The 2013 Lotus Festival will be celebrating 50 years of the Lotus Cortina when it is held at Brands Hatch on 24/25 August
The Cortina was the first of many collaborations between the legendary sportscar marque and mainstream manufacturers and helped establish Ford of Britain during the 1960s. Colin Chapman’s magic gave the Cortina shell suspension modifications and it was fitted with a Lotus Twin-Cam engine to make it one of the most coveted cars of the era.
The car’s appeal to sporting drivers helped turn the Cortina into one of the biggest selling cars of the century, whilst its endeavours in competitive environments yielded success on the track and in the forests. Jim Clark and Sir John Whitmore both won saloon car championships, whilst the Lotus Cortina also gained notoriety as the favoured wheels of train robber Roy James.
In addition to success on road and track, Chapman formed a business relationship with Ford’s Walter Hayes that led to the DFV engine in Formula 1, an era in the sport epitomised by Lotus.
The 2012 Lotus Festival was graced with many great examples of both MkI and MkII Lotus Cortinas and an even bigger presence is promised.