Unique Lotus Cortina Shooting Brake for sale

A Lotus Cortina Shooting Brake? Likely the only one of its kind, this practical performance car was constructed with Colin Chapman levels of detail

You know those unusual combinations that somehow just work? Stuff like peanut butter and jam, or chilli and chocolate… Well, a star car currently in our classifieds could be seen as the automotive equivalent. We all know about the famed Lotus Cortina, but how about a Lotus Cortina Shooting Brake?

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Initially, you might think that such a thing would be an abomination, a Frankenstein creation that would have every Lotus fan grabbing pitchforks. However, this perfectly executed modification was designed, engineered, and fabricated with Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s ethos.

The original Lotus Cortina was born out of Ford’s desire to take the Cortina racing in Group 2 guise. The blue oval and Lotus already had a strong engineering relationship and so Ford tasked Colin Chapman with creating a twin-cam engine for a fast homologated Cortina. The end result was the Ford Cortina Lotus with 3,300 of the Mark 1 being built. It proved so popular that a Mark 2 followed that sold in even greater numbers.

This shooting brake started life as a Ford Cortina Wagon, but then Lotus restorer Bob Herzog got his hands on it with a vision to create a more practical variant of the Lotus. Herzog already had a wealth of experience with Cortinas and set about the task while religiously documenting the process.

The engine is sourced from a Caterham, but the 1.7-litre unit has been given hotter cams, twin-Weber carburettors and hand-made headers. A five-speed Merkur gearbox was then adapted and installed into the hot estate car. The suspension has received the Lotus treatment with MacPherson struts, thicker sway bar, short Lotus front springs, and Spax shocks.

Now up to speed in terms of equipment under the skin, Herzog finished the car off with oak cargo strips on the inside and that distinctive livery that we know and love on the outside. All that was left to do was fix the hard-earned Lotus badging. All the hard work paid off when the car won the Best of Show award at the Chicago British Car Festival.

The car is in perfect working order and had any corrosion issues addressed when the body was stripped and primed for its current paintwork, according to its listing. The gaskets of the side windows are a bit dry, but other than that minor detail, it’s ready to be enjoyed.

This Lotus currently has 1426-miles showing on the clock with the advert stating that it has only been ‘lightly used’ over the past two years. The car also comes with a copy of the book it inspired “The Lotus Cortina Shooting Brake” along with detailed receipts and descriptions of parts and components used during construction.

The AutoClassics office is besotted with this one-of-kind Cortina, you should be too. $50,000 isn’t an insignificant sum, but it’s a small price to pay for arguably the coolest wagon out there.

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