This 3 inch x 2.5 inch card is number 29, in a series of 30, offered in the early 1990's by Imperial Tobacco Limited, Nottingham, England. The front shows a nice pastel drawing by Eric Bottomley, of a pair of pre-airflow Lotus Cortinas rounding a curve, but labeled as Ford Cortina MK I. The backside (printed "portrait") has a few paragraphs of text describing the Cortina and the Lotus variant.

I wrote to Mr. Bottomley to ask about the cards. He tells me he did 4 different sets of paintings (30 paintings per set) and that the originals were painted in gouache on 5 inch by 7 inch panels, and then reduced by Imperial Tobacco. The Lotus Cortinas are generic, and the background is entirely fictional. Mr. Bottomley still has some sets for sale (including #29, the Lotus Cortina), and these can be supplied with the collector folder "album" designed specifically for these cards, mentioned on the back of the card above. I bought a set, and he even autographed it!

These cigar cards are now very rare. They seem to have gone up in... well... smoke. These scans were provided to me by an owner, Rick Jones, before the card was recently sold. Visit his Old Car Classic website, if you are using Internet Explorer.

The link in the first paragraph above, for Eric Bottomley, does not work as of June 15 2003. I will see if I can locate a new address for him soon.

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