The Ex-Innes Ireland 1961 United States Grand Prix-winning,,1961 1 1/2-LITRE LOTUS-CLIMAX TYPE 21 FORMULA 1/TASMAN RACING SINGLE-SEATER  Chassis no. 933 Engine no. FPF430271207

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Lot 118
The Ex-Innes Ireland 1961 United States Grand Prix-winning,, 1961 1 1/2-LITRE LOTUS-CLIMAX TYPE 21 FORMULA 1/TASMAN RACING SINGLE-SEATER
Chassis no. 933 Engine no. FPF430271207

Sold for £ 155,500 (US$ 194,579) inc. premium
The Ex-Innes Ireland 1961 United States Grand Prix-winning,
1961 1 1/2-LITRE LOTUS-CLIMAX TYPE 21 FORMULA 1/TASMAN RACING SINGLE-SEATER
Chassis no. 933
Engine no. FPF430271207
Here we are delighted to offer not only one of the prettiest Grand Prix cars of all time, but also one which survives in raceworthy yet highly-original state, which has a fine recent record in Historic 1_-litre Formula 1 racing, which has a superb provenance, which has indelible links with some of motor racing history’s most outstanding drivers, and whose racing record not only includes victory in one World Championship-qualifying Grand Prix, but also in no fewer than three hard-fought and dramatic non-Championship Formula 1 GPs; the Solitude and Austrian events of 1961, and the Cape GP of 1962. What’s more, in addition to this car having been campaigned in period by the legendary Jim Clark, by Stirling Moss and by Innes Ireland and Trevor Taylor, it also saw works team use with the larger 2 _-litre Coventry Climax FPF 40-cylinder engine installed in a ‘Tasman’ Inter-Continental Formula race at Melbourne’s Sandown Park circuit, in Jimmy Clark’s hands, early in 1962 so with justification it could be argued that the larger engine could be fitted for competition where modern Historic or Vintage racing regulations permit today.

When built new by Team Lotus in their Cheshunt factory in 1961, ‘933’ offered here made its public debut at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix that June where it was to be driven by Team’s contemporary number one driver, Innes Ireland. He was forced to retire from the race but the car’s subsequent works team outings through that mid-season were as follows:

French GP, Reims-Gueux – 4th; British GP, Aintree – 10th; Solitude GP, Stuttgart – FIRST: German GP, Nurburgring – Rtd.

At Solitude Ireland became embroiled in a fantastic battle for the lead with the factory Porsche 718s of Dan Gurney and Jo Bonnier, racing on their home soil. As they blared past the pits into the final lap, with ‘933’ trapped behind the twin Porsches in third place, Colin Chapman turned to his mechanics and said "Either Innes is going to win this race, or that’s the last we’ll ever see of him!". In fact by using a great deal of kerb, and the infield grass in the final hairpin, the irrepressible Innes Ireland – one of motor sport’s most colourful characters – succeeded in hacking past both the silver German cars ahead of him, and screaming home to victory!

In the subsequent German GP at the Nurburgring the car caught fire and Ireland had to bale out hurriedly. The car was seriously damaged but personal recollection by the Team mechanics in the 1970s was that the chassis frame was not too badly compromised and after a speedy inspection Colin Chapman instructed them to repaint and rebuild it with fresh fittings and body panels in time for the following Modena GP in Italy. There this car was driven for the first time by Ireland’s team-mate, Jim Clark, and after practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza – when it became apparent that only Stirling Moss could challenge the Ferrari ‘Sharknose’ V6-cylinder team cars to preserve Lotus’s last remaining hope of World Championship prominence – Innes suggested to Colin Chapman that his car should be loaned to the Maestro, in place of his regular year-old 4-cylinder Lotus-Climax 18 which by that stage was completely obsolescent. Chapman concurred, and so Stirling ran this car – ‘933’ – in that Italian Grand Prix, the car carrying a Rob Walker blue nose panel above its standard Team Lotus green side panels. Sadly a wheel-bearing failed, causing Moss’s retirement.

