Monday, March 31, 2014

Finally, We Get The Video Post On Jay Leno's Lotus 26R!

As a fantasy toy, this car is right in my wheelhouse.  It has been finished for some time, but the final post on the build didn't go up until now.  What a Dragon-slayer!  If Jay trailered this car to Robbinsville and spent a week in the mountains, he'd have a ball.  Here's the link to the vid:

The epic Jim Clark drive that Jim Hall refers to in the video was in the debut of the Lotus 23, not an Elan 26R.  In May, 1962, Clark led the Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers (with a 1.5 liter twin cam), lapping faster than cars with four times that engine size.  The race started in drizzle, gradually drying out over hours.  At the end of the first lap, Clark led Dan Gurney's 2.0 liter Porsche by 27 seconds.  Both were in the Sports 2000 Class.  Clark continued to build his lead until he became woozy from fumes caused by a broken exhaust header.  Gurney then led until he had transmission failure.  The race was won on a dry track by the Phil Hill/Olivier Gendebien Ferrari Dino 246 (2.4 liter) running in the Sports 3000 Class.  But, while it was damp, nobody had anything for Clark in the little 1.5 liter Lotus 23.

Epic driver, epic car, epic drive: Jim Clark in the Lotus 23 at the Nurburgring in 1962.  This car had the same twin cam
 head (on a cast iron Ford Cortina block) as a Lotus Elan, but was a purpose-built racing car.  The 23 went on to a very
successful run as a customer race car, replacing Porsche (along with the Elva-Porsche) as "the giant killer" in the
sports racing classes. 

1 comment:

Wannabe Hotshoe said...

Wow, another dreamcar on the blog, and represented by an unquestionably high quality build from Leno's Garage. Way Cool. What a great way to spend time avoiding doing my 2013 tax return. Thank you Pilote for letting me exercise my daydreaming talents vs my math skills.

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