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CURRENT BID: £20,250
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1968 Ford Lotus Cortina

Guide Price: £17,000 - £23,000


﹒Excellent, solid condition throughout
﹒Near spotless, original interior 
﹒Only three owners 

The Background

Everybody loves a fast Ford, and there are few as evocative or as instantly recognisable as the legendary Lotus Cortina. The first version of the Lotus Cortina was a bespoke, unusual offering in that it was built by Lotus themselves. The Mk2, however, which is what we have for auction here, was fitted with the legendary twin-cam Lotus engine and then built in house, by Ford in Dagenham. It perhaps wasn’t as raw as the Mk1, but it was still a formidable performer. And it was also a hugely popular machine. Built from 1966 to 1970, the two-door tearaway was a race car that you could walk into a dealership and buy. 

Of course, being a Ford, rut was never far away. Add in the huge demand for twin-cam engines for other models and you’re left with very few surviving Mk2 Lotus Cortinas. This one, then, is not to be missed. In exceptional condition throughout, this is your chance to own that famous white car with the green stripe. Bidding finger at the ready.

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The History

Originally a UK car with the registration of SYB763F, our research seems to suggest it had just one owner before being sold in 1996 and then again in 2011 when the car was shipped to Southern Ireland. Upon landing on the emerald isle, the car was registered with a location-appropriate registration of 68C855, which it still wears. The car seems to have been used sparingly, and only shows a hair over 8,000 miles on the clock. Of course, this is an old car, so we would take that with a pinch of salt. However, the excellent condition of the car does seem to suggest it could well be genuine. Have a look at the pictures and decide for yourself. 

The car was brought back to the UK in recent years, and has been in warm, dry storage ever since. The current owner - technically the fourth - isn’t a registered keeper, as he holds the car as stock. As such, this seems to be a three-owner vehicle. We have checked the car with and on Cazana, which is how we have arrived at that number. 

Recently serviced and in good health, the owner is now looking to thin out his collection of classic Fords. This 1968 Lotus Cortina is an excellent example of a rare car, and one that you’d be more than happy to own. It is evident that it has been very, very well looked after over the years. It’s clearly been restored at some point, and as such is largely unmarked, with only a few finishing touches left to complete.

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The Paperwork

Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of paperwork with this particular car. There is an Irish logbook though, so the car can be registered here in the UK (the car has already been imported and resides in Scotland). The Irish logbook has full matching credentials, including chassis number, engine number and also the previous, UK registration.

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The Interior

It’s all pretty much period perfect in here. There is a gorgeous deep-dish steering wheel fitted, giving the cabin a racy feel. The black vinyl seats are in excellent condition, as is the centre console and armrest. There’s no evidence of any excessive wear, not any damage to be seen. The same can be said of the interior panels and door cards, which again are in excellent condition and free from damage. 

The dash is near perfect, with no warping or cracking to be seen, and all the dials are bright, clear and functional. The fascia of the dash is in great condition, too, with no holes or damage from the past to be seen. Lower down, the carpets are all in good order, too. 

There are some small things that need to be addressed, but they are small. The cover for the interior light is missing, and the glass in the rear-view mirror is cracked in two places. Tiny things, as we’re sure you’ll agree. 

Open the doors and you’re greeted with bright, clean shuts and pillars. There is no significant rust to be seen, all the hinges are excellent, there is nothing to suggest poor past repair and both doors shut cleanly and without any resistance. The door rubbers are all good, too, and have probably been replaced in the not too distant past. 

In the boot, lift the matting and you’ll be greeted with an excellent-looking fuel tank, as well as swathes of white, glossy paint. It’s dry as a bone in here, and there is no sign of any rust, damage or again, poor past repair. The battery has been relocated into the boot and the job has been done rather well. The filler neck is solid, and the rubber coupling is free of any fuel leaks. Finally, the boot itself has a new rubber fitted, and closes snugly.

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The Exterior

We suspect this car has been restored at some point, given just how excellent the condition is. The paint is a rich, deep, glossy white. Plus, the green stripes are in fact painted on, and this wasn’t an original thing - they were decals. O\f course, this is no bad thing, as the stripes present very well indeed. 

The panel gaps are good across the entire car and there is no sign of any damage nor any sub-par repair. It’s in remarkably good condition from top to bottom. The chrome is all in good order, though there is a missing section on the rear that you’d need to locate. The lights are all in good order, as is the front grille and both front and rear bumpers. 

The four Lotus steel wheels are in excellent condition and all wear their original ‘dog dish’ hubcaps. The tyres are all good, too. There is a spare in the boot, but this isn’t a Lotus steel, and is in fact some sort of Ford PCD Weller wheel of some description. 

Looking underneath the car, you’re greeted with swathes of clean, white paint. There is the odd spot of surface rust here and there - it’s a driven car after all - but on the whole, this has to be one of the best condition Cortinas out there. There is no signs of any major works, there is no rot, no accident damage, the rails, jacking points and inner arches are all excellent. All the suspension and driveline components are clean and free from any hint of neglect. It’s a remarkable sight.

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The Mechanics

The Lotus Twin-Cam engine is in good health and has been recently serviced. It starts on the button and of course, brings with it that distinctive Lotus bark as it gups in the air through that pair of twin Weber carbs. There are no knocks, bangs or any other noises to be concerned by. The car holds its temperature, and it revs keenly. It owls benefit from a damn good run, having been used infrequently of late - something for the winning bidder to look forward to. 

While we’re in the engine bay, we should note just how clean it is. The engine would benefit from a detail, but the bay itself is incredibly clean. The chassis rails are solid, the inner wings and strut tops, too. The heater bubble is free from rust and the scuttle area is rock solid along with the bonnet hinges as well as the bonnet itself. 

The suspension is all in good order from what we can see, with no misting of the shocks or anything like that, and all the bushings we could see looked to be in good health. The brakes are also in good health, and bring the car to a stop without pulling or locking.

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The Appeal 

It’s an iconic classic Ford in excellent condition. Finish off those little bits - the broken mirror, the missing rear trim and give that engine a polish and you’ll be left with a car that could win shows. It’s honestly that good. White is the most unforgiving colour when it comes to corrosion, making this Cortina an exceptionally rare find, in that there is no serious rut to be seen. Instead, it’s solid, it’s in incredible condition and it’s ready to be used and enjoyed. If you’ve been after a Mk2 Lotus Cortinas, you would do well to find one better than this.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1968
  • Make Ford
  • Model Lotus Cortina
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 8,167 Miles
  • Engine size 1558
  • Location Scotland
Bidding history
23 bids
  • paul-sm•••• £20,250 09/04/21
  • wulliee•••• £20,000 09/04/21
  • wulliee•••• £19,750 09/04/21
  • paul-sm•••• £19,500 09/04/21
  • wulliee•••• £19,250 04/04/21
  • Garya £19,000 04/04/21
  • Garya £18,750 04/04/21
  • wulliee•••• £18,500 04/04/21
  • Garya £18,250 04/04/21
  • wulliee•••• £18,000 04/04/21

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