Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lotus Cortina mkII

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

For many, the name 'Lotus Cortina' (or, if you find yourself overwhelmed by historical pedantry, 'Cortina by Lotus') conjures images of the mkI - probably three-wheeling an apex with Jim Clark at the wheel. But the mkII is just as historically important, and dashed good looking to boot.
Unlike the early cars, which were assembled by Lotus, the mkII was built by Ford at Dagenham alongside the everyday Cortinas. They were similar in build to the GT model, but different enough to justify the Lotus badge; they came equipped with a 109bhp 1.6-litre twin-cam, a 2000E gearbox with GT remote gearchange, a lower final drive ratio, a boot-mounted battery, and radial tyres. They were successful touring cars, robust rally cars, and the police trialled them as response vehicles. Their true calling, however, was to feed into the happy-go-lucky lifestyle of the Essex wideboy; the combination of twin-cam bark, waggy tail and in-your-face Sherwood Green side-stripes was everything a young buck could wish for. Oh, and they made pretty good getaway cars too...

This one, stock aside from its Revolution wheels, is a 1970 model - the last year of production before the mkIII arrived (which, of course, never enjoyed a Lotus variant).
Spotted at the 2014 Goodwood Revival - click here for more photos.

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