Silverstone Classic Race Car Sale 2018

Back to lot listing

1964 Ford MK 1 Lotus Cortina

Lot No.: TBA

Registration: BYP 71B
Chassis Number: 424391
Engine Number: 424391
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1558
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Estimate (£): 50,000 - 60,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
  • An original A-frame car, well-prepared and nicely presented.
  • Good history and provenance. Formerly the property of the Duke of Bedford
  • Competition use from the early days. Prepared for the 74th MM by Henry Mann
  • Recent engine rebuild by Craig Beck Racing. All safety equipment wii need to be checked for currency

 

The Lotus Cortina came into being because of Ford's decision to step up their motorsport involvement in the early 1960s. Their Head of UK Public Relations, Walter Hayes spoke to Colin Chapman, asking him to come up with a competitive saloon, using the Cortina as a base, that could be produced in sufficient numbers to satisfy the mandatory 'Group 2' homologation requirements, and with which the Blue Oval could beat all comers. The solution was to take Ford's bullet-proof 1500 Kent engine, fit it with a twin-cam cylinder head, pop it into a stiffened Cortina shell, sort out the suspension and brakes and paint a green stripe down the side. The cars would be built by Lotus at its plant in Cheshunt and marketed through their dealer network as the Ford Cortina Lotus. Once fully developed, the Lotus Cortinas (as they quickly became known) absolutely shone in competition driven by household names including Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Jackie Ickx, Roger Clark and many, many more. 

This superbly presented Ford Cortina Lotus, BYP 71B, is an original UK, right-hand drive car and was supplied new to Norman Hugh Brown of 64 Summerley London SW18 (or the Duke of Bedford as he was better known) during November 1964.  It was, and still is, an early 'A-frame' car which is the preferred form of axle location for FIA historic racing today. The original Green Buff Log book is still present in the history file as is a copy of the Lotus Cortina Owners Club factory records.  

Used for road and light competition use throughout its life, the Lotus was professionally prepared for modern-day historic racing in 2008 by respected Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialist, Michael Hibberd, on the instruction of the car's owner David Mountain of Mountune Racing Engines fame. This work included the fitting of a modern FIA roll cage, racing suspension, fuel system and brakes, a racing seat, harness, fire system, and the ancillary safety equipment required by the regulations. The car was prepared on the appropriate jig with great emphasis placed on accurate panel fit and a high standard of finish to the shell.  If you look down the side of this car or look at the deep lustre of the paintwork, you will see instantly what an exceptional standard has been achieved.

Lotus Cortina racing is very close, and to be competitive and remain legal, it's important to have all the 'right bits’ a fact that was borne in mind when BYP was being race-prepared. All was well and the car was enjoyed in a handful of races during its time with David Mountain. The Nick Stagg engine was professionally maintained and upgraded and the car ran well when used at the Silverstone Classic in 2012.

The cars current owner had it prepared for Goodwood's 74th Members Meeting in 2016 by Henry Man of Alan Man racing and although running well initially, the engine developed a fault and the car was retired. The engine was removed by Henry Man and sent to Lotus specialists, Craig Beck Racing, who identified the problem and rebuilt the engine with a replacement crankshaft, bearings, oil pump, shells, and sump baffles.

This is a genuine Ford Cortina Lotus with excellent provenance and evidence of competition use from the early days, which is not always true of the rest of the field.  If mixing it with a dozen other Lotus Cortinas round the Grand Prix Circuit at Silverstone works for you (and it does for us) then this correctly-prepared and well-presented example may well be the answer.