GRR

This Lotus Mk VI is an original thoroughbred racer

23rd August 2017
Andrew Willis

As the saying goes, Good things come in small packages. We found one such example at Breakfast Club Classic Car Sunday in the form of a 1954 Lotus Mk VI. 

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Tucked away back and around Woodcote corner, one of the day’s best finds was a stunning example of a 1954 Lotus Mark VI with a distinctive and fully original unpainted aluminium finish and chassis. This example is in fact only one of 5 chassis fitted with de Dion rear suspension, making it a rare example of the original Lotus ‘production’ car.

The late, great Colin Chapman was behind the spritely design, and like most early Lotus models, his hand is very much evident when you take a walk around this racetrack weapon.

As an engineer, Chapman was renowned for stripping back the unnecessary, with an often-fervent philosophy towards lightweight, fine handling race cars. He famously summarized his beliefs and stated “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”.

Indeed, The Mark VI became a popular choice on Britain's racetracks and enjoyed consistent success, often beating more powerful entrants, earning praise for good handling and superior low-speed acceleration. Just as Chapman intended it.

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This particular model, despite its lovely condition, has thankfully not been denied its racing pedigree. Instead, Chassis Mk. 6/68 has been driven in anger at continual race meets and hill climbs throughout its life with a strong history to boot.

Past owners include Le Mans driver John Hine in 1958 and Sunbeam team racer Robin Bryant in 1959. Chris Smith of Westfield Cars later raced the car extensively from 1977 to 2002, along with an appearance at the 2001 Goodwood Revival. 

Chassis number Mk.6/68 also boasts some wins of its own, taking the AMOC Sports Car Trophy in 1979, followed by a successful period travelling and racing around North America in the 1980s in the hands of Jerry Morici and Ralph Stechow.

Today, it’s a lovely example of a classic thoroughbred, and in such beautiful condition, it's no wonder current owner Paul Davis enjoyed so much attention from fans and other Lotus owners during Breakfast Club Classic Car Sunday. 

  • Lotus

  • MK VI

  • Breakfast Club

  • Classic Car Sunday

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