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. This Lotus Cortina is known to have belonged to one H Robinson in the UK in 1974 followed by another owner named Hingins in 1979. It subsequently went to Europe, being owned by William and Erwin Mairesse in Belgium in 1984 then in France by Yvan Mahé (1986), Renan Laborde (1997), Luc Cheminot (2003) and Alain Schlessinger, from whom it was purchased by the current vendor in 2009. Since acquisition the Cortina has participated in the Tour Auto in 2010 and 2012, and a round of the Mont Ventoux hill climb championship in 2012. The car finished 29th overall on the last Tour Auto, and this without assistance. It has not been touched since and is presented as it finished the event. While in the vendor's care 'EOX 496C' has benefited from extensive maintenance and preparation by marque specialists Garage Ruphil, whose detailed invoices dated 2010 and 2011 totalling circa 27,000 are on file together with others. The engine has been tested and found to produce approximately 170bhp; the gearbox is the correct straight-cut type and the rear axle incorporates a limited-slip differential. All safety features comply with recent FIA regulations: seats, harnesses, fire extinguisher, etc with the exception of the flexible fuel cell, which needs to be changed. The car is currently sitting on 'Revolution' wheels fitted with Avon CR6 ZZ tyres and will be delivered complete with its rally equipment: Tripmaster VH, helmet bags, etc. and UK V5 registration document.