29 June 2011

english invasion - Pt I - 1966 Lotus Cortina

Sometimes I wonder which houses are hiding all the secret stashes of cool stuff.
Yeah the majority of people are stuck with honda's and "best buy" junk,
but if even 5% of the population of San Diego County has something cool,
that's 150,000 people.

So on that note,
in a non-descript house in La Mesa,
my aunt and uncle have a serious collection of english cars.

1966 Lotus Cortina

My Uncle Robert is an English transplant,
and is lucky enough to have coerced my Aunt to be as much of a gearhead as he is.

1966 Lotus Cortina

Back in the 60's these little cars ruled the racing circuits and streets.
Basically they took the light Ford Cortina body,
and added a DOHC Lotus Elan engine.

Lotus Engine & suspension stiffener

In a NASCAR like move,
at least 1000 or 2000 of these cars had to be built as stock production cars
to be able to legally race in their "saloon car" class.

Here's the link for a more detailed history.

Cool to see the 7-liter Galaxy racing the 1.6 liter Cortinas!
Watch about the 30 second mark,
these cars were famous for their 3-wheeled turns.

1965 Indianapolis 500 winner badge

True to the Lotus heritage,
my uncle actually races this thing.

battle scars

And sadly it has taken some good spins and some rail scrapes.
Fortunately he's the type to get it repaired ASAP.

sign of a race car

Besides the roll cage,
another trick to call out a race car is that little tab up in the left corner.

body catcher

The upholstered pics are current.
He had it stripped down right after the groundup rebuild as a race only car...

race form

after a year of racing decided to reinstall the original upholstery,
including the back seat.
For a couple times a year racer that seems fine by me!

race fuel tank

Here's some TMI shots.

oil pan baffle

The oil pan looks to be widened but I'm not sure,
there is some custom baffling inside though.
Big carbs and some fat exhaust help a bit too.

full flow exhaust headers

The engine has a ton of internal tricks,
and it sounds very expensive to fix.
There is an adjustable rev limiter on it to help tone it down.

Add caption

Even then he said the shift point is about 7500,
which seems high for a 1966 era car but what do I know.
He said they max out at about 10K for a dialed in engine,
but his rev limiter is set to about 8700.

tire quiver

Some courses have tire restrictions so these are some of the quiver.

last year ready for Laguna Seca

Next time I'll post up the pictures of that green thing next to it.

cortina and morgan



1 comment:

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