1965 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk I Saloon

That “inside front wheel in the air” was a function of stiff front springs and soft rear ones, which seemed to work

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Ford’s 1960s profile-raising competition program 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, DOHC, 1.6-liter engine in the two-door bodyshell. Lotus Cortinas dominated saloon racing’s 2-liter class, often challenging for outright honors. 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.

The 1965 Lotus Cortina Mk I Saloon offered here is one of the original Works racing saloons campaigned during the mid-1960s by legendary Formula One World Champion Jim Clark, while touring car champions Sir John Whitmore and Jack Sears also competed in this same car. It was raced by the Works-backed Team Lotus during 1965 and comes with its factory record card recording events entered, dates, drivers, engines fitted, failures, and comments. During 1965, the car 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 Sir John Whitmore at Oulton Park.

Offered with Swansea V5 registration document and letters of authentication from the Lotus Cortina Register, “JTW 498C” represents a unique opportunity to acquire an historic racing saloon associated with three great motor racing champions, including the legendary Jim Clark.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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