This early Mk2 has had a full restoration completed 2015 by Dave Cook, better known in Lotus Cortina circles for his immaculate Mk1 Lotus, SWC 42D. Like many of us, his interest in Lotus Cortinas started in the 70s when, as a teenager, he felt that his Blue Mink 1300 deluxe wasn’t providing the required performance! OUF 901G replaced it after a few months, and that provided a year of Lotus Cortina driving before being moved on when a company car came along.

The Lotus Cortina bug had bitten, and many years later in 2006, Dave bought SWC 42D, an Aeroflow Leafspring Mk1 Lotus Cortina, and after some renovation and detailing to original specification, Dave produced the award winning car that it is today.

Obviously a man who needs more Lotus Cortina challenges, Dave acquired KCG 133E, an early Mk2 Series 1, in 2014. A friend had asked him to look at the car to see if it was worth doing, and whilst his friend ended up not buying it, Dave could see the potential in the car and took it home.

The similarities in the cross over from the MK1 to the MK2 are clear and the car was all there…nearly! What started out as a ‘tidy up’ and returning the car to standard condition ended up as a complete strip down and re-paint. The car turned out to have a very solid and virtually rust free shell, which is very rare for a Cortina that has lived in the UK all of it’s life.

So now Dave has a stunning pair of cars in the garage. The last of the Mk1 Lotus Cortinas, and the first of the Mk2 cars.  Perfection!

Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 1

Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 2

95 Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 2a

95 Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 2b

Thanks to Dave for supplying the photos and identifying the ‘features’ of the early cars outlined below. For identification of the features and changes of all 3 variants of the Mk2 Lotus Cortina look in the Mk2 Originality section.

Features of the early Mk2 (Series 1, phase a)

Look out for this lot in the photos!

Lotus ‘Roundel’ on left side of rear panel

Lotus‘ Badge under ‘Cortina‘ badge on boot (pre-production only, and Dave’s car!)

Bonnet strengthening bar

Unique throttle cable guide, rear of offside inner wing

Push button starter solenoid mounted on plastic spacers

Heater pipes on bulkhead on right of plenum chamber as MK1

Roller type strut tops with large round black plastic caps

Slam panel support rubber adjusters are same as MK1

MK1 style ‘Lotus’ cam cover

Round style oil filler cap

Type 18 Weber carbs

2 bladed steel fan blade

Pressed steel track control arms

Bakelite steering wheel (from GT)

Indicator/dip control arm is a different angle for shorter boss

Internal door handles and window winders MK1 type

Unique ‘stubby’ centre console–(no clock)—with MK1 style arm rest

Aluminium plate under ash tray in rear of center console has horizontal grooves

Round black gear knob (from GT) 3 rail 2000E box (reverse, right and back)

Dash Heater controls above ash tray

All control knobs are the domed ‘silver’ plastic insert type as per the late MK1 featured on the web site NJD 803E

Front parcel shelf is the full length ‘padded’ type again as per MK1

6″ Interior mirror is the smaller white wingard type as per late MK1 with rounded return stem

Ribbed non folding seats with plastic kick guards same as late MK1 save for the ‘extended’ rib at top of back rest

Seat adjusters have rubber finger grips

No revolving ash trays in rear door cards

Alloy Sill guards (tread plates) are similar to the MK1 but have a squared off profile and are plain with noFord” oval.

Oval ‘Ford’ badges applied to the bottom rear of BOTH front wings. Usually fitted only to the passenger wing.


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This car sports the pre-production ‘Lotus’ badge, seen in the launch brochure, but not fitted to any production cars. Dave had one and thought it looked right on this early car, which it does.

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95 Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 7a


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Note the ‘Ford’ oval badge at the bottom of the front wing. These were fitted to all Ford cars at the time, and always one only, on the passenger side, presumably so it could be seen when parked. The Series 1a is unique in having a badge fitted to the driver side as well (it is in the parts book!). The only reason I can think of for this variation is that the car had the Lotus roundel on each back wing, and some Ford marketing exec got a bit upset and wanted the same number of Ford badges on the car!

