HOME > Lot 108 - 1965 Lotus Cortina Sports Saloon

Lot 108 - 1965 Lotus Cortina Sports Saloon

Lot 108 - 1965 Lotus Cortina Sports Saloon

  • Further photos added. See comments
  • Rare, genuine original ‘all numbers matching’ example
  • Original chassis plate and build tag
  • ‘Nut and bolt’ restoration recently completed to a very high standard
  • Desirable IWR leaf spring suspension kit fitted in period
  • Estimated at £50,000 to £55,000

SOLD for £51,000


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Here at Berlinetta we put the health and wellbeing of our customers and clients above all else. We therefore continue to follow government advice and take precautions in line with public health guidance on COVID-19 on a daily basis. At present our online auction platform remains open for business as usual but even though buying and selling online is completely safe, inspecting and then collecting your new vehicle demands special care and attention to protect all involved. We have come up with ways of doing this which we believe are 100% safe and which we would be very happy to talk you through in detail, but the headlines are:

  • The extensive photo galleries and super-detailed descriptions we have always provided negate the need to visit in almost all cases (and we have never had a dis-satisfied customer!).
  • If it remains safe to travel then inspections can however still be arranged on a one to one basis.
  • Should further restrictions be applied by the government after you've made a purchase that render collection impossible, or if you would simply rather wait until the situation improves, we can arrange temporary storage and/or professional safe transport for your vehicle.
  • It is therefore both possible and practical to buy a car through Berlinetta and complete the entire process without leaving your home, so don't feel that you can't jump on a bargain if you see one - we are here to help you every step of the way.

Thank you, take care and happy bidding.

How can a man have a wife and a family, and a Lotus?’ Lotus Cars advertisement for the Lotus Cortina, 1965.

As Lotus worked tirelessly in the early 1960s to gain a toe hold in the British car market it was clear that though kudos and some profit was to be had from the specialist sports car market, the Elan and 7 were never going to provide the cash-flow and volume they required to break away from their ‘lock-up round the back of my Dad’s pub’ roots. What was required was a volume seller and when Uncle Henry came looking for a halo car complete with World Champions’ lustre, Lotus were only too delighted to help out, especially when the deal was to add their own brand of magic by bolting bits onto a complete body-shell. Ford delivered painted (just the white though, Lotus had to do the green ‘flashes’ otherwise they wouldn’t have been proper ‘go faster’ would they!) and trimmed shells from their Dagenham plant to the relatively modest Lotus works in Cheshunt, where some of the winning DNA from the pure-bred competition cars being assembled just a brick wall or two away would hopefully rub off on the capable if a little dull family car. Lotus hung race developed suspension on for full three wheel cornering, plumbed in the big brakes and inserted the key to the cars’ performance – the legendary Twin Cam engine along with its associated closer ratio gearbox and prop-shaft. Result? A quick and capable family saloon that Lotus could race on a Sunday and Ford could sell on a Monday - along with bucket loads of 1200 Deluxes.

When this particular Lotus Type 28 (AKA Lotus Cortina or ‘Cortina modified by Lotus’ if you toe the Ford line) rolled down the slightly precarious concrete ramp from the first floor Cheshunt production line in April 1965, the Type 38 was being finished prior to Jim Clark taking it to victory at The Brickyard the following month and Type 25s and 33s were being fettled partway through the Scott’s unprecedented six on the bounce Grand Prix victories that secured him the World Championship that year.

