UPDATE: The car has sold within one week to a Barn Finds reader. Thanks Andy!
We feel very honored to feature this car. Not only is a Lotus Cortina a very special car, but this particular one has a very special story behind it. This car has not been offered for sale anywhere else, so this is a great opportunity anyone in the market for a high performance sports sedan. This car was owned by Kevin Corcoran (the famous boy actor who starred in Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinson, and many more) for almost 40 years! Kevin recently passed away though so his friend Andy S is assisting with the sale of the car. So, keep reading to learn more about this great car.
Here’s the story in Andy’s own words:
This 1966 Lotus Cortina was owned by my friend Kevin Corcoran for almost 40 years. Kevin drove the car daily for years, but after the Northridge earthquake in 1994 he parked the car to focus on rebuilding his home. Months turned into years, and before he knew it the car had been parked for 21 years.
Kevin and I talked often about reviving his beloved Cortina for years, so after he was diagnosed with cancer, we pulled the car out of storage and sent it to Santo’s Italian Car Service. Santo has been taking care of Kevin’s GTV since he bought it new (that all original one owner car is another story!). Santo agreed to get the Cortina back in driving condition, brakes, carburetors, fluids, and fuel tank were renewed, new tires were installed.
My plan was to get the car running and do a paint detail and touch up the left front fender and lower right fender, repaint the green stripe the proper color, and reupholster the dash. I knew we would not have enough time for a complete restoration. Santo’s shop was busy with many restoration projects and the mechanical rejuvenation of the Cortina took much longer then anticipated. The car was returned to Kevin’s home five days before he passed away. He heard it run and saw it in the driveway on his last trip from home to the hospital. I never got to go for that ride in the Cortina that had meant so much to him.
I am selling the Cortina on behalf of his widow. This Cortina is one of only 186 LHD imported into the USA. According to Ford 3,300 total units were made and approximately 650-700 were LHD. This car was in dry storage, but unfortunately there was a leak in the storage building and the bottom of the left front fender has some rust. The rust is in the fender only. The left front fender was exposed to the sun through a window and the paint has cracked and checked. The car runs very well, drives very nice, and is a super dry, solid unmolested example that can be cleaned up as-is or be a nice restoration candidate.
I have been restoring cars for almost 40 years and this is a very good car. I would love to keep it and restore it as a tribute to my friend, but I have too many cars of my own and am just not feeling the Cortina love – its not my type of car. I have attached some pictures and would like to realize the best return for Kevin’s widow.
That tale alone would make this car special, but lets talk a little bit more what makes a Lotus Cortina such a big deal. Lotus had been using Coventry Climax engines in their cars until the early sixties when Colin Chapman asked Harry Mundy to design a twin cam version of Ford’s four cylinder. Things worked out well because the engine went great in the Elan and Ford even asked Chapman to slap one into their Cortina sedan. The guys at Lotus proceeded to install the engines and make extensive tweaks to the suspension. Some subtle touches were made inside and a serious competitor was born.
This new sedan was a formidable foe on the race track and rally course. It wasn’t the best formula for reliable daily driver though so, although popular, not a lot were sold. Andy already mentioned the relative rarity of these cars. Luckily, many of the parts are standard Cortina and there are plenty of specialists out there to provide the Lotus bits. This car needs some cosmetic attention as already mentioned. The dash pad needs replaced and there’s a little rust on one fender and some sun damage on another. Obviously, Kevin loved this car and enjoyed it to its fullest. The dash plaques and long-term ownership prove that point.
Hopefully we can help Andy find an owner who is equally enthusiastic. A lot of work has already been done to get the car running again and I don’t think it would take much to make this a respectable driver. You can
email Andy here if you’re interested in giving this very special Cortina a good home. Just be sure to tell ’em that Barn Finds sent ya!