There’s something about the intensity of in-car road racing videos that I love. While you cannot see driver Steve Soper’s face in this film because of his helmet, you can pretty well bet what his facial expressions were when his car left the racing surface, allowed the whole field to pass, and then started reeling them all back in again. We’re guessing a mixture of laser focus, jaw clenching anger, and eyebrow furrowed determination filled that brain bucket of his. Yes, we are about to watch a dude in a screaming Lotus Cortina go from first to last to fourth again in less than five minutes at Goodwood. This is awesome.
I have always secretly and then no-so-secretly wanted a Lotus Cortina. Precious few of them made it to the USA and the ones here hardly ever come up for sale and when they do, the cars do not exactly fit my ham and egger budget. They were awesome pieces and one of the first examples of a manufacturer teaming up with a racing company to further develop a “small car”. Lotus Cortinas are like miniature Shelby Mustangs in the sense that they got killer suspension upgrades, more horsepower, and a cooler look than the standard workaday Cortina that carried Ford sales around the globe for many years.
This car is a full-on racer and it sounds hellacious. I am not sure if the engine is a highly worked Kent four banger or what but the thing sounds downright industrial when Soper is on the hammer, wringing the machine out as he passes stuff that is bigger, smaller, newer, and in some cases, seemingly more capable than his Cortina. Then again the guy was qualified the pole, right? He’s a bad man and this is a bad little car.
Shame ’bout the trip through the turf though.