A 1966 Ford Cortina Lotus, once raced by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Graham Hill, will be on sale in the New Year at the annual Autosport International showcase in the UK.
One of only three 'Group 5' cars commissioned by F1 luminary Colin Chapman and the Lotus F1 Team for 1966, the works Cortina was built specifically to compete in that year's British Saloon Car Championship, a forerunner to the British Touring Car Championship.
Pre-sale estimates are already bouncing around the US$230,000 to US$260,000 mark.
Bear in mind that, before Formula 1 became the über-extravagant marketing juggernaut it is today, it was not unusual for motor racing's greatest drivers to pull double duty throughout the year, or during race weekends themselves.
Mario Andretti famously balanced a part-time F1 campaign from 1968 to 1974 while competing full-time for the USAC Championship Car, while fellow F1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart crossed the Atlantic 87 times in 1971 to fulfill both his Tyrell and American TV commitments. Indeed, by 1966, erstwhile two-time F1 champion Jim Clark had already been crowned champion in the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship.
Aptly, the 'Consul Cortina Developed by Lotus' above, built in March 1966 and powered by a 1,557-cc Ford four-cylinder, was originally assigned to Clark himself for its first outing at Oulton Park, UK, in April only for poor weather to put the kibosh squarely on that. The Cortina's heritage is no less rich, though, given that former F1 podium finisher Peter Arundell and Le Mans legend Jacky Ickx took the Lotus saloon to in-class podiums in the following months at Goodwood and Silverstone.
Its final run under the team Lotus banner was at the hands of '62 (and future '68) champion Graham Hill, the fastest moustache in F1 taking the Cortina to second overall in a support race for the 1967 non-F1 championship 'Race of Champions' at Brands Hatch.
The Cortina's competition history would continue throughout 1967 under the direction of new owner A G Dean Racing Ltd, 'PHK 614D' even finishing third overall in the British Saloon Car Championship in 1968. From there, the Cortina began an unexpected tour of South Africa with new owner Peter Parnell; it remained there until 1997.
Fittingly, the car would be repatriated back to the UK to be fully restored by Clarks' former race mechanic, Cedric Selza. Full circle complete.
Full details of the Cortina's history can be found on the Silverstone Auction website
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British contingent will gladly accept donations.