Substantial reward for stolen Cortina
Mon, 09 Jul 2012 6:28p.m.
By Adam Hollingworth
A Kerikeri man is offering a substantial reward for the return of an irreplaceable 1960s car that he took 10 years to restore.
His Lotus Cortina Mark One is one of only 25 in New Zealand, and experts say, in any case, it's too rare to sell on.
Phil Sharp has two passions: golf and cars.
“I had a round of golf, came back about 4:30, and no car,” he says.
While he was perfecting his drive in Kerikeri two weeks ago, someone took off with the drive that was his pride and joy.
The former chief mechanic at Formula One Team Mclaren spent 10 years lovingly restoring his Lotus Edition Ford Cortina Mark One, then shipped it here.
“It would never be sold,” he says. “It's going to be, well, was going to be, passed on to my son, so there was a huge amount of effort and time gone into it and it means a huge amount to me.”
The Ford Lotus Cortina is so coveted, that 3 News agreed not to reveal the location of an identical one, kept under wraps.
“The car has stood the test of time,” says Cortina owner Bruce Miles. “It's still the car that they'll use for historic racing in Europe, and with the developments they've done to it it's still a very quick and competitive car. In fact, no other car within its age group actually competes with it.”
Often driving on three wheels, Scottish racing legend Jim Clark made the marque famous in the ‘60s.
Only 3000 were ever made, of which New Zealand enthusiasts own around 25.
One was auctioned recently for $80,000, but they're too rare to just put on the market.
“So maybe it's somebody that has got no money and just wants to hide it in a shed and just look at it themselves, or maybe it's someone who doesn't know what they've got,” says Mr Miles. “[It] might end up as a paddock racer. I certainly hope not.”
Phil Sharp is offering what he calls a "substantial" reward for BLR 519.
“We might be able to tempt somebody with the reward or even meet somewhere on a dark night,” says Mr Sharp. “I just want the car back.”
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10/07/2012 12:06:55 p.m.
Pretty dumb thiefs. Why not pick a more rare car and really put yourselves out there to be spotted. Some people don't even deserve to walk this earth especially when they do such dumb and hurtful things!!!!!Hope he gets it back!! My friend has a mint one too but that aint going anywhere it's well protected from scum.
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