So how did Lotus fit into the scheme of things? At the time, Lotus was developing a twin-cam engine based on the bottom end of Ford's 1499cc powerplant for its Elan, and Hayes knew Colin Chapman, the Lotus boss. Hayes proposed to Chapman the assembling of 1,000 Cortinas with the Lotus-Ford engine so the car could be raced and rallied as a Group 2 production car. Group 1 cars had to be virtually the same as the average family car, but Group 2s could have modified engines, steering and suspension. The thumbs-up was given, and the Type 28 Lotus was born, eventually to be called "Cortina developed by Lotus" by Ford, and the Lotus Cortina by the rest of us. You could get yourself one for 1,100.
The first-generation Lotus Cortina won everything in sight in 1965, the car being more competitive due to the increased reliability of the new leaf spring rear suspension. Sir John Whitmore dominated and won the European Touring Car Championship, Jack Sears won his class in the British Saloon Car Championship (a Mustang won outright), Jacky Ickx won the Belgian Saloon Car Championship, and a Lotus-Cortina won the New Zealand Gold Star Saloon Car Championship. Other wins were the Nrburgring Six-Hour race, the Swedish National Track Championship and the Snetterton 500.
The MK 1s in particular continue to be highly coveted and have spawned devoted clubs across the world.-Les Bidrawn
Ford RS 200 EVO
The Ford RS 200 is one of the most exciting cars ever built. An international cast of characters came together in 1984 under the Ford blue oval to design and build a Group B rally car to compete against the best the world had to offer. Tony Southgate brought his experience in F1 and sports prototypes and, when mixed in with the talents of Filippo Sapino of Turin's renowned Ghia Design, the result was a car of shattering performance and jaw-dropping looks.
Our RS 200 comes courtesy of Jamey Mazzotta of Spectrum Motorsports in Irvine. Of the 200 cars constructed for homologation (how the name came about), a select number was modified and delivered as Evolution models. Mazzotta's RS is one of those few. Quick? How does 0 to 60 in a couple of seconds or 0 to 100 in 5 1/2 ticks make you feel? With a 50/50 balance, the RS 200 behaves like the out-of-the-box winner it was.
Unfortunately, the Group B program became a casualty of international politics. The cars were simply too fast for their time. If there was an upside to the cancellation of Group B, it is that cars like the RS 200 survived for us to admire today. -Kerry Morse
Ford GT40 Mk 4
What can be said about the Ford GT40 effort at Le Mans that hasn't already been said or written? For an entire generation, the image of the blue oval as the four-door family sedan was swept aside. Henry Ford II oversaw the assault on Le Mans with such a singular purpose that the effect it had was to completely remake the company in the eye of the public. After the one-two-three triumph of 1966, Ford returned for another attempt the next year. A new series of cars under the designation "J cars" (conforming to the regulations of Appendix J) had been planned. Known to the public and press as the Mk 4, the J cars were a completely new design. The J car was much lighter than the 1966 winner by more than 300 lb. Much of this was due to the use of honeycomb aluminum in the construction of the chassis.