Lotus Cortina, what are they worth? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Lotus Cortina, what are they worth?

*I merged this from an original "want to buy" thread in the "Lotus Cars Wanted" forum. I thought I'd start my own thread. Rorays thread remains in Lotus Cars Wanted.
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I hate to drag this thread up, but what is a Ford Lotus Cortina worth in street/race condition?

Someone I know is selling one, a 1967. For the most part it looks like it's been sitting in a warehouse for 40 years. Rust, loads of corrosion on the dirty motor. Interior is moldy and a mess . Dash steeering wheel etc, are there, but in very rough condition. Wheels are original but sitting on flat tires for who knows how long. Exterior has rusted scraps and rusty "cracks" on it. Dont know how far these cracks extend into the bodywork under the paint. All Lotus Emblems are still there, but look rough. It's pretty darn rough to say the least. They dont even know if it runs.

They're wanting $15,000 for just the above. However I looked on racecars for sale.net etc and found restored Cortinas for $18,000 in racing and street condition.

Am I missing something?

Last edited by OneFastLotus; 04-19-2008 at 08:05 PM.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OneFastLotus View Post
I hate to drag this thread up, but what is a Ford Lotus Cortina worth in street/race condition?

Someone I know is selling one, a 1967. For the most part it looks like it's been sitting in a warehouse for 40 years. Rust, loads of corrosion on the dirty motor. Interior is moldy and a mess . Dash steeering wheel etc, are there, but in very rough condition. Wheels are original but sitting on flat tires for who knows how long. Exterior has rusted scraps and rusty "cracks" on it. Dont know how far these cracks extend into the bodywork under the paint. All Lotus Emblems are still there, but look rough. It's pretty darn rough to say the least. They dont even know if it runs.

They're wanting $15,000 for just the above. However I looked on racecars for sale.net etc and found restored Cortinas for $18,000 in racing and street condition.

Am I missing something?
What you are missing is the that guy thinks he has something that he does not. A Lotus Cortina is worth 14.5K to 17K depending condtion from a good daily driver to a more restored example.

Not seeing the you are talking about, but to guess....3-5K if the rust is not bad.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 04:46 PM
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Here is a Lotus Cortina on Ebay that is mint and has a but it now price of nearly $60k

http://bringatrailer.com/?p=672

Here is another for $60k http://bringatrailer.com/?p=530

I would think a mediocre Lotus Cortina would be at least $30k
Were they regular Cortinas you were looking at?


Here is a regular Cortina, albeit with the wrong engine for $14.5k http://bringatrailer.com/?p=661

It is perhaps a bit much to ask $15k for a car in the condition you describe though IMO

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 07:16 PM
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 07:18 PM
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 07:24 PM
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 07:32 PM
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 08:46 PM
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Contact Hayes Harris at WireWheel in Delray Beach, Fl. to get his general view of what a Lotus Cortina in this kind of shape might fetch. There doesn't seem to be much on this car that does not require major attention, and you've not posted any pix of the frame/underbody/suspension.

I cannot imagine a Lotus Cortina, even fully restored, actually bringing $60K, asking price notwithstanding. That's about what a nice (if not perfect) Type 14 Elite would bring.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 08:53 PM
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Yeah, I tend to doubt anything will come of this. The owners think they have something VERY special. I've been told there has been "international interest" in the car, and the lowest offer so far is $15,000 which I"m not willing to pay.

They dont even know if it still runs.

Kind of sad.





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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 08:56 PM
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They tend to go $16k-$22k, race-prepped with a pedigree.
A roller is might be worth up to $2k, depending on condition.

I looked into them for vintage racing at one point.


You're not missing anything - just another case of someone who thinks they're sitting on a goldmine. Meanwhile, what could be a nice car for someone willing to put in the time, shamefully rots.


If it's complete, the engine isn't seized, and there's no major bends or rust through in the chassis, I'd give them a standing offer of $2k.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 10:27 PM
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Iíd say at $15k that car is fairly priced at the upped end of the market. With less than 2500 (about 200 of those being LHD) Mk1 Lotus Cortinaís built back in the day genuine cars are becoming very hard to find. In todayís market a solid street car will easily bring US$30k-$40k here in the states.

