Jump to content


Photo

Lotus Cortina


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,875 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 19 April 2002 - 01:47

Lotus Cortina?

What is going on here? Ray Bell posting about Touring Cars?

Well, I have this picture, you see, and I thought at least Frank de Jong might like to see it...

Posted Image

Jim McKeown, August 1965 at the entry to the Tunnel of Love, Catalina Park...

Advertisement

#2 Frank de Jong

Frank de Jong
  • Member

  • 1,807 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 19 April 2002 - 09:05

Nice pic, Ray. :D

#3 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,509 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 19 April 2002 - 10:26

It's not a PROPER Lotus Cortina - it's not white with a green side-stripe. And it's got all four wheels on the ground! ;)

Did many Lotus Cortinas get down under? Were they just racers, or was it sold as a road car?

#4 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,700 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 19 April 2002 - 10:44

Originally posted by BRG
It's not a PROPER Lotus Cortina - it's not white with a green side-stripe. And it's got all four wheels on the ground! ;)

You can't expect a Cortina to lift wheels on a straight, you have wait till 50 yards later........
This isn't white with a green stripe but it does have 2 wheels off the ground.

Posted Image

This was me at Catalina!

#5 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,509 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 19 April 2002 - 12:00

Originally posted by Catalina Park
This was me at Catalina!

Maybe just a tad too much oversteer there? :

#6 Frank de Jong

Frank de Jong
  • Member

  • 1,807 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 19 April 2002 - 12:35

Originally posted by BRG
Did many Lotus Cortinas get down under? Were they just racers, or was it sold as a road car?


Well, I was just going to ask Ray if he was sure it was a Lotus - since some special Cortina's were produced locally as well, like the Cortina GT 500, which was somewhere between a GT and a Lotus.

#7 david_martin

david_martin
  • Member

  • 1,989 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 19 April 2002 - 12:44

Originally posted by BRG
Did many Lotus Cortinas get down under? Were they just racers, or was it sold as a road car?


The Lotus Cortina was never officially sold in Australia, I think, but the more mainstream Cortina GT made it to Australia as a road car model from 1963 onwards- initially fully imported, and later locally assembled. Touring car ace Harry Firth homologated an indigenous version of the GT for touring car racing and these GT and later GT500's won the 500 mile race at Bathurst 3 years running from 1963-1965.

#8 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,700 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 19 April 2002 - 12:52

Jim McKeowns car was a Lotus and the Blue paintjob was for Neptune Petrol.

#9 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 19 April 2002 - 13:15

Originally posted by BRG
Did many Lotus Cortinas get down under?

Speaking of the New Zealand part of 'down under', several were imported by FoMoCo, all in the proper colours - until Paul Fahey resprayed his stripe blue. And just to confuse the issue the Lesco RT Cortina, which also had a stripe, was a GT, I think with Willment bits. I also think its stripe might have been black. Whatever, Kerry Grant in the pushrod Lesco car beat all the twincam Lotuses to win the 1964 NZRDC Saloon Championship, though Fahey in his Lotus was winner in 1965

[i]Were they just racers, or was it sold as a road car?

Ford made a big thing about Lotus-Cortina being racing-cars, and for sale only to holders of competition licences. The BMC (or was it BLMC by then?) importers pulled the same stunt with the 1275S Mini-Cooper about the same time, but I suspect it was a sales ploy, and you could have bought either car for road use.

#10 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,875 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 19 April 2002 - 15:00

Originally posted by David McKinney
Ford made a big thing about Lotus-Cortina being racing-cars, and for sale only to holders of competition licences. The BMC (or was it BLMC by then?) importers pulled the same stunt with the 1275S Mini-Cooper about the same time, but I suspect it was a sales ploy, and you could have bought either car for road use.


You neglected John Ward, David...

He was one of the few to race in both Australia and NZ in Lotus Cortinas, and of course, his determination to avoid wearing safety belts was a costly business... Jim Palmer also raced one in australia, though I don't know if he did in NZ.

I reckon there were about 15 or so raced in Australia... drivers included Allan Moffat, Jim McKeown, Bob Jane, Spencer Martin, Brian Michelmore, Robin Pare, Jackie Stewart, George Reynolds, Steve Holland, Albert Poon, John Leighton, Bob Inglis, Max Volkers, Frank Leggatt... there are obviously more... probably another two or three in each state, in fact.

Not sure if they were sold as a model locally by either Ford or Geoghegan's (the Lotus distributors), but there was a small number on the road.

As for BLMC, that was later, still BMC at that time... though they rarely raced this model...

Posted Image

But Catalina Park would like to have seen them...

