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A very early Pre-Aeroflow Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 Club registered with full history.
The Lotus-developed Cortina emerged after Fords Walter Hayes asked Colin Chapman to build a homologation special with which the Blue Oval could beat all comers. It went on to dominate saloon car racing and rallying with the likes of Jim Clark and Sir John Whitmore at the wheel. Fitted with a similar Ford-based Lotus twin overhead camshaft engine as used in the Lotus Elan, it was pitched as a performance car for the family man. With the early cars having many unique and desirable features such as aluminium body panels and a specially developed Lotus A-Frame suspension, 444YKK is an historically important car being the 88th example built at the Lotus factory in Cheshunt. It is within 20 of the earliest Pre-Aeroflow cars known to the Lotus Cortina Club Register. Source Rikki Nock, Membership Secretary & Registrar.
Aluminium bonnet, bootlid and doorskins, rectangular Ford wing badge, opening front quarter vent windows, opening rear quarter windows, Lotus wooden steering wheel and concave gearknob, umbrella-style handbrake, antenna on right-hand side of steering column controlling horn, side lights, panel lights, main beam and dipper. Tachometer, combined water temp and oil pressure gauge, choke, wiper control, rear view mirror combined with interior light, front and rear ashtrays, driver and passenger sun visors, padded centre console, front parcel tray.
Absolutely gorgeous finished in the iconic Ford Ermine White, (Code BA), with the Sherwood Green Flash. Instantly recognisable as an early car with the Consul on the bonnet badge, smaller front grille and separate oval indicators. The knowledgeable perfectionists will be pleased that all the hard to spot early car features are present too. The desirable aluminium panels are free from distortion and scrutinising the underside will reveal the immaculate A-Frame and one piece torpedo propeller shaft along with all other detailed and spotlessly clean early car features. Correct sealed beam Lucas headlamps remain fitted and the ornate Butler rear lamp is free from damage. All badges are correct including the rare oblong Ford badge only fitted to the nearside front wing and one key fits all locks. Amazing.
Special individual seats fitted to early cars are modified standard frames featuring extra padding around the edges of the squab remaining in beautiful condition and the Dunlop Hytone moulded rubber floor covering is perfect. All Lotus Elan derived instruments contained within the unmarked dash pod function which is fronted by the correct three-slotted spoke Springall steering wheel whose thin wooden rim has metal grip-studs on its far side. The door cards and door furniture is unmarked as is the confetti headlining and even the original type door seals with the metal corner fastener remain fitted. Opening the aluminium boot reveals all the strengthening bars, battery and floor mounted spare wheel. Importantly and clearly seen under the boot mat is the spot welded A-Frame hump to allow the differential to clear on full compression. The jack, wheel brace and handle remain. Simply Stunning.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The Lotus twin-cam engine is steeped with racing pedigree and the unit in this matching numbers car is LP104. Former F1 British Racing Motors (BRM) Engineer, Paul Fisher, was entrusted to remanufacture the engine to as new condition in 2015, fully blueprinted with an itemised invoice and photos to prove totalling 102 hours. A dyno test confirms 132bhp. Mated to a Lotus Elan close-ratio gearbox and being an early car the differential casing, clutch housing and gearbox tailshaft are of alloy. Claimed speeds of 45mph in first, 69 in second, 92 in third and approaching 110 in fourth are quoted in period road tests.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Wide rimmed Dunlop steel road wheels measuring 5.5J x 13 are shod in radial Dunlop SP Sport Aquajet tyres with ample tread. The spare wheel is bolted to the floor with the correct captive wheel nut under the floor. The Girling remote hydraulic servo assisted brakes with discs upfront and drums to the rear are standard fitment.
Production of the Lotus developed Cortina commenced in February 1963 and 444YKK was the 88th example to be built in April 1963 by Lotus at its plant in Cheshunt. Supplied by Haynes of Maidstone to a Mrs D Hay-Bolton on the 16th July 1963, this prime example has been owned by some highly regarded and well known Lotus Cortina Club members. The late Trevor Barefoot being just one. He has created some of the most authentic restorations of Pre-Aeroflow cars and along with this example, has owned some of the most desirable Lotus Cortinas including 550VAR, (ex Jim Clarke road car) and Bruce Reynolds’s Great Train Robbery car BMK723A! Everything from the original build sheet and green Buff logbook to the full engine rebuild and restoration in 2014 is catalogued. The history file is immense and includes valuable Lotus Club valuations, historic invoices and MOT certificates, original newspaper print Lotus Cortina adverts and road test reports and even more recent magazine features including Practical Classics Lotus Cortina Mk1 buyers Guide and Classic Cars magazine group test. The car has also been featured in Quarter Bumper, the magazine of the Lotus Cortina Register. With so many spurious examples lacking history and correct specification, this example will please the most discerning.
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