Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lotus Cortina Mark 2

Mark 1 Lotus Cortinas seem to be everywhere, one even made a guest appearance at Lobethal last weekend. Group N races and classic tarmac rallies would be incomplete if there wasn't a Mark 1 Cortina, Cortina GT, Lotus Cortina, Cortina GT 500 or Lotus Cortina clone.
Now, the Mark 2 in Australia is a different story. British and American Cortina forums talk about Mark 2 Lotus Cortinas as though they are relatively common, often making comparisons between the Mark 1 and Mark 2. I know I'm only a country boy and don't get out much but I don't reckon I've seen a Mark 2 Lotus Cortina. There's plenty of non-Lotus examples getting about on the roads but I think the Lotus ones are rare in Australia. I'm waiting for the emails now, telling me they're everywhere. Anyway, I was surprised to see this nice 1970 Mark 2 Lotus Cortina for sale on ebay in Scotland.
It is fitted with the Lotus Twin Cam engine.
It was pointed out to me that you didn't see Mark 2s racing much because by the time they came out the Escort was around, although Team Lotus did run Mk.2s with 16 valve Cosworth-Ford FVA Formula 2 engines with 205 bhp. I've just had it pointed out to me that they were called Ford Cortina-Lotus whereas the Mark 1s were called Lotus Cortinas.
While on the subject of Cortina GT500s, which we weren't, these Australia-only cars are rare anywhere overseas (getting rare in Australia too really). I think it must purely be an oversight that they weren't included in the recent Unique Cars top 10 Australian cars. All these years later I still feel sick when I think about someone that we know who wrecked one and took most of it to the tip.
Anyway, talking about the Unique Cars top 10 shootout, one of the wags on the Torana forum posted this photo with a comment along the lines of - Bowey's found a use for the Bolwell after all.
Must be jealous.


Colin said...

I gather John Bowe did not like the Bolwell in the test

Colin said...

Re the GT 500 I managed to own 3 of these beasties in the early 80's. The main issue was rust and heaps of it. The first one I purchased was delivered by the vendor from his hay shed and virtually collapsed as he dropped it off his trailer. I used the mechanicals and tanks to update a mint 1966 GT 4 door I had. Even used the bumperettes off Tim's GT500 which he saved as he took it to the tip. Not that bumperettes were GT 500 as they had the standard Cortina bumper. But Tim's had handcrafted little short bumpers and not Escort or Escort van rears. My old 4 door turns up occasionally advertised as a Bathurst/Lotus special which is really funny. On the street the 2.50 bottom gear made the GT 500's a pig to drive. The 17 gallons of juice certainly gave it a good touring range. I used all of them for commuting from Adelaide to Whyalla where i was working at the time. Up Monday morning and home to the family Friday night. Fast. Pretty good for 1500cc. I don't think I paid more that $ 1000 for any of the GT 500's which is also a chuckle with the prices now altho each was rough but one had a racing history so I left it up to someone else to restore that one.

Bruno von Rotz said...

We have one of these Mk2 Ford-Lotus-Cortinas in Switzerland. Wildbolz is racing it. It's a factory car I think having been driven by Graham Hill and the likes. It sounds impressively and is quite fast. I might even have a photograph somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Is that a Late Mk7 or Nagari dash that Ford copied or borrowed from Bolwell?

John L said...

Yes, these Ford people have been so keen on Bolwell crash padding that it's getting hard to find one for a Bolwell.

Rushford said...

re Colin said....Re GT500- Interested in your comments - I owned one only, although had 68'crossflow Mk11 then Gt Mk1, flew to Perth mid 70's bought ex rally 500 owned by 2 previous owners guy called Dave Manners name in manual( still have). Drove it back across unmade Nullabor (brushed a Roo- no damage)to Melbourne and swapped body which was a little tired. Didn't realise importance of originality back then.Reassembled all original components and fitted Globe Bathurst Mags to good condition 2 door Mk 1 body( I was Vic. agent for Globe at the time) painted Arctic white from memory( original was red). Bought it for $400.00 Sold late 70's I think for $2000.00. Original body tipped. This car also had bumperettes on the front. One of the best cars ever owned,alongside big healeys, always wanted a Mk11 Lotus though. Re Bolwell recall selling first Globe Bathurst alloys for them to be fitted as standard equipment- they were working out of a small factory down near Moorabbin if my memory is correct.

John L said...

Don't know about the Globe Bathurst being standard equipment but I eventually put them on my Mark 5. They outlasted most of the rest of the car.

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