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Auction: This Essex Lotus 81B is up for grabs

Submitted by on December 10, 2013

resize_1980-LOTUS-81BDesigned by Colin Chapman, driven by Nigel Mansell, and now it could be yours.

This stunning Lotus 81B of 1980s vintage is up for sale through Grand Prix Classics and remains in full race-worthy condition, presenting punters with an opportunity to own an authentic classic Formula 1 driver.

05_rr3-4Presenting itself in Essex livery, the 81B/4 chassis features the correct 3.0L Cosworth DFV V8 – one of the most iconic Formula 1 engines of all time.

10_engineleftThe motor is still in spectacular condition, and retains the Hewland FGB 400 gearbox.

08_dashThe 81B chassis itself was developed from the Type 79, which had already proven itself as a Championship winner. Evolution saw the Type 80 and then 81 transform into the 81B, with Colin Chapman, Tony Rudd and Peter Wright chipping in on the design.

01_frontNumerous lessons were learned along the way, and the aluminum monocoque ground-effects 81B ended up being a good thing. The double wishbone suspension still looks fantastic even today.

Period-Racing-1Of course, the fact that Nigel Mansell once sat behind the wheel is a huge selling point. He debuted in the car at the Austrian GP in Zeltweg, and drove it again at the Dutch GP, as well as in practice at Monza.

Period-Racing-6  Period-Racing-2


Since then it’s spent some time racing with the HGP in historic Formula 1 events across America. The engine has been overhauled in order to cope with the stresses of racing for many more years than Lotus intended. Original 1980 Lotus F1 mechanic Phil Denny takes care of the car from his shop in California.


For full details check out Grand Prix Classics.


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