Lotus Cortina Love


We can’t be alone in thinking it would be amazing if our favourite Norfolk brand that specialises in lightweight sports cars would collaborate with Ford and come up with a racing edition of today’s equivalent Dagenham-bred workhorse.

We suppose that territory is currently covered by the spectacular Focus RS – but surely a Lotus badge and some drivetrain trickery in the Chapman tradition would yield something special.

Back in the day a Cortina competing successfully on the world rally stage must have been like a cheeky upstart from Dagenham taking on Cassius Clay in Madison Square Garden.

There’s something heroic, almost Shackleton-like about the picture above – which shows Peter Huth and Ian Grant celebrating a brilliant 2nd place finish in the notoriously difficult East African Rally of 1968.

And it’s a heroism that is somehow encapsulated in the unassuming countenance of the car itself.

From esturine Essex to the badlands of Nairobi. That’s a big leap of mechanical efficiency and reliability.

Worthy of a re-issue, surely?

For details of all things Lotus Cortina, go to lotuscortinainfo.com images courtesy LCI.


One Response to “Lotus Cortina Love”

  1. Ah yes, good memories! But the performance of the Lotus Cortina was not limited to just rallying. I remember seeing one of the support races to the Gold Cup meeting at Oulton Park. It was a saloon car race with three or four classes in it. At the end of the first lap a 7 litre Ford Galaxy was in front followed by a 5 litre Ford Falcon, followed by the 1.6 litre Lotus Cortina. In the next laps the Lotus passed the Falcon and then hounded the Galaxy, often three-wheeling around the corners. About 3 laps before the end of the race the Lotus was in front because the Galaxy had blown its 7 litre engine trying to stay in front. What a race! In case anyone was wondering, yes, the driver of the Lotus Cortina was none other than the legendary Jim Clark.