In fact with core engines valued at $3k-$4k, steering wheels going for $1.5k, dash binnacles with gauges commanding $1k, rolling shells $3k-$4k and all of the other unique parts combined it could probably be parted out for a profit.

Btw: the car listed is actually a 1966.

For more information check out:

http://www.lotuscortina.net/Homex.html

http://lotus-cortina.com/

Currently in the garage ...
1957 VW Beetle Ragtop
1964 Morris Mini Cooper
1966 Lotus Cortina (Type 28)
1968 Honda S800M Coupe
2005 Lotus Elise - SOLD (why did I do that?)
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 05:04 AM
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U.S. LoCort's

The numbers produced are quite small, some feel they are nothing more than a Cortina with a twin cam engine. Others will disagree but the fact is itís a Ford unibody shell with Lotus running gear. The front suspension is different than the stock Cortina with the Struts, draglink, transverse control arms, steering box (U.S. models may have the GT box with 3.5 turns lock to lock) steering arms all being different. The rear suspension on the U.S. models is very similar, possible the same as the GT with the exception of the rear drive axles. The example listed has plenty of issues but doesn't look to be messed with in the way most early Lotus cars with limited parts availability. All of these Lotus Cortina mk1's were assembled in the Lotus Factory at Cheshunt. With Fordís infusion of cash, it probably kept Lotus afloat in a very difficult time (they were flat broke after the Elite) and the Elan was just starting production along side of the Lotus Cortina at the same time. In Fact to appease Ford the first production Twin Cam was installed in a LoCort. Without both of these models there would never have been the Esprit, Elise, or Exige. Total production for the mk1 Lotus Cortina was as best as I can find somewhere around 3300 units, Left Hand Drive accounted for 650 to maybe 700 units, of these the numbers that Ford acknowledges being imported is 186. Corrosion has seen to it that many that were delivered into the rust belt were scrapped, most were just raped of engine and gearbox and left for dead. I keep a loose registry of U.S. delivered mk1 LoCorts and folks have given me information on about 100, most of them are in southwest and few exist outside of that area. You won't be passing another on the open road. Probably less remain today than early Lotus Eliteís.

As far as the one that this topic was started about, its not that bad of an example (I live in Massachusetts where rust kills all) I saw it and posted links to most of the sites that are concerned with them. I didn't call the owner for info as I already have too many projects to finish.

Gary E. Anderson
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by garyeanderson View Post
The rear suspension on the U.S. models is very similar, possible the same as the GT with the exception of the rear drive axles.

Gary E. Anderson
Did they not use the "A" frame suspension on US models then?

'06 LRG Elise...
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 06:41 AM
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Gary knows his stuff regarding these cars. And I stand corrected in terms of production numbers.

Bottom line is all Cortina's are getting very hard to find and a solid Lotus Cortina an even greater challenge.

Currently in the garage ...
1957 VW Beetle Ragtop
1964 Morris Mini Cooper
1966 Lotus Cortina (Type 28)
1968 Honda S800M Coupe
2005 Lotus Elise - SOLD (why did I do that?)
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 06:47 AM
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Did they not use the "A" frame suspension on US models then?
The rear "A" frame suspension was discontinued a year or two before the LoCort was imported to the States.

My understanding is all "A" frame cars were RHD.

Currently in the garage ...
1957 VW Beetle Ragtop
1964 Morris Mini Cooper
1966 Lotus Cortina (Type 28)
1968 Honda S800M Coupe
2005 Lotus Elise - SOLD (why did I do that?)
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 08:54 AM
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The rear "A" frame suspension was discontinued a year or two before the LoCort was imported to the States.

My understanding is all "A" frame cars were RHD.
U.S. delivered LoCorts never had A-frames rear suspension. This was dropped in or around July of 65 and the U.S. model didnt start until September of 1965 so there was no overlap. There were a handful (20 just guessing) that were privately imported before that. I do not know if any of the LHD cars had A-frames or not but I do not think that any were built that way. That is a good question that I need to look into.
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 05:56 AM
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Ah,

So the US only received the later model with the full width grille...

