This section looks at the two marathon events that took place in the time of the Mk 2 Lotus Cortina production. It contains photos and descriptions of the Lotus Cortinas that took part, with some considerable detail on a couple of the cars, teams, drivers and  support teams.

David Harrison and Martin Proudlock entered the London Sydney Marathon in a ‘ near-works’ Lotus Cortina, CTC 23 E, for the British Army Motoring Team. The car was an ex-Boreham machine, built for Roger Clark for the 1967 RAC Rally, which was cancelled due to Foot and Mouth desease. They were ‘loaned’ the car for the event, and had to prepare the car themselves, but with free access to the Ford parts bin! The car was prepared to look exactly like the other Ford entered Lotus Cortinas, and was supported by the Ford team during the event.

David and Martin have a huge archive of information regarding this event, and I’m very thankful to them for their time and allowing me access to this fantastic collection.

Cal Withers (Withers of Winsford) chose a Lotus Cortina to enter the London Mexico World Cup Rally, and joined two other Cortina Teams which were supported by the FordSport Club. Ray Evans helped to build the car, and subsequently supported it on the European leg of the rally. The car chosen (VPI 77) had already proven itself by completing the 1968 London Sydney Marathon, as a works car, driven by Rosemary Smith!

Thanks to Cal and Ray, who have also kept fantastic records of their activities in rallying in the 60s and 70s, for giving me their time and allowing me access to their archives.

Cal needs no introduction to anybody who has an interest in rallying in these years, and has a website recording some of the highlights of his considerable activity.

CTC 23 E and VPI 77 , the subjects of the two different stories, parked next to each other at the start of the London Sydney Marathon.

Thanks also to Bruce Thomas in Australia for providing some of the photographs of one of the final stages in Southern New South Wales. His collection of photos are here:



London Sydney

London Mexico