It seems like the Aussies often got cool stuff. It must be attributable to the tough management of the local Ford subsidiary but they know their market, right? So perhaps it is the culture of Australians asserting their need to be different – and cooler than us yanks and brits. However in this case it didn’t work out. Now in Germany the Cortina’s sister car, the Tanus, did get a fastback model and the styling was excellent but no fastbacks in the UK or Australia despite this excellent attempt.
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Of the 2,894 Mark 1 Lotus Cortinas produced between 1963 and 1966, 64 were fitted with the Lotus Special Equipment package which further tweaked the power and performance of this already potent Ford. The engine upgrades included in this package were similar if not identical to those that were included when the Lotus Elan was specified with S/E trim. In fact many of the performance bits, such as the close-ratio gearbox, came from the Lotus parts bin to the extent that the motoring press at the time referred to the Lotus Cortina as a “tin-top” version of the Lotus 7. Beyond the single script nomenclature on the rear panel, the Lotus Special Equipment spec included a green coated cam cover that replaced the blue one present on the “standard” Lotus Cortina.
All images are the property of their owners and not the property of sortedcorty.com. Right image courtesy Bonhams.
The advertised engine output increased by 10 HP as a result of semi-race (‘C’ type) camshafts being fitted to a cylinder head that featured massaged intake and exhaust ports. Those modifications as well as an increased tubing diameter exhaust system necessitated the re-jetting of the twin Weber 40 DCOE18 carburettors and a re-curved distributor. Other parts of the package included adjustable rear dampers by Armstrong, 3-point seatbelts by Irvin, a leather-covered steering wheel and radial tires by either Pirelli or Dunlop.