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95 Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 9a

The interior is all GT Cortina, with the exception of the Speedometer and Tachometer, which were Lotus Cortina only. Note that the metal parts in the interior were painted satin black for all cars with the black interior (nearly all Lotus Cortinas!) with some coloured cars retaining body colour for the metal parts.

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Note the short centre console, and consequently the lack of clock. The Series 1b in Lotus, GT and the new 1600E form, had an additional moulding on the front to house a clock.

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Note the standard GT steering wheel and gear knob on the early car. This was to change with the Series 1b, which was launched alongside the new 1600E, and it used that car’s steering wheel and gear knob.

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The Lotus-only instruments always had a satin black bezel, with the speedometer calibrated to 140 mph, and the tachometer redline starting at 6500 rpm.

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This engine bay (below) is identical to that in the press launch pack, with all the early parts retained. These include:

Early cam cover with the ‘Lotus’ script on each side, which can’t be seen with the air cleaner in place! This was changed after a few months to have ‘Lotus’ on the front.

Round oil cap

Push button solenoid mounted on lower plenum / bulkhead

Large throttle cable retaining bracket at rear of right hand inner wing (replaced with smaller item for the Series 1b)

Roller bearing strut tops

Type 2a Girling servo (which carried on with the Series 1b, replaced for the Series 2)

The other special Lotus parts which continued right through were:

Air box and brackets, with connector tube, intake cover and throttle return spring bracket

Washer bottle

Servo connection pipes

Big header radiator.

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The Lotus script can be seen peeping through, which wasn’t good enough for Lotus. Ford’s competition department at Boreham designed and developed the Mk2 Lotus Cortina, and their background was rallying. They developed the air filter system to take in (reasonably) cold air, whilst allowing very easy access to quickly change the air filter, unlike that on the Mk1 Lotus Cortina. They obviously didn’t worry too much about the filter cannister covering the ‘Lotus’ script on the cam cover, but it did spur Colin Chapman on to re-design the cam cover to have the script on the front of the cover for all to see on Lotus Cortinas built after summer 1967, and all Twincam Escorts.

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95 Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 27

Type 18 Weber 40 dcoe carburetors were fitted to the early cars, replaced a few months later by the Type 31 model.

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The rear air box mounting bracket had an additional ‘eye’ to hold the throttle cable in place for the left had drive version. The round oil cap was retained until the Series 1b was launched

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Probably the hardest part to find in as-new condition is this original washer bottle. It’s much larger that the standard Tudor bottle, and in the Domestic market was unique to the Lotus in the Cortina range. It was fitted to the expost USA Mk1 Lotus Cortinas in 1965 and 1966, and also to right hand drive export Mk2 1600Es and GTs. The Elan S4 had the same washer bottle for two years or so.

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Each of the air cleaner brackets is stamped up with it’s part number and FoMoCo logo.

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The large throttle cable securing bracket looks like an afterthought, but it is a genuine Ford part! It is a little smaller in the Series 1b and Series 2 cars, but still riveted on.

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The extra bonnet brace was fitted to all early Mk2 Cortinas.

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The rubber strip at the rear of the bulkhead was intended to divert water coming off the windscreen either side of the engine. It was kept for the Series 1b, but dropped for the Series 2 with a change to windscreen aperture and pillar / trim re-design.

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The boot of the Lotus Cortina has two differences with it’s non-lotus sibblings.

First, it had the battery mounted in the boot on the right hand side.

Second, it had a bungee cord attached to two points on the boot floor, and secured the tool kit with a hook that was attached to the inside of the wheel well.

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Dave had the bungee re-made to be as close a copy as possible to the original remnants that came with the car.

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95 Lotus Cortina Mk2 S1a 42b


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