Lotus Cortina Mk1
Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1
Lotus modified performance version of Ford's best selling saloon. Manufactured between 1963 and 1966.
Originally fitted with a 600-13 crossply tyre, which is no longer available, but can be replaced with a 165R13 radial.
The Lotus Cortina Mk1 was introduced in January 1963 as a homologation special for motor sport. The first cars were different from regular Cortinas by featuring an aluminium bonnet, bootlid and doorskins along with a different dash, a Lotus steering wheel and better seats. Aside from the twin-cam 1.6-litre engine, there was a close-ratio gearbox while the tailshaft housing, bellhousing and diff casing were made of aluminium to cut weight.
By the summer of 1964 the alloy panels were superseded by steel ones, the gear ratios were changed and refinement was improved by the fitment of a two-piece propshaft. From October 1964 there was a full-width grille and a new ventilation system badged Aeroflow which brought fixed rear side windows; earlier Lotus Cortina Mk1s had hinged windows.
In summer 1965 the bespoke Lotus suspension was replaced by a Cortina GT set-up for improved reliability. In September 1966 the final Lotus Cortina Mk1s rolled off the production line, after around 3000 had been built.