1970 Ford Lotus Cortina Mark II Sports Saloon Registration no. CYG 315H Chassis no. BA91 KT17534 Engine no. 701M60 15BA
Ford's 1960s profile-raising competition programme included recruiting Lotus boss Colin Chapman to give the new Cortina a sporting makeover. Chapman's brief was to develop a Group 2 competition version; Lotus would then build the 1,000 cars required for homologation. Launched in 1963, the Lotus Cortina - Cortina Lotus in Ford parlance - featured the Elan's Ford-based, twin-overhead-camshaft, 1.6-litre engine in the two-door bodyshell. McPherson strut independent front suspension was retained, with revised spring and damper rates, while the rear leaf springs were replaced by coil-spring/damper units, axle location being achieved by trailing arms and an 'A' bracket. The adoption of an alloy differential casing proved a mixed blessing, the lightweight component proving far less oil-tight than the original. Reversion to Ford's standard leaf-sprung axle cured the problem.
Lotus Cortinas dominated saloon racing's 2-litre class, often challenging for outright honours. Works cars were driven by Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Peter Arundell and Jackie Ickx, while Sir John Whitmore, driving an Alan Mann-entered Lotus Cortina, was European Touring Car Champion in 1965. After the axle change, the hitherto fragile Lotus Cortina proved a highly capable rally car, works driver Bengt Soderstrom winning the Acropolis and RAC rallies in 1966.
Launched at the 1966 Earls Court Motor Show, the new Cortina continued the successful collaboration between Ford and Lotus in the form of the Lotus Cortina Mark II. But whereas the 'Mark I' had been built by Lotus at Hethel, the new car would be made at Ford's Dagenham works. The mechanical specification continued much as before, though servo-assisted brakes, wider wheels and the 109bhp Special Equipment engine were now standardised together with the Corsair 2000E gearbox. Available, unlike the Mark I, in a full range of colours, the Mark II was given an improved interior for 1968, the model name changing to 'Twin Cam' at the same time. A total of 4,032 cars had been made by the time production ceased in September 1970.
Painted in the famous Alan Mann Racing red/gold livery and sure to turn heads wherever it appears, this stunning Lotus Cortina Mark II is believed to have been restored recently and is presented in apparently very good order. Imported into Italy in 2014, it comes with a UK V5C registration document.