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Vic Elford Vice Elford, Race Legend - The Cortina YearsVic Elford

Vic Elford

With the guidence and permission of Vic & Anita Elford to build these pages.
Vic Elford recalls what it was like to drive GT & Lotus Cortina's between 1964 to 1966.

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VIC ELFORD ON THE WAY TO VICTORY COUPE DES ALPES, CORTINA GT 1964VIC ELFORD 13th TOUR DE FRANCE AUTOMOBILE 1964 LOTUS CORTINAA break on the East Africian Rally 1964A break on the East Africian Rally 19641965 Prague race

In 1964 I finished third in the RAC rally driving a Cortina GT. I have to say that I didn’t like the RAC rally, as I much preferred events in which
I could use pace notes, although I still managed to be the only Brit to get among the Scandinavians in the forest.

That year was good for me; I was fortunate enough to win the Touring Car category as well as a coveted Coupe des Alpes in the Cortina GT. I also won the Touring category handicap classification, and was fourth overall on the Tour de France driving a Lotus Cortina.

VIC ELFORD 13th TOUR DE FRANCE AUTOMOBILE 1964 LOTUS CORTINAEast African safari 1964VIC ELFORD EAST AFRICAN SAFARI 1964VIC ELFORD BRITISH CHAMPION RAC RALLY 1964, CORTINA GTVIC ELFORD RAC RALLY 1964, CORTINA GT

By 1966 Tikko Makinen and I were battling for the lead after the first 36 hour mountain circuit and on the last hill to climb before Monte Carlo, my Lucas fuel pump failed. Fortunately it started back up again after I gave it a hefty whack with a hammer, although by then it was too late as the rally was effectively over for us. As it turns out it was just as well as I didn’t have to continue to thrash around all over the mountains for the last 600 Km mountain section as all the Ford and Minis were later disqualified over so called ‘lighting infringements.’

 

VIC ELFORD COUPE DES ALPES 1964 , CORTINA GT (14)VIC ELFORD XXXVI COUPE DES ALPES 1965 LOTUS CORTINAVIC ELFORD XXXVI COUPE DES ALPES 1965 LOTUS CORTINAVIC ELFORD CURCUIT OF IRELAND 1965 CORTINA GTVIC ELFORD XXXVI COUPE DES ALPES 1965 LOTUS CORTINA

During the Coupes des Alpes, I once had to change a cylinder head gasket on the twin cam Lotus engine while on top of a mountain during practice. Anyone who knows me also knows I’m not much of a mechanic, though amazingly I managed to get it right. I even re-timed the engine sufficiently to drive the car back to the Ford dealership in Geneva in order to have it properly retimed.

You’ll never guess what happened afterward while I was leading the rally? That’s right; a cylinder head gasket failed on the climb up Mount Ventoux! Talk about irony!

Vic Elford Page 2

David Seigle-Morris - The Ford Years
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