In 1963 Ford and Lotus got together to produce the classic, race winning Lotus Cortina. Ford supplied the basic two door Cortina shell, with front suspension to the Lotus factory at Cheshunt. Here Lotus installed its own 105 bhp twin cam engine, close ratio four speed gearbox and special rear suspension comprising coil springs, radius arms and an A bracket for maximum effect. Sitting lower on wider wheels and fitted with front disc brakes, all MK 1 Lotus Cortinas were painted cream with a green flash down their flanks, and featured split front bumpers and a matt black front grille, making them instantly identifiable. Light and powerful, the Lotus Cortina was an instant winner in saloon car racing and was particularly memorable in the hands of Grand Prix ace Jim Clark. Its rallying prowess was initially held back by its unreliable A frame rear suspension, but this reverted to semi elliptics in 1956. Just 3301 examples of the car were built. The Mk I was replaced by the MK II in 1967 with all new body work but basically similar underpinnings. The engine was very unique, which was installed in line four cylinder capable of producing 1558 cc, monocoque, two door chassis were fitted in the car. The ride was fully equipped with disc drum brakes, four speed manual speed transmission, with independent front and rear suspension.
Power went up slightly to 109 bhp, and a limited slip differential and an oil cooler found their way on to the options lists. The cream with green flash livery was no longer obligatory, which pleased many people, but dismayed purists. The MK II was slightly quicker than the MK I version, but has not proved to be as sought after in classic car terms.