1969 Lotus-Ford Type 61 Formula Ford Racing Single-Seater
Chassis no. 61M-X-F3-219
Lotus Components Ltd displayed their brand-new Lotus Type 61 Formula Ford car at the British Racing & Sports Car Club's annual Racing Car Show, in London, at the start of 1969. The highly successful Jim Russell Racing Drivers' School headed the order list as this replacement for the Lotus 22/51-series of single-seater customer-sale designs headed for tremendous success.
The new Lotus 61 featured a new multi-tubular spaceframe chassis composed of round-section tubes and stiffened by a stressed-steel sheet undertray panel. Typically Lotus all-independent suspension was adopted, with double wishbones at the front pivoting on nylon-lined bearings, with interposed coil-spring/damper units as the springing medium. The rear suspension featured reversed lower wishbones, single top links and twin radius rods each side, again with outboard-mounted coil-spring/damper units.
While any suitable engine and gearbox combination could be installed to customer preference, Lotus Components offered an approved factory package featuring a Lotus-Holbay LH/105 engine mated to a Hewland Mark VI four-speed transaxle-type gearbox. The engine was based upon a Ford Cortina 1600E production 4-cylinder unit, bored and honed to 15-thou oversize and developing some 105bhp from its 1599cc capacity.
The Lotus 61 proved itself extremely competitive without quite establishing the class domination of various illustrious predecessors from the Lotus marque. Australian driver Dave Walker utterly dominated the 1968 Les Leston Formula Ford Championship by winning nine rounds in his Type 61, and he would go on to star in Formula 2 before joining World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi as a Team Lotus Formula 1 driver.
This particular example purchased by Mr Glasius in around 2007. The car has been garaged in controlled conditions and has remained unused since its acquisition. While it is considered to be ready to run we recommend careful inspection and preparation by a new owner before doing so. It is fitted with a Scholar Formula Ford engine, one of the most popular and successful options within the category, the Scholar company having been formed in September 1968 to prepare such power units, precisely contemporary with development and launch of the purposeful little Lotus 61 design now offered here.