Autosport International Sale 2019

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1969 Ford Cortina Lotus (MkII)

Lot No.: 325

Registration: 304 ALF
Chassis Number: B891JJ19358
Engine Number: 701M6015BA
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1558
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Estimate (£): 25,000 - 30,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
  • One of, we believe, only four factory-finished in Fern Green Metallic
  • Subject to a bare shell, nut and bolt, 'Rotisserie' restoration during 2015-16 by marque specialists
  • Purchased by our vendor in 2017. Only 400 miles since its 'Concours' restoration
  • Registration number '304 ALF' will remain with the car as will its bespoke outdoor car cover

 

Following on from the enormous success of the Lotus Cortina, in 1967 Ford introduced the Cortina Lotus Mk II (although it was never officially called a MkII by Ford who regarded it as new Ford model as opposed to a Lotus). With the move of production from Norfolk to Dagenham, the marketing team at Ford felt more comfortable with the car being seen as a Ford product rather than a Lotus one, and consequently, the names were reversed. The famous Lotus 1600 twin-cam engine was now developing 109bhp and externally all the cars had a black front grille, steel wheels and Lotus badges on both rear wings and adjacent to the rear number plate. The gearbox ratios remained to 2000E spec, but the final drive was lengthened to 3.77:1 from 3.9:1 and comfort and handling improvements were made with a larger fuel tank and radial tyres. 

This car was assembled in Dagenham in early 1969 and, although over a dozen body colours were available for the MkII, the majority, in common with the Mk I, were finished in Ermine White with that characteristic Sherwood Green stripe. This rare car is, we believe, one of only four finished in Fern Green Metallic. First registered in August 1969, it retains its original bodyshell, engine and gearbox.

The car was subject to a bare shell, nut and bolt, 'Rotisserie' restoration during 2015-16 by marque specialists Lotus Outlaws of Birmingham, and finished to Concours standards. The engine, brakes, suspension and all ancillaries were restored/replaced at the same time and the photographs, invoices and details of the restoration in the car's history file demonstrate the time and dedication given to this project. This gleaming Cortina has covered just 400 road miles since completion.

The result today is a first-class restoration that retains lots of originality and should allow it to appreciate over time, as has been the case with the Mk1s over the last 10 years. Purchased by its current owner in 2017 and nicknamed “Alf” after the member of the restoration team who was most involved with the build. When the cherished registration, 304 ALF, became available sometime later it was a natural choice and, pleasingly, it will remain with the car as will its bespoke outdoor car cover.