World’s only mk1 Lotus Cortina convertible? The rarest garage find Ford

From The Late Brake Show.

World’s only mk1 Lotus Cortina convertible? The rarest garage find Ford. It is believed that this is the only true Lotus Cortina mk1 that was factory convertible converted by the Crayford coachbuilders from new. It is a 1963 model, which was the first year of Lo-Tina production.

This Crayford had already been pulled out of its long time garage hibernation during Britain’s Pandemic lock-down, but due to rarity value (and the fact it was left by Andy exactly as it emerged) we felt the opportunity was too special to pass up on. 

Jonny could understand why people paid to cut roofs off cars, but a Lotus Cortina? Really? A car with aluminium lightweight panels and agile Chapman tweaked suspension, with weight added in order to stop the roofless car folding like a newspaper. It made no sense. Colin Chapman would have had a heart attack. But yet here it is, having been hidden away after what sounded like a pub landlord drink-drive incident. 

To read more about Andy Morrell’s Lotus Cortina collection and to get a bonus feature centring around oddball Lotus collaborations, head over and join our Patreon gang:

Production numbers
Cortina Lotus Mk1 years produced 1963 – 1966 Cars produced 3301
Cortina Lotus Mk2 years produced 1967 – 1970 Cars produced 4032

Tech spec
Year 1963
Model. Consul Cortina Lotus Special Equipment Crayford Convertible
Capacity. 1558cc
Power. 105bhp (in standard spec)
Performance. 0-60 =11 sec
Top Speed. 108mph
Suspension. Rear Colin Chapman design ‘A’ Bracket locating on axle and underbody
Body. Aluminium Doors, Bonnet and Boot
Gearbox. High Ratio with Aluminium bellhousing, remote gear-change mechanism and tail-shaft achieving 45mph in 1st gear. Special (one-off?) gearbox with Laycock De Normanville overdrive

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Filmed by Edited by: Phil Vaughn Pritchard
Thumbnail by: Matt Tarrant
Jonny Smith
Creative content maker, car presenter & car pervert for hire since ’98

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