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Lot No. 237 - 1965 Ford Cortina Lotus Mk1

Sold for: £69,609

Offered at No Reserve, from the Property of a Gentleman
Details Specification
  • An original A-frame car built in May 1965. Its first owner was Mr Joe N Dyer of Los Altos, California
  • He appears to have kept the car until 1981/1982, then registered to John Lynch of Millbrae, California
  • Commenced an 8-stage refurbishment in 2013 by VDM Restorations Rangiora, South Island, New Zealand
  • This process was documented and invoiced ($11,000 NZ) with the focus on retaining originality
  • Very encouraging recent inspection by marque specialist Andy Middlehurst with a 'glowing' report
  • This is a rare Dagenham-built, pre-airflow car that has remained substantially original. Prior to the sale, will have an oil/filter service with fresh fluids and be MOT'd and road tested    

The Lotus Cortina came into being because of Ford's decision to step up their Motorsport involvement in the early 1960's. 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.   

This early Lotus Cortina has recently (June 2019) been inspected by acknowledged marque specialist, Andy Middlehurst, and the full report will be supplied with the car. He confirms that this is a Dagenham built very early 'Airflow' car that has some of the features of the 'pre-airflow' cars. The report is very encouraging so it's probably better to list a few of the relevant points.

  • The car is fitted with A-bracket rear suspension which is all original apart from the shocks
  • No anti-tramp brackets confirming it was an A-bracket car
  • The car has all steel panels. The boot hump is correct and original
  • Correct quarter bumpers and late rear bumper. Front wings plenished as per production
  • Chassis plate and Lotus production plate are both original
  • Front seats, door trims, rear seat, steering wheel, instruments and gear knob all correct for 1965
  • Correct early engine, original carbs, airbox and servo

The report lists one or two minor items that have been replaced over the years and mentions that the green stripe is not the right shade (should be Sherwood Green) but concludes "Car drives well, could benefit from a tune but the gearbox, engine, brakes and steering are all in good condition."

#59206 is an original A-frame car built in May 1965 and delivered to its first owner Mr Joe N Dyer of Los Altos California by C J Motors the “Authorised English Ford Line Dealer” of Berkeley California. It's unusual to think of a Californian order a little, 4-cylinder, British sporting sedan but he was a bit of an enthusiast judging from the wonderful history file which contains many US registration cards,  the original Dealers Service Policy, and written mileage and fuel logs during Mr Dyer’s ownership. The Registration Cards would suggest that he kept the car until 1981/1982 and then it was registered to John Lynch of Millbrae, California. Little more can be told from the history file from 1982 until the car 59206 appears in Rangiora, South Island, New Zealand in 2013. A company called VDM Restorations Ltd embarked on an eight-stage sympathetic refurbishment as detailed by the invoices in the file totalling nearly NZ$11,000 and, judging by Andy Middlehurst's report, carried out an excellent restoration whilst successfully maintaining most of the car's originality.  

This is a well-travelled car with a fascinating history and a recent detailed inspection showing that it is substantially original and in remarkably good order. Prior to the sale, the car will have an oil and filter service with fresh fluids and be MOT'd, road tested and inspected.

Year of manufacture:
Chassis number:
# of cylinders:
Engine capacity:
Body colour:
Right-hand Drive
Registration number:
Cortina MK1
Engine number:

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