27 - Sep -

Full set of Toyo NanoEnergy3 tyres for Mk2 Cortina Lotus

Article written by Bush Tyres Full set of Toyo NanoEnergy3 tyres for Mk2 Cortina Lotus

This classic Mk2 Cortina Lotus visited for a full set of Toyo NanoEnergy3 tyres. The car is now ready for any of the historic road rally events running throughout the UK.

For your chance to win £500 hotel vouchers, just purchase any one or more Toyo Tyres from Bush Tyres in September or October 2023.

Cortina Lotus - Mk2

First appearing in 1967, the main difference over the Mk1 was a choice of new colours and lack of a factory stripe! Most owners still opted for the iconic white, with the now “additional cost”, green stripe. The car now also featured the menacing black front grill and wider 5.5J 13“ wheels as standard. Performance in the mk2 came from an improved and more powerful engine, now developing over 109hp.

Full set of Toyo NanoEnergy3 tyres for Mk2 Cortina Lotus

Full set of Toyo NanoEnergy3 tyres for Mk2 Cortina Lotus

The Mk1’s success at racing had always been attributed to the Lotus part of the car. Its flaws however, always fell on Ford’s reputation. With Lotus midway through moving factories at the time, Ford decided to move production of the Mk2 to the Dagenham plant alongside the regular Cortina. This made it easier for them to produce them with the differences only being the engine and running gear. The new Mk2 did exactly what Ford needed. It was far more reliable than the Mk1 whilst still quick enough to be used in competition.

Two exclusive 4-door versions were supplied to the Mid-Anglia Police for use as a fast patrol and pursuit cars. The trial never went beyond the two vehicles but both vehicles are still in existence today. The Cortina was eventually succeeded by the infamous Lotus Carlton, based on the popular Vauxhall saloon.


The first Cortina Lotus to be rallied was a Cortina GT with the Lotus engine, in the 1963 Spa-Sofia-Liege rally in September, just to try out the engine, and driven by Henry Taylor they achieved 4th place. The first fully sanctioned outing in a rally by a Cortina Lotus proper was in the 1963 RAC Rally, campaigned again by Taylor, with co-driver Brian Melia. It finished 6th overall. For the 1964 Tour de France Automobile, a 10-day, 4,000-mile (6,400 km) event, the car finished 4th outright in the Touring Car category, and first in the Handicap category, in a mix of one-hour sprints, hill climbs, and mountain road rallying.

The Cortina Lotus finally proved itself with an outright win in the RAC rally. F1 World Champion Jim Clark crashed his (twice), but Söderström saw his through to a 13-minute victory, with Gunnar Palm. Other victories in 1966 were in the Geneva rally by Staepelaere, and by Canadian Paul MacLellan in the Shell 4000. A final win before the advent of the Mk. II was also pulled off by Söderström in the snowy Swedish Rally of February 1967.

Toyo NanoEnergy 3

The Mk2 was a wider car than the Mk1, so although they looked the same, the steel wheels had a different offset so as not to upset the tracking, and radial tyres were now fitted as standard.

The new Toyo NanoEnergy 3 is the latest addition to the NanoEnergy range, for compact and mid-range cars. The tyres offer drivers safety, durability, fuel savings and efficiency. The third-generation tyre benefits from improved construction and new polymer in the tread compound. The tyre also has a longer tyre life, better wet performance, and lower fuel consumption than its predecessors.

Wide straight grooves with silent wall technology help deliver enhanced aquaplaning resistance and reduced noise. The NE3 is available in 39 sizes from 13-17”. Featured here on this owner’s car in 175/70R13 these tyres carry all the required legal markings for the owner to continue using the car in Historic Road-Rally competitions.

This September and October, Bush tyres and Toyo Tyres UK are giving customers the chance to win a £500 holiday voucher. Buy any Toyo tyres online or in branch and you will be in with a chance of winning a £500 hotel gift-card. For every tyre purchased, you receive 1 entry into the draw. See the full T&Cs for more details. 

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