When on the hunt for a Lotus Cortina today, the ‘must haves’ are originality, condition and authenticity and we feel BJC 149C has all three boxes firmly ticked. The cars previous owner searched high and low for an unimpeachable car with all the correct features and this example fulfilled that particularly tall order. Aside from the key well known and documented body modifications the all-important ‘436’ Lotus identifying body tag and of course chassis plate are all present and correct along with the bonus of the red ‘Lotus 3A’ script under the rear parcel shelf trim. Having purchased the Lotus in complete and fairly good condition in 2011, he immediately embarked on a painstakingly thorough rebuild which he describes as, “a full bare shell, nut and bolt restoration”. New genuine Ford panels were used when available (not a cheap option with a front wing coming in at over £1,000) and the finished shell was professionally painted to a very high standard. New bumpers and irons were fitted with the other bright-work being refinished. The original factory fitted Special Equipment engine was rebuilt by Twin-cam guru Don Loughlin (anorak fact, the original Don of Aldon Automotive) retaining its ‘C’ Type camshafts and early style cam cover, finished in the correct SE green. Along with a new clutch, a slightly later Lotus gearbox was fitted providing improved synchromesh and stronger blocker bars, (though the original gearbox is supplied with the car) while the differential was professionally rebuilt. The rest of the running gear was ‘gone through’ and treated to new or reconditioned parts throughout. For the brake system this encompassed discs, pads, callipers, shoes, servo, master and slave cylinders. New Cunifer pipework was installed with Aeroquip lines being used for the flexible sections. New wheel bearings were installed all round along with new Spax gas adjustable rear shock absorbers and correct Lotus front struts. The 5.5J steel wheels were stripped and powder coated before being clad in fresh Dunlop Aquajet 165HR tyres in original 165 profile – in its self a good barometer of the then owner’s diligence and attention to detail. Inside there is a considerable amount of trim, especially set against other Lotus’ of the mid 1960s such as the Elan (not much) and 7 (hardly any), and this was entrusted to experts Aldridge Trimming who renewed virtually everything from the Lodestar headlining down, though the correct Lotus-only front seats (later cars shared their chairs with the lowly GT model) were considered to be in more than acceptable condition, though there is a small nick in the back of the driver’s seat as shown in the photo gallery. A slightly more substantial wood rim steering wheel was fitted but the original, which has been refurbished to a high standard, will be included in the sale should the Lotus clear its reserve. To complete the cabin a new, old stock dashboard was sourced and Lotus Cortina Spares Centre refurbished the dials.

Barely used and still with a proverbial ‘Running in, please pass’ sticker in the rear window, today the body-shell is in excellent order, resplendent in its Ermine White with Sherwood Green flash. Panel gaps and fit are very good and taking a look down the flanks or across the roof, the metalwork is arrow straight with the expertly applied paintwork free of blemishes or any hint of a run. The finish in the less visible areas such as wheel arches and underside is also very good with smooth stone chip resistant protection applied prior to the body colour; a couple of marks possibly caused by jacking the car up are the only detractors. The suspension, brake and drive train components are all finished to a high standard with just a light splatter of road grime here and there.

Being either new or refurbished the bright-work is very good throughout with only a polish of the C-post air vents on the ‘nothing better to-do’ list. Lucas H4 headlights and a Wipac reversing light are nice ‘quality’ touches.

The engine bay is very nicely finished with the servo and twin horns in their correct position, ‘yellow stripe’ vacuum hose, wire hose clips and new or re-plated bonnet prop and catches all showing impressive attention to detail. The Twin Cam itself if one of the sweetest we have encountered, starting on the button and quickly settling to a 900 RPM idle with 40 PSI oil pressure and no rattles or smoke evident.

Now sporting leaf spring rear suspension the April 1965 build date, strengthening kingposts in the boot plus brackets on the body shell and the remains of the same on the axle casing all point to BJC 149C having started life with the desirable if compromised A Frame rear suspension arrangement. Though reliability issues with the earlier setup have make this a not un-common modification, interestingly a previous owner was able to track down the second custodian of the Lotus who confirmed it was in this specification when he bought it back in 1970. Tuning wizards Ian Walker Racing were intrinsically linked to Lotus in the 1960s being virtually the Works B Team in many formulae and they offered a leaf spring conversion which can be differentiated from the Factory version by its lack of radius arms; none are present on BJC 149C.

Two files worth of history accompany the Lotus with a huge number of bills relating to the restoration work carried out which read like a veritable ‘Who’s who’ of the Lotus Cortina world; Aldridge Trimming, Lotus Cortina Spares Centre, QED, Stage 1 Motorsport and Paul Matty to name but a few. As mentioned, the previous owner diligently researched the car’s ownership history via both the DVLA and local authority vehicle registration records and has established that it was sold to the first owner through Jones Brothers, Ford dealers in Llanrwst near Betws-y-coed on 30th June 1965. The extensive documentation relating to this detective work is also on file along with the current V5C. Photos of the Lotus in Germany, when it served as a rather apt support vehicle to an historic race team, are also present along with some German paperwork dating from 1996 to 1998. There are also a couple of photos of it in restoration.

This Lotus Cortina is well known to the Lotus Cortina Register and substantiated by Andy Morrell; a genuine Factory example with period upgrades freshly restored to a very high standard, opportunities such as this do not come up every day.

  • Registration number: BJC 149C
  • Chassis Number: BA 74 EP 59177
  • Engine Number: E 20513


newest first / oldest first

E l l i e b e t h a n 2 

November 29th at 10:03 PM

D B PAUL is my grandfather who owned this vehicle. Can anyone help locate the current owner? Has it been sold again since this auction?

