un-Wrinkle in Time
a Lotus Cortina Lands On It's Feet
in New Hampshire
The MKI arrived in New Hampshire in late July of 1999 with a wrinked roof, crushed driver's side A pillar, and distorted B and C pillars. The windshield was cracked. The off-side front fender had gotten slightly pushed, and the passenger door contacted the front fender, on opening and closing.
As hard as I searched, I was unable to locate a replacement roof. The 1963 Cortina GT that I had acquired had a different roof pillar structure and different rain-gutter, and so was un-useable. What to do. What to do...
Tim Reed, a friend from Massachusetts, drove up to Hillsboro in late February 2000 to give me an estimate on the MKII body restoration. After walking around the swiss-cheese-like primered body, he decided he did NOT want to tackle the MKII. But... he looked over at the MKI with interest. He sighted the roof. He felt it. He stood back, and squinted. He measured it. "Its not that bad." "Its really not that bad." He ran his hands over the wrinkles again. He thought that it would be a challenge to him, and was willing to straighten and push to see what he could do. I wanted to re-do just the roof, to the trunk line, to the front cowl. Even though the rest of the car needed some attention as well (dent in the hood, off-side front fender and passenger door dents) I did not want to invest a lot into the body, not knowing if the roof was repairable. Tim agreed to re-do just the roof in the correct original Ermine White, leaving the rest alone. If the roof came out all right, well, then we could look into doing the rest of the body.
The car was delivered to his shop in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts in late March of 2000. By June 1, it was completed. Obviously, it was MUCH more difficult than expected. Isn't everything? But check it out! Even from right up close, one would be hard pressed to determine that the car had been rolled. The doors shut correctly, the windows fit, the interior pillars are straight. I am very pleased.
Now, of course, I need to do the rest of the body. But meanwhile, it's a 3-tone Lotus Cortina.