This section is going to look at the other Sporting Mk2 Cortinas that are the very close relatives of the Mk2 Lotus Cortina.

The Mk2 Lotus Cortina was firmly based on the Mk2 GT, and was even built on the GT assembly line at Dagenham. Whilst the GT was introduced along with the ‘new’ Mk2 Cortina range in October 1966, the Lotus version wasn’t launched until March 1967, after the lads at Boreham had developed the car using a GT as the base.

The 1600E was also based on the GT, and in fact shared it’s chassis type with the GT. It wasn’t introduced until the first facelift of the Mk2, in September 1967. In many ways, the 1600E shared even more with the Lotus, always employing the heavy duty shell, with the rolled arches, and of course, it shared the suspension and the braking system with the Lotus.

Probably the closest relative of all to the Lotus Cortina is the 2 door 1600E that was aimed at the European market, where the Lotus name didn’t mean as much as it did in the UK. They were only normally available in left hand drive, although a ‘small handful’ (the description from a Ford archivist) of right hand drive cars were produced. Only 2749 2 door 1600E cars were produced, making then the rarest of all production Cortinas.

The shell for the 2 door is almost identical to the Lotus Cortina shell, and it really can be seen as a cross between the 1600E and the Lotus.

The GT, 1600E and Lotus share many parts, which is another good reason to flesh out what’s what with the different Sporting Mk2 Cortinas. In time, I hope to develop a definitive list of what is shared, and what is unique, across the different models.

And then there are the ‘specials’.

Crayford built a convertible version of the Lotus, as well as a Coupe version. They also provided the Zodiac 3 litre V6 conversion with optional overdrive gearbox, which was taken up by a few owners.

Jeff Uren also offered a V6 conversion called the Savage, more usually completed on GTs and 1600Es, but a couple of Lotus conversions were completed.

In the same vein, Superspeed also offered the V6 conversion, but only for Lotus Cortinas, and those were mainly red cars. They were quite distinctive, with a gold stripe down the side and across the bonnet, and quarter bumpers on the front.

Finally, and going the other way, Luton Motors (LuMo) offered the ultimate sporting 1600E, by fitting a Lotus engine!

Those are the UK domestic GT based cars, but there is the other dimension of the GT based cars in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. That gets complicated!