1966 Lotus Cortina MK1
Exterior Color: Red/Gold
Interior Color: Black
Body Style: Coupe
Engine: 1,558cc DOHC inline 4-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Drive Type: RWD
Fuel Type: Gasoline
This left-hand-drive Cortina was always a street car, and while its early history is not documented, it may have been delivered to the West Coast when new, as it was discovered in Northern California by its previous owner in 2006.
Upon discovery, the decision was made to restore the aging Cortina in the legendary red and gold livery of Alan Mann racing, one of Ford’s most successful factory backed teams of the 1960s. The familiar Alan Mann livery became inextricably linked with the Lotus Cortina when the team won the 1965 European Touring Car Championship, in no small part due to their hero Cortina driver Sir John Whitmore.
When stripped for paint, the body was determined to be very solid, with no obvious evidence of accident damage. The original bumpers were re-chromed, while other bright work was left original. The car was finished in the Alan Mann red & gold duo-tone paintwork it sports today, all weather stripping was replaced, and rally stop-watches and Carello driving lights were installed for a sporting period appearance. Inside, the seats and headliner were restored to original specification, as were all instruments, carpeting, and the heater. The door panels and center console remain original ‘as found’, while the Cortina features a period AM/FM radio.
Over the past three years, many mechanical aspects of the car have been carefully restored or renewed. The engine, a proper Lotus L-type block, was rebuilt; it is of standard bore and fitted with forged pistons, and additionally features fuel injection in place of the original carburetors. The head has big valves with Sprint cams, and we are informed by the previous owner that this engine has done approximately 4,000 miles since rebuilding. The transmission, the correct semi-close-ratio four-speed, was also rebuilt with all new bearings and seals. The differential has been uprated with 3.55:1 gearing for easy cruising at freeway speeds. Suspension bushings were replaced for a tight driving experience, while the rear axle, braking and steering systems were refurbished.
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