Grand Prix legend under the hammer
Original Lotus 72 up for sale
The firm describes the history of R1 -- the first of the classic and extremely successful racecar series which went on to debut the famous black and gold John Player livery -- as follows:
"Chassis R1 made its debut at the Spanish Grand Prix of 19 April 1970 in John Miles’ hands. It was soon apparent that the model’s complex suspension was overly ambitious but, while the sister car of eventual 1970 world champion Jochen Rindt (the sport’s only posthumous champion) was swiftly and extensively modified, the Miles car only received partial modification. Despite that he achieved seventh place in the Dutch GP and eighth position in the French event.
"Approached by established privateer Rob Walker to build a car for Graham Hill, Lotus converted R1 to a ‘parallel’ suspension set-up (akin to that found on Rindt’s reconfigured and victorious R2) before renumbering it as R4. Driven by Hill in the Oulton Park Gold Cup as well as the Canadian, American and Mexican Grand Prix, the single-seater was retired from works duty at the season’s end. It then briefly passed through the hands of Swiss ace Jo Siffert before being purchased by double World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi for display purposes.
"British international historic car dealer Adrian Hamilton repatriated R4 in 1985 and sold it to computer magnate John Foulston, whose Haslemere Sports Cars concern restored it and equipped it with a brand new Cosworth DFV engine. The last person to race it was Foulston’s wife Mary. It has not been used since the early 1990s and will therefore need recommissioning."
We’ve smashed the PH piggy bank this morning but a competitive bid looks increasingly unlikely. Let’s just hope the new owner gets it back to rude health and we all get the chance to hear that DFV crackle and scream at a circuit sometime soon...
More here: http://www.ddavid.com/formula1/lotus72.htm