1969 Lotus Cortina MK2 Ex Colin ChapmanSOLD
This is a really special Lotus Cortina, it was owned by Colin Chapman when new and retained by Lotus until 1998. It is finished to his unique specification and is in virtually unrestored original condition having covered only 24,000 miles from new.
The car was presented to Lotus founder Colin Chapman by Ford in 1969 to mark many years of happy association culminating in the sale of the rights to Ford for the iconic Twincam engine.
Colin loved the car and drove it enthusiastically for several years covering some 14,200 miles before placing it in the Lotus Factory Museum where it remained until the collection was offered for sale in 1997.
This Lotus Cortina found a home with great car enthusiast Jamie Kitman, based in New York, a lawyer, pop impresario and manager of the band ‘They May Be Giants’ and a well-known writer for several motoring magazines, including the authoritative Car Magazine in the UK and Automobile Magazine.
Following purchase, Kitman immediately sent the car to the highly respected Lotus experts, Paul Matty Sports Cars in the Midlands, for a full evaluation and re-commission. They found the car to be in amazingly good original order. Correspondence, invoices and photographs on file document the car before the work and the detail of what was done. The engine bay was stripped out, glass removed and a full bare metal repaint completed in the original shade of Amber Gold. The original body and all panels were found to be in excellent condition. New rubbers were fitted and all mechanical issues addressed.
The car was then shipped to New York and Kitman enjoyed his new car, covering some 10,000 miles. It is a rare car in the UK and even rarer in the US and hence was much commented on in its many appearances at a number of events. Shortly after arriving it featured at the Greenwich Concours D’Elegance and was driven by Kitman to Detroit where it was displayed next to Sir John Whitmore’s championship winning Alan Mann Lotus Cortina.
It also featured in a number of articles in motoring magazines including Automobile Magazine, May and December 1999, Lotus Magazine and notably, in Car Magazine in October 1999, in an extensive spread titled Harlem Globetrotter in which Kitman drives the car through Central Manhattan. His references to an Englishman in New York and a stunning set of illustrations are fantastic.
Kitman used the car carefully and also had it properly maintained whilst in the US with a number of specialists as detailed in invoicing on file.
In 2014 Kitman returned the car to the UK for sale and it was purchased without delay by an English collector who has an eye for rare and original cars. He used the car little but looked after it very carefully in a dry temperature-controlled environment.
Hairpin purchased the car from this gentleman several years ago and sold it to the last owner very quickly again a UK based collector of some years standing who appreciated both the originality and history. During his ownership the Lotus Cortina was featured in an in-depth article in Octane Magazine, written by noted motoring writer, Mark Dixon.
We have recently re-purchased the car and it has just been fully inspected and serviced.
So, a unique and famous Lotus Cortina MK2 with just four owners, the first being the illustrious Colin Chapman, it has covered 24,000 miles, has a great history and is in very good and remarkably original order. A rare find that still drives like a new example as only a little used original car can.