Cortina comes home

Special delivery for Mr Clark... Ed Foster hitches a lift as Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti drives a fellow Scot’s old Lotus Cortina to a very special new home

Brendan MacNeill

The sun is breaking through to the east of Gleneagles railway station. There’s the occasional car passing on the A9, some 200 metres to the west, but it’s still quiet enough to hear the starlings and pigeons. Until, that is, the dawn chorus is broken by a popping, banging, four-cylinder motor.

Around the corner comes the unmistakable Ermine White and green flash of a Lotus Cortina. A waiting van driver looks on in amusement – it’s not every day you see one of Ford’s finest here in the Highlands. What he may not have known, though, was exactly which car this was. Or who was now behind the wheel.

This is BJH 417B, Jim Clark’s 1964 British Saloon Car Championship-winning Lotus Cortina. In typical Clark style, he won his class in every round he entered that year, and even won three races outright when the quicker Galaxies faltered. His results in this little Cortina were superb: Oulton Park (twice) and Crystal Palace – first in class and first overall; Snetterton, Brands Hatch and Goodwood – first in class and second overall; Aintree and Silverstone – first in class and third overall. It was utter domination.