A friend of mine in the UK had one that was so immaculate it was thought that it had been rebodied at some time. He wanted to make sure that, if so, they'd used the right shell. He was told that apart from the "A" frame - the early Lotus had a different pedal box. Everything checked out.

Looking at the engine in the picture reminded me that one day he had a bad engine earth - resulting in a spark across the choke cable - which ran next to the carbs - which spat out a blast of gas/air - which ignited and set fire to the engine bay.

Just back from the body shop his wife left it outside the school where she was dropping off her kids. While she was away two guys turned up in overalls - one unlocked the door (not difficult at all) and started the engine. A passerby who knew the car leaned in and asked what was going on. The guy calmly told her they were collecting it, as arranged, to take it for a new exhaust.

My friend never saw it again.

Looking at the car in the picture - it would be a braver man than I that took that on.
Turrents need immediate attention.
I presume that a reinforcement plate would be unacceptable for a "proper" restoration so there's a bit of work there.

'06 LRG Elise...
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 10:50 PM
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A couple of points... wheels are not original. The originals were 5 1/2" steel stamped wheels with small domed "dog dish" hubcaps. Plus, it's not a '67, or at least that's my understanding. The Mk 1's were finished in '66 and the Mk2 came out in '67. The Mk.2's are not as desirable because they were heavier and not as good looking IMHO.

I certainly wouldn't spend my 15k on this car, it looks like it needs a great deal and the parts for these cars are often very difficult to find and expensive. Even things like the front bumper(s), which this car needs are pricey. I had a chance to buy a running Lotus Cortina about 7 years ago for $15K that needed an engine overhaul and walked away from it. The engine pieces, assuming the head isn't cracked, would have been a couple of grand, plus the machine shop work.

As an owner of an original '66 LoCort I wish I had mine back.

Real race cars don't have fenders or doors..... O.K., maybe fenders!
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2008, 04:06 AM
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I have an article on the Lotus Cortina from The UK "Car" magazine dated June 1967, if there is interest I will scan and post? Actually, this issue is devoted to Lotus, fun stuff. Another interesting item is that the Mk2 was built by Ford, not Lotus, and was named the "Cortina Lotus", not the "Lotus Cortina" and conseuently did not have a Lotus type number. In other words, the Mk1 was a Lotus, but the Mk2 was not.

Last edited by SirLotus; 07-12-2008 at 05:04 AM.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-14-2008, 10:17 AM
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A couple of points... wheels are not original. The originals were 5 1/2" steel stamped wheels with small domed "dog dish" hubcaps. Plus, it's not a '67, or at least that's my understanding. The Mk 1's were finished in '66 and the Mk2 came out in '67. The Mk.2's are not as desirable because they were heavier and not as good looking IMHO.

I certainly wouldn't spend my 15k on this car, it looks like it needs a great deal and the parts for these cars are often very difficult to find and expensive. Even things like the front bumper(s), which this car needs are pricey. I had a chance to buy a running Lotus Cortina about 7 years ago for $15K that needed an engine overhaul and walked away from it. The engine pieces, assuming the head isn't cracked, would have been a couple of grand, plus the machine shop work.

As an owner of an original '66 LoCort I wish I had mine back.
I think what I find the most interesting about your post is your perception of its condition. As someone who was born in Michigan and spent the rest of my life living in Massachusetts this car is in pretty good shape. As you from Arizona seem to have written it off. I guess its all about the numbers, 186 LHD U.S. delivered by Ford, less than 700 LHD and a total of around 3300 that were assembled in Cheshunt at the Lotus Factory. If you take into account that A) they didn't sell well in the U.S. at over $3500 when new 2) the limited number left in existence due to rot and being cannibalized for the drivetrain I find them to be undervalued and availability on pare with the early Elites. If you don't own one now than you may have missed the boat as I don't think the prices are heading downward.

Gary

p.s. - the asking price was raised to $20K after the first advertisement on Craigslist. I don't know if it sold or not but two Cortina enthusiasts from Norway were going to take a look at it on there way across the U.S. with their over valued Euro lined pockets.
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