saloons of its day, the Lotus Cortina has fans in collectors and vintage racers alike.