Cars

Published on August 13th, 2020 | by Amirul Mukminin

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1966 Ford Lotus Cortina Sold for £168,750 at Auction

Depending on the model in question, some classic Japanese sport cars are able to fetch huge sums of money on the auction block. For instance, in 2013, a pale yellow 1967 Toyota 2000GT was sold for $1.15 million by RM Auctions. An awful lot for a car made by a company that makes affordable vehicles.

BHPetrol RON95 Euro 4M

But it’s not always those from the Land of the Rising Sun that attract affluent collectors. British retro cars are known to sell for a lot of money, too. One example that immediately springs up to mind is this 1966 Ford Cortina Lotus that fetched £168,750 at Silverstone Auctions.

While that figure is not as mind-boggling as the £17.5 million that was paid for an Aston Martin DBR1, it is still quite impressive considering that a Lotus Cortina is not an illustrious car like the DBR1 to begin with.

That being said, this Lotus Cortina does carry some prestige. The unit sold was one of just three ‘Group 5’ works cars that were built by Lotus for the 1966 British Saloon Car Championship. It was driven by some of the world’s famous racing drivers such as Jim Clark, Peter Arundell, Jacky Ickx, Sir John Whitmore and Graham Hill, so to say the car is of little value would be an injustice.

This car continued racing in the UK until the end of the ’68 season, before it was sold to Peter Parnell, who raced it in the Bulawayo 3-Hour race in Rhodesia. The next owner, Dave Hannaford took the car with him when he immigrated to Zambia. Hannaford’s friend and business partner Nevile Halberg then bought the car and kept it until 1983 before selling it to Jannie van Aswegen. Some 14 years later, Cedric Selzar, Jim Clark’s race mechanic purchased the car and sent it back to the UK where it was sympathetically restored.

Despite the multiple ownership changes, the car was auctioned in race ready condition and more importantly, retained its original shell and all the period race modifications to the suspension and the engine.

By now, you might be wondering about the history of the model and why it bears the name of two car manufacturers. To put it simply, the Ford Lotus Cortina was a homologation special conceived in 1963. The official name for the new car was initially the “Consul Cortina Developed by Lotus” but “Consul” was later dropped from the name. Production commenced at the Lotus Cheshunt plant with Ford providing the two-door saloon body shells and Lotus undertaking the necessary mechanical and cosmetic changes.

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