Les Leston’s Series 2 Lotus Elite, known as Dadio thanks to its distinctive numberplate, will compete in the race named in his honour at the 73rd Members’ Meeting. The Les Leston Cup is for British built production sports cars made between 1960 and 1966.
Leston, born Alfred Lazarus Fingleston, raced in many forms of motorsport, including Grands Prix and Le Mans, but he was perhaps best known for the aftermarket tuning company he set up at the end of his racing career.
His Elite carried the personal plate because Leston gained the nickname Dadio during his time playing in the jazz band The Clay Pigeons. In DAD 10, Leston had some legendary battles with fellow Elite racer Graham Warner, in his car that carried the numberplate LOV 1.
A year after winning the 1961 British Sports Car title, Leston sold the car to focus on his business. By then he was pioneering the use of flameproof overalls and crash helmets. His customers included drivers as well known as Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn and bastion of motorsport safety Jackie Stewart.
The car was lost for some time then found in a field in 1978 – and subsequently restored from its damaged state – by Malcolm Ricketts. It took six years to get the car back in shape, but has since become a popular fixture in historic motorsport.
In the Les Leston Cup next year, it will race against the likes of Austin-Healey 3000s, Morgan +4s and fellow GRP bodied cars from the specials era such as TVR, Rochdale, Tornado and Turner.