1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773
Lot 147
Comprehensively restored
1966 Lotus Cortina MK1
Sold for US$ 73,700 inc. premium

Lot Details
1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773 1966 Lotus Cortina MK1  Chassis no. BA74FM59709 Engine no. S29773
1966 Lotus Cortina MK1

Chassis no. BA74FM59709
Engine no. S29773

1,558cc DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Fuel Injection
Approximately 120bhp at 5,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension – Rear Leaf Springs
Front Disc Brakes – Rear Drum Brakes


*Lotus' saloon car racing legend
*Icon of the Swinging Sixties
*Striking Alan Mann Racing colors
*Comprehensively restored over the past few years
*One of fewer than 3000 MK1 Cortinas produced



THE LOTUS TYPE 28

The immortal Lotus Cortina by Ford of Dagenham, in England, is one of the most charismatic, best loved and universally successful high-performance cars ever to represent the great globalized American company's famous blue-oval badge.

The two-door Ford Cortina GT had already been proven in rallies and circuit racing when Ford executive Walter Hayes approached Colin Chapman to produce a world-beating racing saloon, following up a series of successful Ford-powered Lotus Formula Junior single-seaters. The plan called for Lotus to assemble 1000 cars to homologate the model for FIA Group 2 racing.

Engineer Harry Mundy – who had previously helped design the Formula 1 World Championship-winning Coventry Climax engines – had been commissioned by Chapman to design a twin-overhead camshaft cylinder head to top the Ford 1500 Kent engine's "unburstable bottom end".

Cosworth Engineering helped develop and fine-tune these engines, while the Ford 4-speed gearbox as specified for the Lotus Elan was adopted for the Cortina program. Colin Chapman significantly revised the Ford Cortina's suspension, changing the spring and damper rates, reducing the ride height, and utilizing coil springs at the rear. The body shell was lightened with aluminium skins in the doors, hood and trunk lid. Aluminium was also adopted for the clutch housing, remote gearshift extension and differential case. The standard full-width front bumper was replaced by quarter bumpers. Lotus badges were added externally while the interior featured bucket front seats, pistol-grip handbrake and a wood-rim alloy-spoked steering wheel.

Production began in February 1963, with homologation being achieved in September 1963 despite production not yet having reached the FIA's 1,000-off minimum. Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Vic Elford, Jack Sears, Sir John Whitmore, and Jacky Ickx all raced Cortinas. Jim Clark – multiple F1 World Champion and Indy 500 winner, also won the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship in his works version.

The production Lotus Cortina was itself updated, the 1965 homologation model returning to leaf springs in place of coil-springs at the rear. The engines were tuned by 1962 F1 World Champion constructor BRM. By the end of production late in 1966 it is believed that some 2894 Lotus Cortinas had been built, virtually all finished in Ermine White with Sherwood Green body band and flash. In 1967 a Lotus Cortina Mark II followed, assembled by Ford not Lotus, and therefore not allocated a Lotus type number.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This left-hand-drive Cortina was always a street car, and while its early history is not documented, it may have been delivered to the West Coast when new, as it was discovered in Northern California by its present owner in 2006.

Upon discovery, the decision was made to restore the aging Cortina in the legendary red and gold livery of Alan Mann racing, one of Ford's most successful factory backed teams of the 1960s. The familiar Alan Mann livery became inextricably linked with the Lotus Cortina when the team won the 1965 European Touring Car Championship, in no small part due to their hero Cortina driver Sir John Whitmore.

When stripped for paint, the body was determined to be very solid, with no obvious evidence of accident damage. The original bumpers were rechromed, while other brightwork was left original. The car was finished in the Alan Mann red & gold duo-tone paintwork it sports today, all weatherstripping was replaced, and rally stop-watches and Carello driving lights were installed for a sporting period appearance. Inside, the seats and headliner were restored to original specification, as were all instruments, carpeting, and the heater. The door panels and center console remain original 'as found', while the Cortina features a period AM/FM radio.

Over the past three years, many mechanical aspects of the car have been carefully restored or renewed. The engine, a proper Lotus L-type block, was rebuilt; it is of standard bore and fitted with forged pistons, and additionally features fuel injection in place of the original carburetors. The head has big valves with Sprint cams, and we are informed by the consignor that this engine has done c. 4000 miles since rebuilding. The transmission, the correct semi-close-ratio four-speed, was also rebuilt with all new bearings and seals. Suspension bushings were replaced for a tight driving experience, while the rear axle, braking and steering systems were refurbished.

Unquestionably one of Britain's icons of the Swinging Sixties, the Lotus Cortina remains a saloon car racing legend and a memorable 'giant killer' capable of far more than its modest looks would suggest. The chance to acquire a genuine Lotus Cortina is a rare one, and should not be overlooked today.

Without reserve

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the correct engine for this vehicle is S29733.
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