Flag as not constructive

BID OF £32,050.00 PLACED BY nasar@audioimages.co.uk

June 30th at 07 : 56 PM

BID OF £24,058.00 PLACED BY simons3506

June 29th at 11 : 06 PM

B e r l i n e t t a  8

June 29th at 12:27 PM

UPDATED HISTORY We are indebted to Mr Joe Starbuck (STARBJ below) who has provided us with some further detail regarding BJC 149C’s history. He owned the Lotus (back then known as ‘Ella’ for some reason) from 1977 to 1989 and as listed in the cars history file, bought it from a Mr David Hartley of Conwy. Mr Starbuck tells us it was pretty solid when he acquired it but had experienced a slight ‘altercation’ with a telegraph pole necessitating the replacement of a front wing. During his ownership he stripped and restored the body shell and had it repainted at a coachworks in Rhydefelin, Pontypridd, though job and house moves limited progress. With another house move looming in 1989, after drawing up a shortlist of suitable new ‘enthusiast’ owners the project was sold to a Mr Pease of Braintree in Essex. Mr Starbuck is in the process of kindly copying some photos he took during his ownership and these will be added to the Lotus’ history file though we have uploaded a couple of his camera phone shots of the original 1977 snaps to the photo gallery, one showing the ‘Lotus 3A’ inscription on the parcel shelf , a little less faded than it is today. Mr Starbuck also alerted us to the fact that BJC 149C had enjoyed a (perhaps brief) competition career having taken part in the road based Cambrian Rally in March 1968, driven by D B Paul with Bob Ellis-Jones navigating. The Lotus unfortunately retired (as did Skip Brown’s Cooper S by the way, so they were in good company) and the event was won by Colin Malkin driving a Hillman Imp with John Brown on the maps. For this round of the Motoring News Road Rally championship the Lotus was entered under the umbrella of The Caernarvon and Anglesey Motor Club and we are in touch with them to see if they can provide any further information.

Flag as not constructive

BID OF £18,050.00 PLACED BY Abercromby

June 29th at 10 : 40 AM

BID OF £15,550.00 PLACED BY griffo

June 25th at 07 : 12 AM

BID OF £15,050.00 PLACED BY griffo

June 24th at 07 : 07 PM


June 23rd at 07 : 59 PM

B e r l i n e t t a  8

June 23rd at 06:05 PM

That would be great, many thanks indeed. We'll pop them up in the photo gallery for all to enjoy.

Flag as not constructive

S t a r b j  2

June 23rd at 05:07 PM

I do actually have a few photographs of the first strip-down in 1977 when I first acquired BJC . I shall arrange for them to be scanned and then send them on.

Flag as not constructive

B e r l i n e t t a  8

June 23rd at 01:19 PM

Yes, we saw that so wondered if it is a descendant of the 1960's Ford garage. Pretty good buy back in 1977 and we can absolutely guarantee a similar level of appreciation over the next 43 years - maybe! If you are picking lottery numbers would you mind sharing?! Do you have any photos of BJC back then? Many thanks again for the window on the Lotus' earlier life.

Flag as not constructive

S t a r b j  2

June 23rd at 11:31 AM

There is still a Jones Bros MOT Centre in Llanwrst, operated by Mr G Jones, so perhaps it may be the same family? I wonder if the new, very lucky owner will enjoy the same value increase in the future as seen thus far. I paid £700 for the car in 1977 and that included a whole van load of spare parts, most new - Glacier bearing shells, pistons, instruments, cam shafts, clutch and so much more.


Flag as not constructive

B e r l i n e t t a  8

June 23rd at 07:31 AM

Hi STARBJ. Wow, many thanks for this. Great to have a link to her early days and many thanks for the kind words. We believe Jones Brothers are still going in Llanrwst but wonder if anyone can confirm this. It would be fun to reunite you with your car; we'll see what we can do. Many thanks for getting in touch. Best wishes. Berlinetta


Flag as not constructive

BID OF £11,050.00 PLACED BY griffo

June 23rd at 07 : 07 AM

S t a r b j  2

June 22nd at 11:42 PM

The car spent all of its earlier life in Wales, initially from new in N Wales. I bought this car from a private seller in Conwy in 1977. I kept the car in S Wales until 1990 . It is really nice to see it has retained all its originality.


Flag as not constructive

BID OF £11,600.00 PLACED BY Natterjack

June 21st at 05 : 19 PM

BID OF £5,000.00 PLACED BY griffo

June 21st at 05 : 08 PM

BID OF £1,000.00 PLACED BY Natterjack

June 21st at 09 : 02 AM