13th Mar, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 49

1965 Ford Lotus Cortina MkI FIA
FIA passport until 2030 and zero-houred engine & gearbox

Lot details

Registration No: GYU 577C
Chassis No: BA74EG59563
MOT: Exempt

  • FIA papers valid until 2030
  • Zero-houred Craig Beck race engine and straight-cut gearbox
  • Originally supplied to New Zealand in right-hand drive format
  • Supplied with Lotus Register document confirming the car has its original bodyshell

In 1963 Ford was looking to race the two-door MkI Cortina in Group 2, for which the obvious powerplant was the twin-cam version of the 'Kent' engine Colin Chapman had already developed for use in the Elan - thus the Lotus Cortina was born. In addition to the 105bhp 1558cc engine, the changes included: a close-ratio gearbox, shorter front suspension struts, and trailing arms and coil springs with 'A' bracket at the rear. Wider 5.5J steel wheels were added, lightweight aluminium panels used for the doors, bonnet and boot and quarter bumpers added to the front. Interior amendments included: a new centre-console for the remote control gear lever, different seats and facia, and a wood-rim steering wheel. The MkI model was made until 1966, during which time the most significant upgrades included the adoption of Ford's new 'Airflow' ventilation system and the replacement of the troublesome Lotus-designed alloy 'A' bracket rear suspension with Ford-made leaf springs and radius arms.

Built in August 1965 by the Dagenham factory, ‘GYU 577C’ was initially exported to New Zealand and spent several years seeing regular use at the hands of the revered Saloon racing driver, Roger Anderson. Continuing its well-travelled life, the car then made its way to Japan and Sweden before arriving in Holland in 1995, where the car begin competing in a number of rally events including entering in the Tulpenrallye for several years. Having now proved its worth in both racing and rally events, the car continued its career and was sold to a Mr Uiterwaal in 1999 who reverted the car back to track racing specification. From 2005 to 2009, the Ford Lotus Cortina was driven by father and son duo Mr Richard Lawson Senior and Junior. The Lawsons raced at such tracks/events as Spa 6 Hour, Knockhill and Grand Prix De L’Age d’Or at Dijon. The history file is supplied with numerous test track and lap charts from both Richard Senior and Junior and highlights Martin Stretton Racing, Worcestershire as the firm looking after the car mechanically. In 2016 the 1965 Lotus Cortina was sold to a Mr Kenanbraba of Surrey who held onto the car for a couple of years until this beautiful historic racing machine arrived into the hands of a classic racing enthusiast who is the vendor for the car now. In the vendor's ownership, he has also used the car on track for a number of seasons which has been kept documented and recently commissioned Craig Beck Racing to zero-hour the engine and gearbox.

Presented with the Lotus Cortina is the past FIA Historic Vehicle Passport dated September 1990 which highlights that the vehicle was restored in 1989 which is accompanied by countless FIA photographs from the period. Also accompanying the car is a more recent MSA Historic Technical Passport dated July 2008 for FIA class: CT8, period: F - 1962 to 1965. There is also an engine dynamometer records showing the Lotus Cortina’s maximum output at an impressive 162bhp.

On inspection, our first impression is that the car presents very well in the iconic Lotus Ermine White with Sherwood Green stripe. The car retains its original Lotus Cortina bodyshell which is confirmed by the Lotus Cortina Register. As to be expected, having seen years of track use since its last full restoration, there are some small imperfections in the paintwork in places that a prospective owner might choose to improve - however this is nothing serious and the bodyshell is in a very solid state overall, with new outer sills having been fitted in the past and aluminium doors and bonnet having been fitted during its last full overhaul. Underneath the car, the entirety of the shell is painted body colour and all of the parts appear to be very presentable.

The vendor advises that during its race preparation process the car has been finished to the highest standard that meets the stringent FIA regulations.

- Full FIA approved zero-timed Craig Beck Racing Engine

- Fully rebuilt straight cut close ratio gearbox

- Welded in Custom Cages 6-point roll cage

- Bespoke wiring loom throughout

The competition-spec interior features a Cobra Evolution racing seat, 4-point racing harness and a period Moto-Lita steering wheel. In typical lightweight racing practice, the second seat has been removed and replaced with a fully functioning fire extinguisher in the footwell which may be uncomfortable for any passengers!

If you are looking for an iconic historic ‘touring car’ with a great history and built to a very competitive specification, you need not look further than this fantastic Lotus Cortina that could easily compete in the upcoming 2024 season!

For more information, please contact:
Lucas Gomersall
07484 082430


All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 13th Mar, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click here: Enter Your Classic Motorcar 

All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

To take part in the live online bidding please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page  Register to Bid


Tues 12th March from 12pm
Wed 13th March from 9am

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