1970 FORD CORTINA LOTUS Chassis Number: BA91HS25847 Registr...






Chassis Number: BA91HS25847
Registration Number: UPM 85H

- Ex-East Sussex Constabulary Police car 
- Four owner from the new, second owner from 1972 to 2006

Officially named the Ford Lotus Cortina Twin Cam, in order to improve build quality Ford decided the Lotus Cortina Mark II would be built in-house, and would be fitted with a more powerful version (109bhp) of the 1558cc Lotus 'Twin-Cam' engine, a revised 3.77:1 final drive ratio and new remote-control gearchange

Unlike the Mark I, the new model was available in a range of colours, and featured a distinctive black front grille, 5.5J x 13 wheels and Lotus badging to each rear wing. The two-door sports saloon boasted a wider track, larger fuel tank, stiffened suspension and disc / drum brakes. 

The new model provided Ford with a decent competition platform until the arrival of the 'Twin-Cam' Escorts in ‘68. Better built and less temperamental than its forebear, the Ford Cortina Lotus Mark II remained in production until 1970, by which time over 4,032 are thought to have left the Dagenham gates.

Graham Arnold, Lotus Group Sales Director at the time, was inspired by the perceived halo-effect of a Lotus Cortina being publicly used by the police, and so from the mid-1960s a handful appeared on British roads, suitably adorned with “Blues and Twos” and fluorescent stripes on the side. Two four-door chassis were supplied to the Mid-Anglia Constabulary for evaluation for fast patrol and pursuit car use, but the trial never went beyond these two vehicles.

Police Lotus Cortinas were just as fast as the incumbent Jaguars used by the force, with around the same interior space, but with much better handling. Many were driven into the ground in period, later to be sold at auction for around half the price of a regular road car, often ending as donors for other Lotus-engined road cars at the time. As such, very few survive to this day. 

UPM 85H is one of a handful of two-door Cortina Lotus models registered to East Sussex Constabulary in January of 1970, alongside UPM 84H, UPM 91H, and UPM 92H. After only a couple of years the Cortina was traded out of the force and to its second registered keeper, who drove the Cortina regularly until 1989, at which point the car was placed in dry storage for the next 10 years. In around the year 2000, a family wedding was imminent, and so it was decided to refurbish the car in preparation for the big day. New front wings were fitted, and the Cortina’s paintwork was refinished in Ermine White with a green stripe, and the interior refurbished with Recaro cloth seats, replacement Minilite wheels were fitted on each corner, and the steering wheel replaced with a smaller Mountney item. The steering has been improved with an uprated steering rack, the suspension uprated to Bilsteins all round, and a stainless steel exhaust system fitted. The engine was rebuilt and converted for unleaded fuel, and a new clutch fitted.

The Cortina was sold in 2006 to a Mr. Allcott of Plymouth, and once more in 2014 to a Mrs. Joyce also of Plymouth.

In recent times the Lotus has been dry stored, and may now benefit from light recommissioning before being used regularly.

This Cortina Lotus is an extremely rare car and represents a unique opportunity for the serious Ford collector. The Cortina now shows 63,840 miles recorded, and is supplied with a UK V5C, a number of older MoT certificates, and receipts for parts and services during restoration.

Auction Date: 23rd Sep 2023 at 2pm

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Sale Dates:
23rd Sep 2023 2pm (Lots 1 to 39)