#11 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 19 April 2002 - 16:10

Originally posted by Ray Bell
You neglected John Ward, David...

and about 20 others who raced L-Cs in NZ without winning the national championship

#12 BRG

BRG
  • Member

  • 11,509 posts
  • Joined: September 99

Posted 19 April 2002 - 17:45

Originally posted by Ray Bell
As for BLMC, that was later, still BMC at that time... though they rarely raced this model......

An Austin (or is it Morris) 1100? I learnt to drive in one of those! BuI wouldn't have wanted to race one - the steering was a bit low-geared, IIRC.

And is that a wounded Vauxhall VX4/90 in the background? Or was it sold as a Holden over there? In the UK, the Lawrencetune VXs were pretty quick in their day. I believe that Bill Blydenstein raced them and that was the start of a long association with the marque that saw him become the premier Vauxhall tuner in the UK for very many years

#13 Mike Argetsinger

Mike Argetsinger
  • Member

  • 948 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 19 April 2002 - 19:11

I know this is a 'down-under' thread but the news just received of Buck Baker's death reminds me of him co-driving a Lotus-Cortina with Bob Tullius in the 1965 Daytona Continental (2000K).

#14 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,330 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 19 April 2002 - 21:21

Somewhat off the point but when our own car snapped the end off a valve stem (of all things) in one cyl in the Adelaide Classic Rally about three years ago we were cooling our heels beside the Southern Ocean at Victor Harbour wondering what the hell to do for the next two and a half days when one of the Rally organisers scooped us up, rushed us back to Adelaide and equipped us with a Lotus-Cortina in which to complete the event. This was fantastic, off-white and moss green stripe, waving front wheels, lovely job. Over a beer with the mechanic who'd built the car we got to talking about modern restoration practises with Lotus-Cortinas and he recalled pumping the Lotus-Cortina club for info about how to rebuild the car, where to obtain parts etc, and he was given a stark warning, which went something like this:

"You've gotta use XYZ suspension parts made by Bill Bloggs, 'cos it makes the front end fully adjustable and gives better turn-in. Everybody does it and you're got to too - but it involves moving the entire wheel arch slightly and remaking the area around it, 'cos this whizzbang suspension lengthens the wheelbase. If you don't do that you ain't running your car at any of our events, 'cos if you park an original car beside ours the scrutineers will spot the difference instantly...and if they don't throw you out, they'll throw all of us out....and we're not having that!".

Which I guess encapsulates the reasons why I have never been able to take saloon car racing at all seriously.

DCN

#15 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,875 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 19 April 2002 - 22:56

Originally posted by Doug Nye
.....we were cooling our heels beside the Southern Ocean at Victor Harbour .....


Ironically, this is the only place in Australia or even the non-US world where 'Harbour' is spelled 'Harbor'... neighbouring Port Elliot (these being the two names that can apply to the "1937 Australian Grand Prix" circuit...) is also uniquely economical with its use of letters.

Continuing with Doug's original words
"You've gotta use XYZ suspension parts made by Bill Bloggs, 'cos it makes the front end fully adjustable and gives better turn-in. Everybody does it and you're got to too - but it involves moving the entire wheel arch slightly and remaking the area around it, 'cos this whizzbang suspension lengthens the wheelbase. If you don't do that you ain't running your car at any of our events, 'cos if you park an original car beside ours the scrutineers will spot the difference instantly...and if they don't throw you out, they'll throw all of us out....and we're not having that!".


Congratulations, you have just brought this information to the fore so that someone in authority might take action and chuck the cheats out!

#16 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 8,330 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 20 April 2002 - 13:19

Ray - what ALL of them? There'd be nobody left to run!

'Victor Harbor' - wind-up time mate, you blokes have a 'Labor' Party as well and I always include the 'u'...just as an annoyance. 'Bira' has described me as 'another grumpy historian' and I'm growing into the role.

DCN

#17 Jop Zwart

Jop Zwart
  • New Member

  • 27 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 16 October 2009 - 11:09

Just a nice pic I took of Jackie Stewart in a Ford Cortina Lotus at Karlskoga (Sweden) in 1965:

Posted Image

#18 Red Socks

Red Socks
  • Member

  • 519 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:41

Just a nice pic I took of Jackie Stewart in a Ford Cortina Lotus at Karlskoga (Sweden) in 1965:

Posted Image

As clear as I can see from the photo its appears to me that neither the front or rear wheels are in the centre of their respective wheels arches-so perhaps todays practices are exactly as they were 40 years ago.

#19 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,580 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 16 October 2009 - 14:28

Talking of Lotus Cortinas, Sir John Whitmore, European Saloon Champion in 1965 in a Lotus Cortina IIRC, celebrates his 72nd Birthday today. Congratulations
Roger Lund