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For Sale: Ex-1967 Lotus 49 Formula 1

Submitted by on April 14, 2020

By Marcel Hundscheid of Speed-O-Graphica, images by Chromecars

This stunning Lotus 49 is one of eight still in existence. It debuted with Jim Clark at the wheel and had a brief stint with Jo Siffert. Today, it’s up for sale at Chrome Cars.

Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe designed the Lotus 49 for the 1967 Formula 1 World Championship. The car was characterized by its back to basics design, inspired from the earlier Lotus 43 and Lotus 38. The Lotus 49 was furthermore remarkable as it was the first Formula 1 car to be powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV engine.

The car debuted at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix, where Lotus teammates Jim Clark and Damon Hill dominated the race. Hill claimed pole position for the race and Clark claimed victory. Following that season Clark scored three further victories.

Nine Lotus 49 chassis were eventually built, from which twelve vehicles emerged, including the Lotus 49, Lotus 49B and Lotus 49C. One of the eight cars that still exist is chassis R4. This car was built at the end of 1967 and was debuted by Jim Clark in the 1968 South African Grand Prix. Clark claimed pole position, scored the fastest lap time and took the final victory of his short racing career.

Chassis R4 was sold in January 1968 to Rob Walker Racing Team, and was intended to be Jo Siffert’s racing car. Siffert should have raced the car at the 1968 Race of Champions race at Brands Hatch, however the Swiss racer crashed during practice and it was significantly damaged. It then caught fire during repairs at the Pippbrook Garage.

Nineteen years later Rob Walker assigned chief engineer John Chisman to fully restore chassis R4. Due to financial issues the restoration was put on pause and the car was sold to a British car collector. As he also failed the fully restore the car, R4 was sold to another investor who made it possible to complete the restoration.

In the end chassis R4 was restored and powered with an original Ford Cosworth DFV engine through a ZF 5 DS12 gearbox. The car debuted in its restored form at the 1999 Goodwood Revival. Sadly, due to a crash with a McLaren M5A the car needed another restoration. In 2008 chassis R4 appeared in a private Japanese collection.

Presently the car is on sale at the renowned German Chrome Cars collection, and you can find the full details at their website here.

Images via Chrome Cars

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