Following on from the enormous success of the Lotus Cortina, Ford introduced the MkII in 1967 with the famous Lotus 1600, 'Twin Cam' engine now giving 109bhp. Externally, all the cars had a black front grill, 5.5J x 13 steel wheels and Lotus badges on both rear wings and adjacent to the number plate. The gearbox ratios remained to 2000E spec, but the final drive was lengthened to 3.77 to 1 from 3.9 to 1 and comfort and handling improvements were made with a larger fuel tank and radial tyres.
Built in 1970, this particular example benefits from being well maintained and very much enjoyed throughout its life and with this in mind, it's has been tastefully and thoughtfully upgraded over time with the emphasis on enhancing its driveability.
The car is fitted with a type 711M engine block which, whilst not an original Lotus Cortina designated part, was a common replacement in period during an engine rebuild as it was comparatively easy to do and the original blocks had a reputation for fragility. At the same time the engine was fitted with forged pistons, a balanced flywheel and higher rise cams. All these subtle improvements raise the power output slightly and create a more spritely driving experience. The car was fitted with a five-speed gearbox early in its life with all the benefits to acceleration, cruising speeds and petrol consumption that brings.
Further upgrades have been undertaken to the suspension with the fitment of 'coil-overs' which greatly improve the handling of the car.
Values of Mk.1 Lotus Cortinas tend to be linked to their originality, but with the later Mk.2s it has become common practice to upgrade the engine, brakes and handling and these factors do not detract at all from the values. In all this is a great useable classic for someone who wants to use his car in the way that Lotus intended.