1960 was the year in which John Surtees switched from 2 wheels to 4 after a hugely successful career.
For some time Ken Tyrrell, who was extremely anxious to give him his first win, had been considering buying a Lotus. Colin Chapman co-operated by supplying a car with a really top-notch Cosworth Ford engine on the understanding that it would be used only in the Lotus during the remainder of the season. It appeared at Snetterton on September 17th 1960 for a short 10 lap race where Surtees battled hard with Clark and Prior, taking over second place at one point then losing it by spinning at the hairpin, eventually to finish fourth behind Dick Prior, Jimmy Clark and Peter Arundell. With Surtees on Formula 1 duties, Henry Taylor was called up for the very wet British Empire Trophy race at Silverstone in October 1960 and went on to dominate the race and win having never driven the car in the wet before.
We are honoured and delighted to be able to offer this same car here today. Not only a piece of motor racing history, this Lotus 18 is an exceptionally competitive Formula Junior racing car complete with current FIA HTP papers. During 2008 in the hands of our vendor it scored outright wins at Pembrey, The Gold Cup at Oulton Park and 18 class wins including Spa, Silverstone and Brands Hatch and finished the season first in class and championship winner. Since then it has held pride of place in a private museum apart from one outing in 2012 when it was invited to race at the Goodwood Revival at which point the engine was refreshed by the respected engine builder Stuart Rolt.
The car spent some years in the USA in its early days and was repatriated to the UK in 2006. Purchased by our vendor in 2007 who then embarked on a complete rebuild to original specification. This included uprating the 4 speed Renault Alpine gearbox with Hewland internals and close cut ratios, which had caused Surtees some issues in the early days.
A true piece of history and presented in immaculate condition, this beautiful little Lotus 18 would make a fitting addition to any collection or would serve a new pilot well on the race circuits again.