A FAMOUS 1966 ‘Works’ Ford Lotus Cortina and the only Studebaker Lark Daytona 500 in Europe grabbed the front row of the grid at the Silverstone Auctions event held at the Autosport International on 12th January 2019.
One of just three ‘Group 5’ works cars built by Lotus for the 1966 British Touring Car Championship, this car was driven by many of the world’s greatest drivers, including Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jacky Ickx.
The Ford Lotus Cortina with registration number PHK 614D, was built in March 1966 and immediately assigned to Formula 1 World Champion Jim Clark for use at a rain interrupted meeting at Oulton Park. It was raced throughout 1966 by fellow Formula 1 drivers Peter Arundell and Jacky Ickx, who took the car to second in class finishes at Snetterton, Goodwood and Silverstone.
In June 1966, the Lotus Cortina underwent an engine conversion by BRM to fuel injection before racing at the British Grand Prix support race at Brands Hatch, where Sir John Whitmore won his class and finished fourth overall.
The fast Ford went on to achieve further podium positions and class wins in the hands of Peter Arundell at the Brands Hatch Guards International Meeting, at Oulton Park and in the British Touring Car Championship, taking Team Lotus to first place in the Lombank Entrants Trophy.
In 1967 the car appeared in its last works event, finishing its Team Lotus career on a high with World Champion Graham Hill taking it to first in class and second overall in the Race of Champions held at the British Brands Hatch circuit.
“We’re delighted to be offering this amazing Lotus Cortina at our inaugural Autosport International Sale,” said Lionel Abbott, classic car specialist, Silverstone Auctions. “With its impressive history, it’s a fantastic addition to the sale catalogue and a sign of what’s to come.”
“Given its exceptional rarity, competition successes and association with World Champions, this amazing Lotus Cortina offers a fantastic opportunity to acquire one of the most significant sports touring cars of the 1960s,” he added.
After eight more competitive finishes in 1967 and 1968, the car went to new owners in Africa, spending many years there until it was purchased by Cedric Selzar, Jim Clark’s race mechanic who brought it back to the UK.
Following a restoration it presents in authentic condition still with its original shell and with the race modifications to the suspension and the engine of the time.
It also comes with its works competition history in 1966, 1967 and 1968 as well as a small number of spares.
The other incredibly rare offering was a 1965 Studebaker Lark Daytona 500 race car.
One of only four in existence and the only example in Europe, it has raced competitively at top level historic events over the last decade.
“This car is not only exceptionally rare, it is a highly developed and extremely competitive car that is both beautifully prepared and expertly engineered,” said Lionel Abbott. “It’s one of the finest race cars in the auction and is sure to attract the eye of the many show goers at the fantastic Autosport International show.” It sold for AUD$302,000.
Built in 1965 at Studebaker's South Bend, Indiana plant, the Daytona was converted to racecar spec in the UK.
Finished in White it houses a freshly prepared Chevrolet V8 which produces a sizeable 430hp.
As the only racing Lark Daytona 500 in Europe, the car has been invited to compete at Goodwood five times over the last decade, gaining regular top finishes in the Pierpoint Cup, the Jack Sears Trophy and the St. Mary’s Trophy.
At the Goodwood Revival 2018, it qualified third overall and finished second overall in the St. Mary’s Trophy celebrity race.
The car is offered with a host of comprehensive spares including 12 wheels and tyres, two limited slip differentials, spare body panels for front guards, doors, bonnet and boot (including moulds where appropriate) and a range of other assorted components.
Passed in, it now sports a AUD$205,000 price tag.