Want A Lotus Clone? 1965 Ford Cortina GT

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Here’s the answer if you really want a Mk. I Lotus Cortina like the one sold recently through the site but don’t have the budget for a real one. This 1965 Ford Cortina GT is a warehouse find that both has extra parts but is incomplete in other areas. It’s located in Birmingham, Michigan and is listed for sale here on eBay, where the buy-it-now is $3,000, but bidding is starting at $1,500. Thanks to Jim S. for sending in this find!

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Right away, you’ll notice that the car was originally maroon, that there are some creases down the right side that will take some finessing to get back out, and that the shell is relatively solid. It’s actually a “rust-free” California car that has been warehouse stored for a while.

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While it may be “rust free”, I see surface rust at least in this dent in the right rear. I’m hoping this panel is easy to get to from the inside, as this will be a difficult repair even with access.

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Unfortunately, while the car was in storage, some things went missing, including the complete drive train, side trim, gauges, trunk lock, and windscreen moldings. Some of those may be difficult to find. I’m wondering if would be better used in a “re-shelling” operation for someone’s rusty Mark 1 (not giving advice, and of course there may be legal issues with that). This car also doesn’t come with a title, making putting it back on the road that much more difficult.

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The seats are original Mark 1 seats, but they didn’t come from this car. The original red rear seat is in the car. On the right, I’m wondering if we need to hold a Barn Finds Webinar on rust identification, because either I’m blind or someone’s discovered paint that looks just like rust! The seller suggests purchasing either the original type cross flow Ford drive train they have or a Duratec/Mazda 6-speed combination that they also have to re-engine the shell, but I think there are enough other missing components that I’d be looking for a rusty parts car, preferably with a title! Which avenue would you follow if you were to take on this project? Would you make it into a Lotus Cortina clone, or go in another direction? And what does the term “rust free” mean to you?

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Comments

  1. sir mike

    First the original motor was a 1500cc non-crossflow.As for the missing parts you need to join the Cortina list.A lot of know how and good used parts for the MK1.And most body panels still made in England,This one needs saved.

  2. mike young

    I have a nice grille for one if anyone needs one (had a few Lotus Cortinas years ago)….

    • Cortinageff

      Do you still parts available for the Cortina MK 1?

  3. Wayne Thomas

    EcoBoost 4cyl for the win!

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Absolutely!

  4. Bobsmyuncle

    That dent is no biggie, any decent body man can pull that out with a stud welder or other methods. Any repair will need filler so its just a matter of how much.

  5. rancho bella

    Easy enough to do an engine. Ford started making new Kent blocks about four years ago. Either I’m getting to old or to critical.

    It seems like a lot of work and money. I sure do like the round tail light version.

  6. hans grafftenberg

    You guys seem awfully critical of the sellers rust free claim. I would never consider surface rust as a rust issue. Here in Cincinnati as long as it hasnt rusted all the way to the door handles there is still hope for it. You dry climate boys are spoiled!

  7. Xander

    I’m almost positive I met the gentleman who owns this car at our local C&C. If so, he’s a really nice guy with a lot of enthusiasm for these cars.

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