The ex-Alan Mann Racing, one owner since 1967,1964 Ford Lotus-Cortina  Chassis no. BA74EU59032

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Lot 510
The ex-Alan Mann Racing, one owner since 1967, 1964 Ford Lotus-Cortina
Registration no. KPU 390C (see text) Chassis no. BA74EU59032

Sold for £ 62,000 (US$ 82,671) inc. premium
The ex-Alan Mann Racing, one owner since 1967
1964 Ford Lotus-Cortina
Registration no. KPU 390C (see text)
Chassis no. BA74EU59032
Perhaps the most famous of all Lotus-Cortina registrations, ‘KPU 390C’ was the number applied to one of the two Alan Mann Racing entered cars (the other being ‘KPU 392C’) campaigned extensively by Sir John Whitmore and fellow team members during the fiercely contested European Touring Car Championships of the mid-1960s.

It has been said that the Lotus Cortina represented a marriage arranged in Heaven though the ceremony was performed on Earth by Lotus engineers. Ford commissioned Alan Mann Racing to prepare its factory cars and these undertook a rigorously planned programme of races. The Team Lotus cars ran in the usual Lotus Cortina livery, white with green flashes, but Alan Mann preferred gold on red.

The dramatic 1964 season saw Mann’s Cortinas thrash the opposition at Zolder, the Brands Hatch Six Hours event and the Mont Ventoux hillclimb; Mercedes-Benz fought back in the Nürburgring Six Hours but the Alan Mann cars won their class yet again. Sir John returned to the podium at Sweden’s Karlskoga circuit, at Ste Ursanne les Rangiers and Timmelsjoch. At Zandvoort and Budapest BMW beat the Lotus Cortinas, but with Sir John Whitmore finishing respectively 3rd and 2nd.

The final Championship round was at Monza, but the event was struck off the ETC season listing by the FIA amidst tremendous controversy. Ultimately Sir John’s consistent and blisteringly quick driving of the well prepared Alan Mann cars resulted in 2nd place overall in the Championship.

By the start of the ’65 season, however, Alan Mann Racing’s cars were unbeatable. Sir John took no less than 8 wins from 8 starts to convincingly claim the 1965 European Touring Car Championship.

1966 saw fortunes reversed. Alfa Romeo were now at the forefront and the appearance of the MkII Lotus Cortina could not recapture the old magic. Alan Mann’s victorious two car ‘KPU’ team was retired from competition, and through mutual friend Frank Williams the current Swedish owner enquired whether one of them might be available for sale. A meeting was duly arranged and early in 1967 Sir Frank and the current owner inspected the two beautifully presented cars at Mann’s Byfleet premises, opting for ‘KPU 390C’ as this seemed to be the car featured in more period publications.

(Sir John received ‘KPU 392C’ and kept it for about 27 years, selling it only after it was apparent that his son had no interest in racing. Between them, the two Alan Mann Racing Lotus Cortina MkIs must set a record for loyalty).

‘KPU 390C’ was despatched to its new owner on 31st March 1967, and is still in his hand's today. Alan Mann provided sundry spares including a second seat, as the original was tailored to Sir John’s posterior and could not accommodate the vendor! The car raced in the Swedish Championships of 1967 and 1968 as a gentlemen driver entry, "only when the sun was shining" in its owners words, and was sympathetically refurbished by West Coast Racing in the mid-1990s. The engine, which is fitted with steel BRM cams to Phase IV specification and a new block and head, has covered almost zero miles since its rebuild. The original UK registration will need to be re-applied for.

Complete with original 1967 purchase invoice and customs carnet, spare Minilite wheels and seat, Swedish registration and current FIA papers, this is a unique opportunity to acquire one of the most famous and historic of all racing saloon cars with an unrivalled provenance.
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