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1965 Lotus Cortina (MK1)
This 1965 Lotus Cortina Mk 1 is a stripped-out track-goer, showing in tidy condition with a well-rounded list of performance-oriented modifications. It is powered by a 1.6-litre twin-cam four-cylinder engine outputting 141kW (190hp) to the rear wheels. The powertrain is mated to a four-speed manual transmission which allows the Cortina to sprint from zero to 100km/h in under nine seconds. This example currently displays 95,174 miles on its odometer.
Developed jointly between Ford and Lotus, the Cortina is a performance sports car that first came about when Colin Chapman (Lotus) was building a new engine. Borrowing much of the Ford Kent’s design, twin camshafts were added and the bore was enlarged to 1557cc to get the engine closer to the 1.6-litre class of motorsport. It wasn’t long before Ford executives came about asking whether the engine would fit into a two-door Cortina bodyshell. Ford took care of the marketing and retail, while Lotus handled the mechanical and cosmetic changes. Headline enhancements included the larger engine, a close-ratio gearbox from the Elan, alloy door panels were added, and “A frame” rear suspension with coil over springs.
All Lotus Cortinas left the factory in white paintwork with a green stripe; this car continues that tradition. Much of the interior has been stripped of all excess weight and sound deadening has been removed, while a full roll cage, racing bucket seats and a 2.25 low ratio steering box with sports steering wheel has been added. This car has also been seam welded and strengthened in strategic places along with the fitment of an alloy bonnet, boot and door skins. Mechanically all alloy components such as bell-housing, gearbox remote and extension housing plus diff nose permitted for racing are fitted. It is currently fitted with a 4.4-inch LSD, however alternative 4.7- and 5.3-ratio LSDs are included. An original Lotus Cortina air cleaner is supplied. It rides on a set of 13-inch Minilite wheels wrapped in Dunlop CR65 tyres (Dunlop wets also included).
The current owner is unaware of much of this car’s history, though notes that he sourced it as a write-off from Florida in 1997. He then spent time re-shelling the car into an Australian two-door Cortina by transferring all unique parts. The car was finished in 1998 where it was issued with a CAMS logbook. It has since passed through the hands of Garry Rowe of Motorsport Electrics (completely rewired the car), before it was bought back by the current owner. The owner notes this example could be converted to a road car by fitting softer springs/shockers and a standard clutch. The motor is sealed and has little use since freshening with a new “L block” and reground cams by CAM Automotive. It has a forged steel crank, pistons and Carillo rods and the gearbox is close ratio with Quaife gears.
The exterior condition of this Lotus Cortina presents well for a track car, having retained a straight body throughout competition use. The paintwork presents very well, with minimal signs of fade or deterioration, however some small stone chips and peppering is observed on the front end. Trim displays patina/weathering commensurate with the car’s age. The Minilite wheels display in fairly good order and show no curb rash, while the tyres are described as new.
Interior-wise, this example shows in race-used, but fair condition. The seat upholstery and cabin trimmings show in good order and the dash controls look to be in good shape. The five-point harness for the driver is in-tact, and while some areas of the interior display marks or wear and tear, this speaks to the car’s purpose. The car is fun to drive or race and “on the button” ready to go.
This listing is to the best of the sellers knowledge and is not misleading or deceptive in anyway. As per Trading Garage’s Terms and Conditions, although Trading Garage have completed the following checks, bidders must satisfy themselves to the accuracy of the description and do any research, they feel necessary before bidding. All listings are sold in Australian dollars. This vehicle is currently unregistered and there are no security interests registered on the PPSR against the serial number.
Exterior Gallery (73)
Interior Gallery (50)
Mechanical Gallery (21)