Back in full Team Lotus trim, ‘933’ was then driven by Innes in the non-Championship Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg aerodrome, where after another exciting battle he scored his second Formula 1 race win of that season in this historic car.

In that year’s United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, he was then able to outstrip the field after the retirement of new V8 cars driven by Jack Brabham and Moss to score the only World Championship-qualifying Grande Epreuve victory of his career.

This was also the first ever to fall to Team Lotus itself – all previous Lotus Grand Prix victories having been scored by Moss in the privately-owned Rob Walker-entered cars.

After that supreme success on American soil, ‘933’ was despatched to South Africa for the winter-time ‘Springbok Tour’ series of International Formula 1 races held there, in which it was entrusted to new Team Lotus number two driver Trevor Taylor, the Yorkshireman having been appointed Jimmy Clark’s team-mate for 1962, while despite his Glen success the unfortunate Ireland had been dropped by Colin Chapman.

Trevor Taylor drove this car home 2nd behind his team-mate Jim Clark’s victorious sister Type 21 in the Rand GP at Kyalami, Johannesburg, and after being forced out of the two following races he then came back with a bang to score the only Formula 1 race win of his career – in the Cape Grand Prix at Killarney on January 2, 1961.

It was then that old ‘933’ offered here was fitted with a full 2_-litre Climax FPF engine and shipped to Australia, for Jim Clark to drive in the ‘Tasman tour’ race held at Melbourne’s Sandown Park circuit on April 10, 1962. He retired.

The car was retained by Team Lotus as a reserve until December 1962 when it was advertised for sale and acquired by Ray Fielding – the great Scottish hill-climb exponent from Forres, near Inverness. His cars were renowned for their peerless preparation and he campaigned this car throughout the 1963 RAC British Hill-Climb Championship, setting 2nd FTD at Bo’ness, Craigantlet and Prescott, 3rd at Rest-and-be-Thankful, 4th at Dyrham Park, 5th at Shelsley Walsh and 6th at Prescott. Driving ‘933’, Ray Fielding placed 4th in that year’s RAC British Championship.

During 1964 he set 2nd FTD at ‘The Rest’, was 3rd at Shelsley Walsh, 4th at Bo’ness and added two 5th FTDs at the two Prescott rounds, placing 6th in the Championship for that year. Fourth and fifth places in the 1965 Championship’s Scottish rounds at Bo’ness and ‘The Rest’ secured 10th place for the ageing car in that year’s Championship.

It was then fitted with a 3.5-litre Buick V8 engine and Colotti Type 32 gearbox and was acquired by the Scottish husband and wife hill-climbing team of Gray and Agnes Mickel in time for Agnes to place 10th in the car at Rest-and-be-Thankful in August 1967. In the following season Agnes Mickel carried off the Ladies’ Award in the major hill-climb rounds at Prescott, Shelsley Walsh and Doune, while Gray Mickel set 9th fastest time in the car against the customary fierce opposition at ‘The Rest’ in June 1968.

This historic Lotus was then sold to Ernie Blakeman, who used it to win his class in the Curborough Sprint of September 1969 and – finally - in the 1970 Weston-super-Mare Speed Trials at which the differential failed. The car was not used subsequently in competition by Mr Blakeman and was instead stored by him for many years until it was purchased by the present vendor in complete but ‘dusty’ condition in 1988. He had the car painstakingly restored to its original Team Lotus 1_-litre Formula 1 form, with the exception of a Hewland Mark 5 transaxle being adopted in place of the original – now effectively unobtainable – German ZF unit. Since completion of this work the present vendor has raced the car most successfully in many of Europe’s most prestigious Historic 1 _-litre Formula 1 events, including all three Monaco Historic events and has been a regular competitor here in the Goodwood Revival Meeting’s annual Glover Trophy feature Formula 1 event. In capable hands the car has repeatedly proved itself eminently capable of humbling more powerful and more modern V8-engined opposition.

This Lotus-Climax Type 21 is one of the most successful, best-provenance, and most handsome 1_-litre Formula 2_-litre Tasman cars that we have ever had the privilege to offer. It is indeed a formidable little beauty, in every respect.
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