It was Ford's Walter Hayes who in 1963 persuaded Lotus boss Colin Chapman to produce a limited run of Cortinas with Lotus engines. The intention was to produce 1,000 cars, but its popularity saw three times that amount made. In 1964 Jim Clark won the British Saloon Car Championship and in 1965 Sir John Whitmore won the European Saloon Car Championship. Looking fairly plain externally apart from the green stripes, the Lotus Cortinas sat lower and the front MacPherson struts had new uprated springs and shocks, while at the rear the leaf springs were removed and replaced by an A-frame arrangement plus radius arms and coil-over-shock units. The standard 1500 Ford bottom end was used along with a twin-cam head and twin Webers. A great car to drive fast, the Lotus Cortinas now command high prices and are still used in historic racing.
Ford Lotus Cortina Specifications
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