Collector Owns A Secret Man-Cave Filled With Classic Fords

Did you know that the word ‘Man-Cave’ is in the dictionary? The Collins English Dictionary provides the following definition: ‘A room or part of a home in which a man may indulge in hobbies and interests without being distracted by other family members.’

One guy in the UK has a really cool man-cave, a large barn at the bottom of his garden which houses an incredible collection of classic high-performance saloons, that he indulges in. Andy Morrell is a purist, he’s only into one car; the Ford Lotus Cortina. And since the 1970′, he’s been gathering every version of the car that he can get his hands on.

UK motoring journalist Jonny Smith of YouTube channel The Late Brake Show went along to see Andy’s collection. Andy has a version of every Lotus Cortina ever produced, cars borne out of the famous 1960s collaboration between Ford and Lotus. He is the ‘King of Lotus Cortinas,’ and in the video you can take a look inside Andy’s kingdom. This is the first time that he’s allowed anyone in, so viewers were in for a treat.

Andy’s Lotus Cortina Kingdom

In the early ’60s, Ford wanted a car to enter the Group 2 Touring Car Championship racing series with. And who better to partner with than Lotus? A company famous for its thoroughbred race-cars and performance engines. Lotus provided the powertrains for these cars, potent 1.6-liter, twin-cams that produced 106 hp. They also supplied lighter alloy body panels, racing suspension, lightweight casings and a close-ratio gearbox for the new saloon racers.

And back in the day, the Lotus Cortina was a quick car. It was capable of well over 100 mph (approx. 108 mph), and on the saloon car circuit there wasn’t much at the time that could keep up with it.

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The Mk1 Car Collection

1964 Ford Lotus Cortina
via YouTube (TheLateBreakShow)

Lotus factories built the Mk1 cars, and Ford plants produced the Mk2. Most Mk1 Lotus Cortinas have the distinctive white with green stripe paintwork. And the famous 1960s collaboration only produced around 7,000 of them, many unfortunately ending their lives on the racetracks, so today they are extremely sought-after cars.

The oldest car in Andy’s collection and the first one shown in the film, is a 1963 Crayford Convertible. This one is very rare, the only one in existence. Unrestored in yellow and green coachwork, it’s a recent barn find that Andy managed to get his hands on. We don’t get to hear much about it, as they purposefully skip past it, because Johnny wants to dedicate a whole video to it.

Sitting beside it, on the same side of the garage where Andy stores all of his mark ones, is a white 1964 Consul Cortina Lotus. The Swedish-import is fully loaded with Lotus parts, it has the famous ‘A’ frame suspension, aluminum panels and the all-important Lotus powertrain. It’s the ultimate early car for Lotus purists, and may even be worth more than most second-hand Lotus’s on the market today.

On a ramp next to it is a white and green 1965 Aeroflow facelift model. It’s a car that Andy has owned since 1988, and one that he fully restored himself. This model differs from its brethren, with an upgraded ventilation system, a revised front grille, and a remodeled light cluster. And when they released this model, Ford dropped the ‘Consul’ brand.

Beneath it is a gray 1967 Ford Corsair, a recent purchase that Andy has big plans for. He plans to install a 3.0-liter V6 Zodiac engine in it and take it racing. When Andy was a kid he used to see this car parading around Battersea at the custom car shows, and he’s loved it ever since. “It’s a bit of an ugly duckling, but when you put the convertible on it, it looks just great.”

A more standard Ford Lotus Cortina is sitting beside it. This one’s a 1966 Mk1 model that Andy acquired fifteen years ago. Ford dropped the Lotus suspension and lightweight panels, in favor of a more road-going car. And Andy admits that he bought it for his wife, which is always a good thing to do if you want to get buy-in for a collection as big, and as expensive as this one.

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The Mk2 Car Collection

Ford Lotus Cortina
via YouTube (TheLateBreakShow)

As they proceed across the barn to see Andy’s Mk2 collection, Johnny makes a cheeky request. “I’ve never driven a Mk2 Lotus Cortina” he says admiring Andy’s white Mk2 1967 model, which comes with the larger 115-hp engine. But Andy doesn’t bite. “Yes, well the later you go, the softer the ride, and the better the drive,” is the reply.

Next up is another barn find, a 1968 Mk2 facelift model. It’s a black badge edition, built to commemorate the death of Lotus F1 driver Jim Clark in 1968. This unrestored car looks a bit battered from its days on the rally circuits. Andy admits that he bought it on a whim during lockdown. He wanted a ’68 car to fill the year gap, and bought it online.

Underneath it, is a white 1969 Mk2 convertible, another rare Crayford conversion. Andy got this one, in 1988, through word of mouth at a car show. Another very rare example that was also a barn find, it’s in need of a full restoration.

The last car worth mentioning is Andy’s Lilac-colored 1970 Mk2 Lotus Cortina. 1970 was the last year of manufacture for these cars. And in Andy’s opinion it’s the best one. “It just drives so well, but don’t tell Mk1 owners what I’ve said,” he mentions smiling. Andy restored the car himself back to its original spec, and it looks great.

So as far as ‘man caves’ go, if you like unusually high-performance classic cars, this one’s for you. That is, if Andy is willing to let you in, of course.

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