When Ford discontinued their Mark I Cortina in 1966, most people involved in the UK car industry were convinced that its departure would signal the end of the Lotus-Ford alliance.

As time went by and there was no sign that a Mark II  version Lotus Cortina in the offing, their suspicions deepened, especially considering that the Ford Lotus Cortina Mark I had been far from a commercial success with less than 3000 models sold and a long list of technical problems that took a long time to solve,

That's the reason why eyebrows were raised early in 1967 when Ford and Lotus made a joint announcement that the Lotus Cortina Mark II would indeed see the light of day.  

Apart from the fact that it had the shape of the new-type Cortina II two-door saloon, the most significant change was the new model it was always assembled at Ford's own Dagenham factory.

Compared to the original Mark I, the Mark II was considerably   more powerful with an output of capable of reaching a top speed of 108 mph (174 km/h) compared to the modes79 mph ( 127 km/h) that the Mark I was capable of reaching,

One break in tradition from the Mark I was that the Mark II Lotus Cortina was available in a full range of body colours; striping, if any, was applied by the Ford dealer before delivery took place.

Interestingly, even though potential buyers were given virtual " Carte Blanche" to do what they will with their colour schemes and strip configuration, a surprisingly large percentage continued to opt for the traditional" polar white/olive green" colour combination.

In the autumn of 1968 with Ford beginning a policy of standardisation, the Lotus Cortina was fitted with a new and different style of fascia, including a single-rail gear shift, and a centre floor mounted handbrake.

As was the case with the last of the Mk Is, the Mk II was a Cortina GT with a Lotus-Ford twin-cam engine, for there were no aluminium panels, no light-alloy. Transmission casings, and custom designed  unique rear suspension.

Apart that it rode subtly lower and stiffer than the GT, and had 5.5-inch wheels the Mark II's chassis — suspension, steering, brakes and all — were shared with the GT.

With Ford starting to waver away from the slightly Maverick image of the Lotus Cortina, by 1968 the model  had its name changed to the Cortina Twin Cam with any trace of the Lotus collaboration removed,

However, to those who have developed an unbreakable affinity to this remarkable vehicle, it remained Lotus-Cortina until discontinued in the summer of 1970.

As the end of the Sixties approached, it became apparent even to the most fervent aficionado of the Lotus Cortina that the relationship was over.

Their fears were confirmed with the arrival of the Mark III Cortina, a much larger and heavier vehicle,  that would have never have lent itself to the concept.

Looking back on the Mark II Lotus Cortina, although it was a much better road car than its predecessor, for some reason, it failed to re-create the glamour or mystique of its predecessor.

These factors combined to translate themselves to the cold,hard fact that the Lotus Cortina Mark II  never became the object of collector's desire that the Mark I ever did, even though there were considerably more models in circulation. 

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