Lot 163 - 1963 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk. I
|Odometer reading||63,000 miles|
|Estimate||£34,000 - £42,000|
|Result||Sold - £47,600|
The history of the Lotus Cortina began in 1961 after Colin Chapman decided he wanted to build his own engines for Lotus. 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 Two homologation cars. 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. 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 wheel.
First registered in Devon in July 1963, this genuine Lotus Cortina Mk. I has covered a mere 6,000 miles in the last 36 years and is present on the Lotus Cortina register. Offered with the correct Lotus alloy doors, boot & bonnet from new, as with many Lotus Cortina's by the early 1990's the car was showing its age and in dire need of some tlc. The then owner decided to undertake a full nut and bolt restoration and went on to own the car for a further 20 years. The car was re-shelled and then modified as per the original Lotus Cortina bodies, the engine and gearbox rebuilt, the suspension converted to leaf springs and a full bare-metal re-spray undertaken. The quality of restoration work was clearly exceptional as the car is still in superb condition today and the white paintwork is virtually unmarked, as is the interior.
The current fastidious vendor, a Lotus Cortina enthusiast (having owned two others previously) has maintained the Lotus with a 'no expense spared' attitude and the engine has recently benefitted from a rebuilt and overhauled head and converted to unleaded fuel. Despite the rebuild in the 1990's, he wasn't quite happy with the way the car was running at the time, however he now explains the car 'runs like a dream'. Supplied with a V5 registration document and MoT test certificate valid until 2018 together with a fabulous history file with matching engine & cylinder head 2.5 gearbox with correct alloy castings, this stunning Lotus Cortina is a great opportunity to own a splendid example of these collectable and highly sought-after classics.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.