Our client had raced his Lotus Cortina when he lived in New Zealand in the 1980s. On his return to the UK the car been stored a long period awaiting restoration. He wanted to carry out the mechanical and interior restoration of the vehicle himself but came to us to repair the shell and paint it with the famous Lotus Ford green stripe.
The shell was in a good overall condition but had the typical decay and rust associated with a 50-year old vehicle. Our fabrication team carried repairs to panels and panel gapped the vehicle. We noted that the area where the battery sits was incorrect and we sourced a series 2 battery tray and fabricated the correct rear wheel well.
The finished shell was prepped and painted by our paint team in the signature Lotus Cortina ‘Ermine White’ with the correct satin black interior paint features on the dashboard and door trims. The famous ‘Sherwood Green’ stripe was a topic of much debate – the series 2 cars left the Ford factory painted only in white and local dealers painted on the green stripe as an extra cost option as required. It is because of this that there are so many different versions of the green stripes and many opinions on what is correct. Many of the restored Lotus Cortina’s you will see have a rear swelling to the stripe that is too far forward and goes to low on the rear wing.
Working with our client to decide the final form for the stripe, we worked from original pictures of his car when new as well as many source books and original reviews from the period. We also visited photographed two original Series 2 cars for reference.
In the end, we matched a photograph of the stripe that was carried by the official Series 2 press car. We used a rear light fitting and a Lotus Cortina rear wing badge as datum points to calculate the correct stripe dimensions and match them exactly to the photograph.
We believe we have created the most accurate Series 2 Lotus Cortina shell so far. The shell has been returned to the customer and we look forward to seeing the finished vehicle.