The Meissner Thread

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henryk
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by henryk » Mon 24 Dec 2007, 09:31

Yes that ex Meissner/Swanepoel Lotus Cortina is now in the U.K. as was confirmed to me recently by Jannie van Aswegen, the guru when it comes to all classic racecars in S A. He also told me he is chasing the Superformance Lotus Cortina of Basil van Rooyen. Apparently the car is somewhere on a small town in the Eastern Cape. For obvious reasons he does not want to tell me where. As a matter of interest Jannie owns a fully restored Lotus Cortina road car, complete with genuine period Minilite rims. Saw the car at his house in Jhb 2 years ago.

Then he also owns probably the most valuable Lotus Cortina in the world, the last ex Jim Clark works group 5 car. This car was imported from Lotus U K in late 1968 by the late Peter Parnell of the then Rhodesia. The car was raced amongs others against the Peter Gough Y151 Escort. Parnell was killed by terrorists and the car ended up in the wrong hands. Jannie found it years later somewhere in the Tvl. The original Lotus Twincam engine was gone but the unique Lotus race suspension was still there.

Jannie bought the car and shipped it out to the U K where it is currently being restored by Cedric Selzer, Jim Clarks no 1 mechanic. When visting Jannie in 2005 he showed me the original factory build sheet that he had somehow sourced from Lotus. This details the unique front and rear suspension of this very rare and unique racer. Pictures of the car as owned by Peter Parnell can be seen in Ford Performance booklets of 1969 and 1970.


Sorry for digressing from the subject which was really Willie Meissner , but that inevitably leads to Lotus Cortinas.


More Meissner stuff later.
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ZA Perana
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by ZA Perana » Fri 28 Dec 2007, 19:30

Very interesting Henry, also read somewhere that the BVR Superformance car is in a very small town in the Eastern Cape.

I have a great pic of the Parnell car cornering on three wheels, was a very, very quick car in its day and had a pretty long competitiion life.
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Hi-Fi
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by Hi-Fi » Wed 16 Jan 2008, 23:55

A car that wasn't really written about very much was the Meissner Cortina MK2. which was the forerunner of the famous Escort.

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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by Firenza GT » Thu 17 Jan 2008, 00:04

How come nobody has thought of such a replica ? Is that why you are looking for such a 2 door ? There was a 2 door shell at Cortina Centre in Brooklyn some time ago and it crossed my mind as to why such a shell was waiting to be crished. I may know of one will find out tommorow if the car is available.

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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by Hi-Fi » Thu 17 Jan 2008, 08:04

That's exactly what my thoughts were. We are getting an Anglia sorted at the moment and we will need a second car eventually. If I can get a Cortina like this but in reasonable running condition with all the original parts like tail lights, headlights, flickers, etc., it would do nicely.

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henryk
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by henryk » Thu 17 Jan 2008, 08:41

Hi guys


Note to the very nice picture of the Meissner Mk2 Cortina says it was taken October 1968. Very unlikely as Meissner used this Mk2 Cortina's mechanicals to build the original Meissner Escort which had its 1st race in Bulawayo in April or May 1968.

Yes I agree someone should build a replica of this Cortina. However everyone seems to favour the Mk 1 Cortina due to it being lighter and therefore historically more successfull than the Mk2. Effectively the Escort killed the competition career of the Mk 2 Cortina, both in S A and in the U K where the Alan Mann Mk 2 Cortina also had a very short career due to the launching of the Mk 1 Escort early in 1968.

But I still love the Mk 2 Cortina. My very 1st car was a metallic blue Mk2 1600 GT.
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Fairlane 500
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by Fairlane 500 » Thu 17 Jan 2008, 09:10

Ja, that picture looks like it was taken in winter sometime, judging by the clothes the people are wearing. Still it was a nice developement car which Meissner were obviously trying after the successes of the Lotus Cortina. This had by now, got a little long in the tooth and he had to find something else to move on with.

Taken that the Cortina MKII was a bit on the heavy side, it still was always either on the front row or at worst, second row of the grid. Of course when Basil Van Rooyen pitched up with his Alfa GTA, the Cortina was totally outclassed and as we all know, the Escort came to the rescue.

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zahistorics
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by zahistorics » Thu 17 Jan 2008, 17:02

henryk wrote: ...
Then he also owns probably the most valuable Lotus Cortina in the world, the last ex Jim Clark works group 5 car. This car was imported from Lotus U K in late 1968 by the late Peter Parnell of the then Rhodesia. The car was raced amongs others against the Peter Gough Y151 Escort. Parnell was killed by terrorists and the car ended up in the wrong hands. Jannie found it years later somewhere in the Tvl. The original Lotus Twincam engine was gone but the unique Lotus race suspension was still there.

Jannie bought the car and shipped it out to the U K where it is currently being restored by Cedric Selzer, Jim Clarks no 1 mechanic. When visting Jannie in 2005 he showed me the original factory build sheet that he had somehow sourced from Lotus. This details the unique front and rear suspension of this very rare and unique racer. Pictures of the car as owned by Peter Parnell can be seen in Ford Performance booklets of 1969 and 1970......


I met Jannie at Cedric's workshop in London and saw the car about two months ago. Cedric has done the most amazing restoration. The car looks just right, not all over restored, but instead he has carefully retained all the patina of its years and it look absolutely beautiful.

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Hi-Fi
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by Hi-Fi » Thu 17 Jan 2008, 21:19

Not the best picture I took, but then I was young and hadn't heard of colour.

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henryk
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Re: The Meissner Thread

Post by henryk » Fri 18 Jan 2008, 15:11

Nice period picture of the world's most valuable and rarest Lotus Cortina.

I really love these old photographs.

Please keep on posting them

Thanks
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