SEP 14th 2014

Cars that rock Revival: 1961 Lotus 21

The Lotus 21, driven by Tony Best in the Glover Trophy, was raced only once in period. Jim Clark completed around three laps of the 1961 Monza Grand Prix before being involved in an accident which tragically resulted in the death of Ferrari driver Wolfgang von Trips and fifteen spectators. The car was impounded by the Italian authorities and not released for around four or five years.

By then, the car was obsolete and Colin Chapman instructed the Italians to dispose of it. With hindsight, it’s incredible to think how little value was assigned ex-racing cars. Tom Wheatcroft stepped in, and Chapman agreed that he could have the car if he went to Italy to collect it. It was therefore added to the Donington Collection.

It stayed in the museum until just a few years ago when Tony Best bought it to take it racing again. Hall & Hall Racing has restored it, using the original chassis and boxing up any parts that have had to be fabricated afresh, and it has been used in historic racing since. This weekend it’s in the Glover Trophy for 1500cc grand prix cars, and suffered problems with its ZF gearbox during qualifying. The mechanics are confident it’s fixed and ready for the race later today.

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