62 Lotus (Ford) Cortina #164, C. Donaldson


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Oh, and I finished 2nd in GT-4 in 1984 to Alan Russel's Alfa GTV, 64 to 32 points if recall correctly. I think Colin Jackson [CDN] was third.

Yeah, it wouldn't take the large scan of the action shots, I had to crop it into two "photos."
Lol...no on the "yoo-hoo"..I actually bought it as a roller...it had nothing but a rear axle and front struts. Funny thing though, the log book I got that had Charles Donaldson's name in it from 90-91 he scratched out "Ford" and wrote in "Lotus" Cortina. It had lots of rot in various places and the firewall cowl area was "mangled", don't know how else to put it...So I cut it out and we made the decision to put the motor way back in the engine bay. Got a few little bugs to work out but I'm hoping to drive it again this Friday...
As soon as the admin enables it I'll put some photos up..


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Mike L. moved the engine back at one point. Mike McDaniels, who built the car, always said there never was such a thing as a Lotus Cortina. It was a Ford-Lotus Cortina. But he also thought Lotus Twin cams should never be in street cars, only in race cars. :)


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The story is told that Mike McDaniels brought it to the track and qualified first in class and then pulled into the paddock and took the toolbox, cooler and chairs out of the trunk. Good story anyway

Real good story...Does anyone have contact with Mike McDaniels?? Be interested to hear about the original build and if he had any pics.

Coley Tipton

Active member
Sadly, Mike is no longer with us. You can be sure he would have remembered every last detail though, and would have been glad to share them with you until the sun was just a memory. Mike and his father Bob were some of the best story tellers in the business, and a big part of why conference has such a rich and interesting history.

It will be fun to see the Cortina again. I assume it’s not the same car he rolled down the hill into 3a? Does anyone else remember that? I want to say 1976 perhaps?



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I think it was 5a and it was more of a slow roll, and I'm not sure it was that car. A tie rod broke and the car self-steered up an embankment and then slowly tipped over. Though when the steering wheel spun it broke Mike's thumb or wrist.

That is probably the fourth or fifth power plant that car has had. Its original engine, I raced it with a Vegatune Twin Cam, it got sold with a X-flow. Then there was Steve's steel TC, and now a 2L. That car is a mule. :)

I'm pretty sure Mike moved the strut locators outboard [weld up the link locating hole and re-drill further out] and probably tipped the top of the struts in a little. I do know that with the exception of a friend's uber-RS car, which I never drove at 9/10 let alone 10/10, that Cortina, for me at least, was the most confidence-inspiring neutral handling car that fit my driving style. [as much as my style ever had style] Its 107mph terminal velocity was balanced by having metricweighttons of brakes. Twice I sucked a car off the end of the straight by giving them the inside line but going to my brake point, they just merrily followed along, and sailed right past. [no harm to either of them] But that car could stop, and it had great transitions going into and out of corners [as much as old and/or used tires worked back then]

The recollections keep surfacing.

When I get the chance I will put more detailed photos up of the undercarriage, underhood and interior..I'm glad the car brings back such fond memories for folks. I have the struts pulled right now for a quick mod but I should have it back together maybe tomorrow but if not it will be next week sometime...


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Great photos!
You've done a great job of restoring/updating Mike's (and all the other owners/drivers) Cortina.
I have fond memories of a one lap ride with Mike at the wheel when I was a turnworker back in the mid-80's at a drivers school at what was then Seattle International Raceway.
Not up for that much typing right now but catch me at a more talkative moment and I'll share the story with you.
Thanks for keeping this car's racing heritage alive and sharing your accomplishments with us!
Thanks Trout..it's been a very interesting journey. All the members of the ICSCC have made it even more special. I think I need to make it up there one of these days and bring the car for a trackday or historic race...


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Rest assured that you and the Cortina would be welcome up in the NW anytime.
Friendly folks, challenging race tracks and great racing.
In fact, I'll bet that the Cortina still remembers the fast way around at least a couple of the tracks!


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Here is one last shot. At SIR turn 9 again in 85 or 86. Steve Justiss #64 passing Chris Stone #52 in a Ford Cortina GT. Chris rented the green car from Bob Franklin who by that time had moved on to a Jag E coupe. Chris later bought the car, but retired it shortly thereafter. I tracked the car down in 1993 bought it and ran a few races that season with it. Sold it the next year [I'd gotten laid off so got out of racing for the second time] Ed Millman [SOVREN] bought it from me and has raced it extensively ever since. By this time Ed probably has more races in it than all the previous owners combined.

I just think it's kind of a neat shot, having two Cortinas racing.


Very cool shot. I just wanted to thank everyone again for the help and effort involved with the history of Mike's old Cortina. I have been in touch with Miles and he is going to get together some old photos of the car being originally built and raced. But it couldn't have happened without the help of the folks on this board..I wish we had the kind of enthusiasm and camaraderie down here that you have in the ICSCC. I will keep all updated on the adventures of the screaming yellow Cortina.
And wanted to say thanks for the invite, I have family in Beaverton so who knows?!
For all those interested..the first official road test and finished photos of the ex #64/164 Mike Mcdaniels Ford Cortina..Ready for the all British Show next weekend, then it will be on display at Infineon Raceway June 2 for the Sonoma Historics, then it'll be off to Thunderhill Raceway for it's first outing. Thanks again to all, will keep you posted! http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadracer68/