Ford's 1960s profile-raising competition programme included recruiting Lotus boss Colin Chapman to give the new Cortina a sporting makeover. Chapman's brief was to develop a Group 2 competition version; Lotus would then build the 1,000 cars required for homologation. Launched in 1963, the Lotus Cortina featured the Elan's Ford-based, twin-overhead-camshaft, 1.6-litre engine in the two-door bodyshell. Lotus Cortinas dominated saloon racing's 2-litre class, often challenging for outright honours. Works cars were driven by Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Peter Arundell and Jackie Ickx, while Sir John Whitmore, driving an Alan Mann-entered Lotus Cortina, was European Touring Car Champion in 1965.
This Lotus Cortina is one of the original works racing saloons campaigned during the mid-1960s by legendary Formula 1 World Champion, Jim Clark, while touring car champions Sir John Whitmore and Jack Sears also competed in this same car. During 1965, it was used in the British saloon car championship, being driven by Jack Sears at Goodwood and Snetterton (twice), Jim Clark at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, and John Whitmore at Oulton Park.
Bonhams will be offering this special 1965 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk I Competition Saloon at their upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on the 13th July. Its estimated value is between £200,000 - £250,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Bonhams.