1965 Lotus Cortina
Total restoration


Specification (briefly) for this project is as follows:

Total restoration of matching number car to mostly original specifications. The car will be painted back to its original Ermine White with Sherwood Green stripes.


The power of the Internet...
I was recently contacted by a gentleman called Mike Morgan, who had owned and enjoyed our Lotus Cortina in the 1970's. Curious as to what had become of his old car, Mike put the power of the Internet to work and found his former ride looking back at him from these pages.

Mike told me how he had put the original 'remote shift' transmission for the Lotus in the basement of his former home in San Diego, California, leaving it behind when he sold the house and retired to Mexico a few years back. Armed with the name (Dan Vincent) and email address of the person who bought Mike's house, I fired off a hopeful inquiry and was delighted to hear back from Mr. Vincent the same day. He said that he didn't think there was a transmission in his basement, but that he would investigate further when he returned home from a trip a few days later.

Shortly thereafter, Dan got back in touch and reported that he had indeed found the transmission languishing in his basement, along with a Lotus Cortina grill. Furthermore, he kindly agreed to pack everything up and ship it to me!

So, thanks to the power of the Internet, and the enthusiasm and kindness of two complete strangers, my car now boasts its original, matching number gearbox.

Original transmission re-united with car

We have now received the car back after being media blasted, and thankfully there were no nasty surprises. The blasting process revealed a couple of fairly crude patches in both doors and both rear wings, but other than that, everything was pretty much as expected. In the next week or so we will get the body restoration underway.

Back from the blaster!
Main floors are pretty solid
Area beneath rear seat also
in good shape



Both doors have been patched but
are not in bad shape
Engine bay is amazingly clean
Car and panels sealed in etching



Boot aperture lip will require
Engine bay almost as new


With the body off being blasted back to bare metal, we have been busy trying to make one good bonnet and one good boot lid out of two pretty nasty examples of each.
Lotus horn button not perfect,
has a nice patina
Wood will be refinished
Rear edge brace on underside
of bonnet is nasty

Better example from parts car
will be transplanted

Front edge also in need of help

Replacement panel sourced
from parts car
Rear corners of boot lid require
similar surgery

Stripping sound deadening
from underside of roof
 Off to the blaster!


We have now removed the engine and drive train and hoisted the car on a rotisserie jig. We will be sand blasting the monocoque next week...

 Steering wheel boss will
be restored
Wheel has been sanded down 
Removing drive train 


Monocoque now on rotisserie

 Underside is actually very solid
 Ready for sand blasting


All that remains is to remove the engine, transmission and suspension before the car can be placed on a rotisserie jig...

 Dash now completely stripped

Not much left in engine bay
Timing chain cover damaged

I am pleased to report that we now have this restoration underway. Our first task is to completely disassemble everything and build a rotisserie jig that will accommodate the monocoque while we deal with the tin worm.
 Stripping out the dash
Disassembly underway! 



 Labeling all the fasteners as the
car comes apart
Chrome cantrail trim removed 



 The round hole is factory, the
large jagged one isn't
 Front and rear screens will be 
 Original Ermine White has
a creamy hue



 Note position of ground
strap under rear floor




 Roll cage cut away


The Lotus has arrived safely at CJ in Austin, Texas and we will have the restoration underway very shortly.
 As delivered
Bonnet has been vandalized 
 Incorrect steering wheel will be
with Lotus wood rim



 Sherwood Green visible
yellow stripes
Rear shock towers are in
good shape



 Cylinder head currently removed
Note damage (marked X)



 Only rust in engine bay is
inside the engine block !
Both front shock towers are
rust free



 Original data plate will be



 Chassis # also stamped by front
hand shock tower
 Correct Lotus woodrim wheel
will be restored



 Wood not cracked but lacquer
wrinkled with age
 Also received correct center boss
and wooden shift knob
 More Sherwood Green



 New gas tank arrived nicely
 New dash binnacle obtained
in England



Rear floors are very solid
Boot lid lip is VERY rusty
Ironically rusty California
license plate



 Center console not correct for 
Lotus Cortina
 Carlos removing the interior



 More Ermine White beneath
 Floors are amazingly solid

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