1961 Lotus-Ford Type 20/22 Formula Junior Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. 20J-926
While the first rear-engined Lotus single-seater racing design was the epochal Type 18 of 1960, the first to adopt what became the definingly sleek, pretty and elegant Lotus Formula Junior bodyshape was the replacement Type 20 of 1961.
Development by evolution rather than revolution was to become the Lotus minor-Formula norm apart from the major change to monocoque construction in the 1963 Type 27 and the accent was upon providing absolutely the minimum car for the maximum performance relevant to the restrictions of contemporary regulation.
The Type 20 had jam-packed more or less the same component parts as the Type 18 into an even smaller, more aerodynamic racing car. The spaceframe chassis used mostly 1-inch diameter 18-gauge steel tubing, and in general it was both lower and stiffer than the Type 18, shorter in wheelbase and yet wider in track. Main chassis longerons were used to transfer coolant and oil flow from nose mounted radiators to the rear mounted engine.
Front suspension of the Type 20 featured twin unequal-length wishbones with interposed coilspring/damper units, while at the rear fixed-length drive shafts provided upper later allocation for cast-alloy hub carriers, which were attached to chassis pivots via reversed lower wishbone members and twin radius rods on each side. Again coilspring/dampers units were featured, high-mounted on rear chassis abutments. New 13-inch diameter wheels were specified at the front carried on Alford & Alder proprietary forged front uprights, as standardized upon the Triumph Herald production car.
Herald-type components also featured in the braking system, with Girling drums front and rear, later replaced by disc brakes, which became a relatively expensive but very competitive option. Renault or Volkswagen-based transaxle gearboxes could be specified to choice while the Ford Anglia 105E 4-cylinder pushrod engine proved itself the unit to beat in Formula Junior. Cosworth Engineering proved the most successful tuners of these units, and 997cc Cosworth-Fords offered around 85bhp early in the 1961 season, soon to be replaced by linered-down 1098cc versions of the sister 1340cc 109E Ford Classic power unit. This larger engine offered 100bhp plus.
The Lotus 20 frame carried its engine lower than the preceding Type 18, and the driver was also steeply reclined in the cockpit with a 7½-gallon fuel tank just behind his seat. Additional welded-aluminium long-distance tanks could be installed each side if required. Glassfibre bodywork was moulded for Lotus by outside contractor Williams & Pritchard.
The Lotus 20 dominated Formula Junior racing through 1961, works drivers Trevor Taylor and Peter Arundell shining in particular, winning 15 times between them. Private owner/driver Jo Siffert also shone, with seven victories in his Type 20.
Into 1962, the Type 20 spawned the Type 22 which became the most successful spaceframe-chassised single-seater Lotus of them all, its thicker-gauge stiffened chassis with Girling disc brakes as standard being much appreciated. Rear suspension was modified with the driveshafts being relieved of later allocation duties by separate single top links attached to taller rear uprights. Now 13-inch wheels were specified front and rear, and the track was slightly wider than that of the Type 20. The latest Cosworth-Ford Mark IV 1100cc 4-cylinder engine became standard, canted at 30-degrees to the right which permitted the engine cover to be lowered considerably. The Lotus 22 made its public debut at the January 1962 London Racing Car Show, costing £1,550 with Cosworth-Ford engine. Peter Arundell became absolutely the King of Formula Junior through 1962 in his works Type 22 winning 18 times in 25 starts. A total of 77 Lotus 22s were sold during that single 1962 season.
The Glasius Collection 20/22 now offered here was acquired at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale of July 2003, prior to which it had been American-owned, and completely overhauled with steel-crank engine by Vintage Racing Services Inc for owner Mr Max Rubin of Amelia Island, Florida. The car has never been driven since acquisition and is offered here as an Historic Formula Junior of considerable potential in capable hands.