Here’s a real piece of motorsport history that could be easily have been overlooked amid everything else that’s going on in the 75MM paddock.
MAY 23rd 2017
This Lotus 18 gave Jim Clark his maiden single‑seater win
This Lotus 18 – chassis number 372 and one of many on the Brabham Trophy Grid – is the car in which Jim Clark took his first ever single-seater victory. The scene of the victory was Brands Hatch for the Kentish 200 in August 1960.
This is one of six original Team Lotus cars from the era, four of which were heavily damaged in period and have since been rebuilt. Prior to Clark’s victory in the car, it had been used by Trevor Taylor who took the car to its first win. However, it spent most of the 1960 season in Formula One in the capable hands of Innes Ireland By then, it has been fitted with a 2.5-litre Coventry Climax FPF engine and took a win in the United States Grand Prix and at the Lombard Trophy at Snetterton.
The following year, Innes competed with the car in the Australian Tasman series, achieving a best-result of second place. The well-travelled Lotus was then returned to this side of the planet for the end of the 1961 season where Clark was reunited with it for four Inter-Continental Formula events. Again, the best result was a second place.
The engine was changed to a 1.5-litre PFP engine before the car was sold to a young American racing driver called Peter Ryan. He showed great promise, but was sadly killed in another car. Lotus 18 number 372, which had been run by five different drivers, then remained unused for over two decades. It came back to the UK in 2005 and was immediately pressed into service in historic racing by then-owner Chris Mann and more recently its current owner John Chisholm. A Lotus racing car with Jim Clark provenance is something that definitely deserves its place on the Goodwood grid.
Photography by Amy Shore, Jayson Fong and Jochen Van Cauwenberge
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