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The Lotus Cortina

The Lotus Cortina

04 October 2013

A much loved classic, the Lotus Cortina is just over 50 years old now. Based on the 2 door Ford Cortina, production ran from 1963 to 1970.

The cars are instantly recognisable by their Ermine white body and Sherwood green stripe paintwork, although there were some different colour options available for the MK2.

The cars were powered by a Lotus fettled 1557cc alloy twin overhead cam unit, based on the Cortina’s Kent OHV engine. Early cars had some aluminium body panels, the battery re-located to the boot and re-engineered suspension. In 1964 the car was face lifted and standard Cortina panels used along with Standard GT suspension and in 1965 updates to the braking system and gearbox.

The car enjoyed a lot of success in the mid sixties with both racing and rallying. A lotus Cortina even won overall winner at the RAC rally in 1966 and still enjoys a lot of success with modern Historic Touring Car racing.

The Mk 2 was introduced in 1967, with a slight increase in power to 109 bhp but was a more straightforward design produced on the same production line as other Cortinas.


Even rarer are the Crayford convertible conversions which were made. It’s thought that only a handful of these still exist.

In total there are less than 300 Lotus Cortinas registered still on the road today. If you can find one then MK1’s tend to start from the £30,000 area to £60,000 and more for a really good example. MK 2’s are not quite as valuable, with examples nearer the £20,000 plus mark, but are an ever rarer sight on the roads.

We love classic Fords, and if you own one of these then get in touch with us.

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