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The Classic 1965 Lotus Cortina MK1

The Classic 1965 Lotus Cortina MK1

Here at Rivervale we have recently updated our showroom with a famous classic car from the 1960's, which is owned by one of our best customers ... Currently in our showroom is the superb Lotus Cortina MK1.

History of the Lotus Cortina

The Lotus Cortina is the commonly used term for the Ford Lotus Cortina, a classy and powerful sports saloon, which was made in one of the most interesting eras of motoring history - the 1960s. The history of the Lotus Cortina first derived in 1961 and Colin Chapman, Founder of Lotus, played a major role in its design and production.

However, It was first produced in the United Kingdom from 1963 to 1970 by Ford in partnership with Lotus. It was only sold in white with a green stripe that spans around both sides of the car (although Ford built some for racing in red). Coupled with its powerful engine, motorsport pedigree and affordable pricing, the Lotus Cortina went on to set the standards for the future of Ford’s high-performance models.

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Designed specifically for racing, the Lotus Cortina recorded multiple victories on the racetrack, most notably at the hands of grand Prix legends Graham Hill and Jim Clark. Clark won several racing championships in the Lotus Cortina, including the British Touring Car Championship in 1964. The following year, he also won the European, Belgium and New Zealand titles, too.

The original version, which was based on the Ford Cortina MK1, was promoted by Ford as the “Consul Cortina developed by Lotus”, with “Consul” later being completely removed from the name. The MK2 was based on the Ford Cortina MK2 and was advertised by Ford as the “Cortina Lotus”. Production for the Lotus Cortina MK1 ceased in 1966 with only 3,306 being released, while the Lotus Cortina MK2, which was launched in March 1967, had 4,093 models produced.

Four months after the MK1 Ford Cortina arrived, Ford brought out two upgraded models, the Cortina Super with 60hp five-bearing 1498cc engine and the Cortina GT which launched in Spring 1963 with a 78hp tuned version of the 1498cc lump and lowered suspension. As for the Lotus Cortina MK2, Ford decided to develop it in-house at Boreham (Ford’s competition department) and build it at Dagenham alongside MK2 Cortina GTs, to make the MK2 more affordable.

How would the Lotus Cortina MK1 drive?

The Lotus Cortina MK1 is geared to a 105hp 1.6-litre twin-cam in-line four-speed transmission, which is twice the power of a standard Cortina, and comes with bespoke rear suspension tuning from Lotus, It has a top speed of 108 mph and a 0-60mph time of 10 seconds.

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The steering feels light when turning at high speeds, almost like it has power steering. Handling and grip are sublime and the car oversteers into corners at ease, which makes driving the car feel fun and exciting at all times. The Lotus Cortina MK1 braking system includes discs at the front and drums at the rear.

Interior & exterior features of the Lotus Cortina MK1

Outside, the car has front quarter bumpers and round Lotus badges added to the rear wings and to the right side of the radiator grille. There are lightweight aluminium panels which are used for the doors, bonnet and boot, making it lighter by around 20kg compared to the standard Cortina. The Lotus Cortina MK1 is 427.5 cm (98.39 inches) long, 158.8 cm (62.52 inches) wide, has a height of 136.5 cm ( 53.74 inches) and has a wheelbase of 249.9 cm ( 98.39 inches).

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The interior of the Lotus Cortina MK1 is what you would imagine it to be - retro looks, classy, comfortable and feels like a ‘real gentleman's’ car. Go behind the thin wood-rimmed wheel and you’ll notice the extra dials, brushed aluminium trim and the iconic Lotus badge on top of the gearstick. The ‘Cortina’ badge is also featured on the glovebox. The later style dashboard features a tachometer, speedometer, oil pressure, water temperature and fuel level gauges.

If you own a rare classic car and would like us to display it in our state of the art showroom give us a call on 01273433480 today.

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