Classified Info

Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 (FIA)

To Be Auctioned


Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 (FIA)

Maintained by some of the leading names in UK motorsport, extensive recent works by our vendor’s professional race technicians, complete with 2020-issued FIA HTP, V5C and huge history file.

n 1961, Colin Chapman was commissioned by Harry Mundy to design a twin-cam version of the Ford Kent engine and its first appearance was at the Nürburgring in a Lotus 23 driven by Jim Clark. Soon after, the engine appeared in the Lotus Elan. During the engine’s development, Walter Hayes at Ford asked Colin Chapman to fit the twin-cam into 1,000 Ford saloons for Group 2 racing homologation. Chapman accepted the contract and the Type 28, or Lotus Cortina as it became known, was born. Whilst Ford supplied the two-door body shells and took care of the marketing, Lotus engineered the mechanical and cosmetic changes which included the 1,558cc engine along with the Elan’s close-ratio gearbox, front quarter bumpers and Lotus badges. They also made changes to the interior with a new centre console to accommodate the revised gear lever position, different seats and a later styled dashboard that incorporated a tachometer, odometer, oil pressure, water temperature and fuel gauges. A wood-rimmed steering wheel was the finishing touch. Once fully developed, Lotus Cortinas (as they quickly became known) absolutely shone on track, as they have done for the last sixty years.

We are delighted to be able to re-offer this right-hand drive, UK-market Lotus Cortina, initially registered on the 8th February 1966 and professionally converted to an FIA-specification race car by TWJ Motorsport in the winter of 2008-09 at a cost of over £41,000. The current FIA Historic Touring Car Passport was issued in August 2020 and it retains its UK V5C, offering the option to road register the Lotus making it also ideal for Tours or Historic Rallies subject to the usual guidelines and regulations.

The large file of invoices in the owner’s file shows additional spend during five seasons totalling over £59,000 on refining the chassis and improving the engine and transmission to turn it into a front-running car on the European circuits, by its well known and highly respected privateer owner/driver who placed the car into our Race Retro Auction in February 2014.

It sold under the hammer to a long-standing customer of ours, who, having thoroughly enjoyed the car, commissioned the acclaimed Lotus Cortina specialist John Smirthwaite Motorsport of Coventry to prepare the car for the next owner. The engine was rebuilt around a ‘new’ block and the detailed invoice for this work and additional works to the brakes and gearbox is on file. The car was delivered fresh from their Coventry workshops to our Race Retro 2021 auction hall, where it was bought by another valued client of ours and joined his significant collection of British race cars.

It was campaigned by our vendor, a well-respected member of the historic motorsport community, at the Silverstone Classic amongst many other outings in 2022 and, in 2023, his professional team of race technicians refreshed the engine and rebuilt the brakes and suspension. The car also re-visited John Smirthwaite Motorsport who rebuilt the gearbox with all new straight cuts and refreshed the limited-slip differential.

Our vendor’s advancing years mean that this much-enjoyed little Lotus is regretfully offered to auction accompanied by its substantial history file, V5C and the aforementioned FIA HTCP.


Entries are now invited our first sale of 2024 on Saturday 24th February at Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Entries close on 24th January. Race Retro brings together over 24,000 fans, drivers and enthusiasts at the start of the competition car calendar for a weekend of all things motorsport. As the shows official auction partner for the 12th year, we are now inviting entries for what promises to be a magnificent, dedicated sale of Classic and Competition Cars. Discounted tickets for the show are available using the code ICONICAUC.


Seller Info

by Arwel Richards
Published: 24 January 2024 (4 weeks ago)
To Be Auctioned
Member Since
04 Dec 2023
Phone Number
07434 960868
Currency Options
To Be Auctioned
Seller Accepts
Bank Transfer
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