The Classic Test of the Lotus Cortina brought back memories of the years I spent working on these cars at Rowes of Chichester. The dealership was owned by James Elwes, Mr Jim to the staff, who was a member of the BRDC and always drove performance cars, one of which was a Jeff Uren Savage. (I sold another of those to your writer Rob Widdows!) I was a mechanic, keen on motor sport, and as I was to specialise on the Lotus Cortina I spent a week at Cheshunt.
The 1963 A-bar model had its problems, but not as much as the eight leaf-spring models supplied in late 1964 to West Sussex Police as traffic cars.
If ever there was a vehicle unsuitable as a police traffic car this was it. The problems were many – burnt valves because the police used cheap low-octane petrol, broken diffs thanks to boots loaded with police equipment, brake fade under pursuit conditions, sheared alternator mounts as the Twin Cam had a vibration period at certain revs… Anyone who bought one of the above Lotus Cortinas had a car that had been hand-built several times.
Brian Hall, Lavant, Chichester