1964 Lotus 30
Year of manufacture1964
Number of seats2
Ex-Duchess Auto/Lotus East USA, Jerry Crawford, Simon Hadfield
1964 Lotus 30 Mk 1 Two Seater Sports Racer
Chassis no. 30/L/15
In the early 1960s, combining a British chassis with an American V8 engine proved to be a very successful method of creating a competitive sports-racer. This trend had begun a few years earlier with the Chevrolet-engined Listers, while the likes of Cooper and Lola quickly followed suit.
Lotus had notable success with a V8-engined Lotus 19 in 1962 and 1963. This two-seater racer used a traditional and very effective tubular space-frame chassis, but for his new Group 7 car Colin Chapman decided to use a backbone chassis similar to the newly launched Elan roadster. It consisted of a central box-type construction, supplemented in two narrower sections at either end to support the suspension, engine and gearbox.. Chapman, at the 1964 London Racing Car Show, unveiled the Lotus 30, one of the most striking and daring of all the many racing car designs that he would produce.
Like all Lotus racing cars that preceded it, the 30 benefitted from well considered aerodynamics. Within the very low body, all the mechanicals were attached to a backbone chassis, which was prominently visible within the cockpit. Suspension was by double wishbones all round with the rear lower wishbones reversed. Immediately behind the driver, the chassis separated into two spars, which supported the engine. The powerplant of choice was Ford's 289ci (4.7-litre) V8 that was fitted to the Lotus 30 sporting around 350bhp, which was transmitted to the wheels via a sturdy ZF five-speed transaxle.
With its slippery body, 350bhp and a kerb weight of less than 700kg (1,540lb), the Lotus 30 looked to set to become a dazzling success.
The first car was sent to Ian Walker together with Team Lotus's No. 1 driver, Jim Clark. who managed to finish in 2nd place on its debut. Subject to some teething issues, Chapman continued development and by the end of the 1964 season the works Lotus 30 had undergone considerable development, and in the important Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside, California, Clark finished in a storming 3rd place overall.
For the 1965 season Chapman launched the 'Mk2' series, which featured a stronger chassis, front/rear spoilers, and bigger and wider wheels, while some cars were fitted with Tecalemit-Jackson fuel injection. With the 30's now having been developed, Clark still to score three wins against the stiff opposition of such rivals as the Lola T70'sIn the space of two years, 30 Lotus 30s were constructed.
Lotus 30 Mk1, chassis number '30/L/15', was sold new in 1964 through U.S. East Coast Lotus Agent Duchess Auto. Based in Millerton, New York, Duchess Auto had been sole distributor of Lotus cars in the Eastern States since 1960, the driving forces behind the company were Newton B. Davis and Peter Pulver both successful competitive drivers in their own rights, the concern would become commonly known as 'Lotus East'.
One of three Lotus 30s to come to the States that year, its first owner was Jerome 'Jerry' Crawford, who is listed as being of Bow, New Hampshire, when he entered his first race with the car, partnered by Shelby Walker at the Daytona 2000kms on 28th February 1965. Crawford early success in the 30 came driving solo at Corry Field, Pensacola in the USRRC on 11th April that year, with a 12th overall and 5th in class. Less than a month later at the Philadelphia Regional races in Vineland, New Jersey, a podium finish in 3rd was achieved.
This started a string of more promising results, a win at the SCCA Thompson Raceway being sandwiched between two second placings at Bryar Motorsport Park and Marlborough. Concluding the season, at the American Road Race of Champions again back at Daytona where he had started his year, a respectable 4th overall and 2nd in Class rounded out the year.
Early in the car's life it was converted to Weber and uprated to Series 2 specifications by Shagarian Racing, and it is understood that midway through the season, presumably in an unlisted race, after an accident the car was rebuilt and reengineered to have a removable tail as well as spoilers.
At the end of the 1965 season, Crawford sold the '30' to a Canadian buyer, its later race history not being known until it was discovered in the 1990s by historic racer and preparer Simon Hadfield. it on behalf of Gilberto Sandretto, prepared it to the 'nth' degree condition. This propel Sandretto to victory on the Cento Ore in Italy and Hadfield himself to numerous victories including the Macau Grand Prix as well as a number of notable Goodwood revival results in the Whitsun Trophy races. Latterly, albeit several years ago, Howard Redhouse has raced the car with great success, winning in Porto and podium results in Dijon and Tour Britannia.
Having at all times been run by Simon Hadfield, it is in excellent condition with FIA HTP papers applied for with all the necessary inspections having already taken place. As 30/L/15 represents an eminently usable historic racing mount eligible for many of the most prestigious historic races, the most appealing of course being the Goodwood Revival meeting.