A Tale of Two Cortinas

"It was the best of cars..."

Prior to obtaining my 1970 Lotus Cortina, I had a Mk1 4-door GT. It was a very late one, registered in January 1967, on a UK "E" plate. The "E" represents the year 1967, obviously there were not very many registered in that year as the MK2 was announced in September (I think) 1966. Although it was a 4-door it had been done in Lotus colours. It had a hybrid engine as well, a 711m block which had been bored out to 1760cc, coupled with an Ian Walker Racing (IWR) stage2 head, and went very well. I bought it from a friend who had owned it for 10 years, I had it for 2 years and sold it last October in preparation for purchasing a Lotus.

Initially I wanted a Mk1 but prices over here have gone wild. I anticipated it would cost me around 12,000, but when it came to it, I found it would probably cost me around 15,000 for a good (not mint, they are 20,000 plus) one, which would have left me penniless, without the funds to sustain ownership. After a couple of months I learned of a stunning Mk2 that might be available. It was January this year (my 50th birthday, in fact) when my friend and I went to view. It was freezing cold, and I was quite unwell, I have been recovering from serious illness for the past 15 months or so. One look at the car made up my mind and I took delivery a couple of weeks later. The guy was very reluctant to sell. He had owned it for 10 years, and had restored it ground-up for 2 years before putting it back on the road in May '96. However, he is now restoring a Mk1 S/E, and the funds from the Mk2 would help his quest.

I have no regrets about buying a Mk2, I think you'll see why in the pictures. It is in mint (nearly) condition, it looks great, drives great, and has won several trophies this year. I have several cosmetic things I want to get done over the winter before next season, but there is absolutely nothing that 'needs' doing. A nice situation to be in.

All the best -

Terry Babbington
Essex, UK


BA91KT21417 in 1994, before the previous owner restored it.


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