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Classic F1 Lotus Type 49 cars to make collective debut

2016-12-21 10:34

CLASSIC ON DISPLAY: A number of classic Lotus F1 cars will be on display in January 2017. Image: NewsPress

  Video

Ahead of the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, we've found this classic clip of seven-time F1 champion, Michael Schumacher, driving his Benetton B194. The car is stuck in fifth gear, but that doesn't seem to halt his progress.

London - A truly incredible collection of Formula 1 heritage is set to go on display for the first time at Autosport International in January 2017.

Classic Team Lotus have confirmed all seven remaining Lotus Type 49 racing cars will be present at Europe’s foremost motorsport show between January 12 - 15.

The late Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe designed the Lotus 49 with a Ford Cosworth DFV (double four valve) engine at its heart. The show at the NEC in January marks 50 years since this pioneering F1 car first raced - and won - with the legendary Jim Clark behind the wheel at the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort.

F1 history in modern times

The type 49, in combination with the DFV engine, realised one of the greatest leaps in F1 performance to date. According to the Pomeroy Index, the Type 49 still represents the greatest ever step in Grand Prix performance. In 1967 the Lotus increased the previous year’s speed by 7.7% - a feat yet to be surpassed.

Between 1967 and 1970, Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jo Siffert, Jackie Oliver, Mario Andretti, Jochen Rindt, Richard Attwood, John Miles and Emerson Fittipaldi raced the Lotus Type 49. 

This collection of F1 cars on the Classic Team Lotus stand is the very first time that all seven remaining race machines will be together under one roof.

The list of display cars are as follows:

1. R2/R11 (26 Grands Prix)

This is the car Jim Clark took to victory at its race debut at Zandvoort 1967, in addition to further wins at Silverstone and Watkins Glen. It is also the same car he drove at Monza, in what has been considered the Scotsman's greatest performance, where he led the race until lap 12, picked up a puncture and lost an entire lap. Clark then spent the next 48 laps recovering through the field, taking the lead on lap 60 before succumbing to a faulty fuel pump on the final lap dropping him to third place.

READ: Schumi's F1 racer to appear at SA classic car show

2. R3 (8 Grands Prix)

The R3 is the car Graham Hill raced for the second half of the 1967 season but victory eluded him. The R3 was later sold to John Love for racing in South Africa. It has since been restored to 1967 specification by Doug Nye and others, before its acquisition by the Beaulieu National Motor Museum.

3. R5/R10 (22 Grands Prix)

The R5 car won its first F1 race at Monaco 1968 with Graham Hill at the wheel. Hill raced the R5 at six Grands Prix before Mario Andretti put it on pole at Watkins Glen, the debut race for the future champion. The car was later re-identified as the R10 for Rindt in the 1969 Tasman Series. The R10 was the machine that helped Graham Hill win the Monaco GP again in 1969, a truly remarkable and unique double. The R10 saw another future world champion make their debut, as Emerson Fittipaldi raced in his first three F1 races in the Lotus during the 1970 season.

READ: SA-built F1 car set to race again - Meet the Assegai!

4. R6 (20 Grands Prix)

The R6 was new for Jackie Oliver in 1968, who raced it twice before a massive accident in practice for the French GP. The car was repaired in time for Graham Hill at Monza. The Brit then raced it to win the 1968 World Championship in Mexico.  In 1969 the R6 raced in eight Grands Prix for Jochen Rindt, including the Germans first F1 victory at Watkins Glen. The car raced in four more races during the 1970 season, including Rindt’s dramatic last lap Monaco victory. It was then sold by Team Lotus in 1977. The car is now in the collection of Richard Mille.

5. R7 (24 Grands Prix)

The R7 was sold new to Rob Walker for Jo Siffert in 1968, who won the British GP on the car's first outing. It was the last privateer GP win. The R7 was then raced by Siffert in 1969 and then by Graham Hill – for Rob Walker – in 1970. In 1999, Geoff Farmer acquired the R7 from the Walker Family and has raced it occasionally, including a victory at the Goodwood Revival. 

6. R8 (4 Grands Prix)

New for 1969 the R8 was Graham Hill’s Tasman Championship car. It was then raced by Richard Attwood at Monaco and Graham Hill for the British GP. The R8 was then sold to Jo Bonnier who, after taking it to two Grands Prix, sold it on to Dave Charlton for racing in South Africa. The car was then acquired by Australian collector, the late Hon. John Dawson-Damer, who conducted a painstaking restoration. The car is now owned by renowned F1 designer Adrian Newey, who restored it to the 1969 specification then race prepped her for racing at the 2016 Monaco Historique.

READ: Q&A with David Coulthard - Top 10 F1 questions answered

7. R12

Constructed by Team Lotus for the Ford Motor Company, for use as an exhibition car. The first showing of the R12 was at the Racing Car Show, Olympia in January 1969. It was later donated to Donington Collection and has recently been commissioned as a runner. It is now in the collection of Richard Mille. 

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