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Thread: The Missing Jim Clark Lotus

  1. #1

    The Missing Jim Clark Lotus

    In the mid-90s I went to a huge storage shed near Avondale where Motat kept machinery that was either not on show or that it had no room to display.

    For example: a full size NYFD ladder truck that had to be driven at both ends.

    My contact was a guy called John Walker who was a volunteer with responsibility for looking after machinery and my reason for being there was that my client, Lion Breweries, had just sponsored the restoration of an original beer tanker. Given that NZ pioneered the mass-distribution of tap beer via refrigerated tankers, this was billed as the earliest of its type in the world.

    Sitting in this large storage shed was a beautiful little Lotus GP car. John Walker told me that it was one that Jim Clark had raced here and even then I realised that it was pretty special. It was a very pretty little car - in Lotus Green with the yello/green Lotus nose badge.

    What happened to that car? Has anyone been to Motat to see if it is on display? Is it missing?

    Can we track it down?

    (Motat's track record is not all that good - one of the cars that was loaned to it was the McLaren now being restored by the McLaren Trust, a vehicle that somehow went from Motat to lying under some macrocarpa trees in South Auckland and was rescued just hours away from being buried. No-one is quite sure how that happened.)

    John Walker said he had driven the NYFD ladder trailer just the once and would never do it again - he said it was a terrifying experience. You had to steer the end of the ladders in the opposite direction to the driver up-front to get round corners - and it would accelerate the tail end just like when a water skier swings away from the direction of the boat.

  2. #2
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    Very doubtful it would have been a significant car with F1 or Tasman origins, and even more unlikely to have been a Clark car that he raced here, I am pretty sure all those are accounted for.
    Clark raced in NZ in 1961 in a Lotus 18, 1965 in the Lotus 32B, 1966 in the Lotus 39 Climax 4 2.5, 1967 in the Lotus 33 Climax V8 2.0, 1968 in the Lotus 49 Cosworth.
    It was probably an older FFord or FJ car.

  3. #3
    Defo not a FF, maybe a FJ.

  4. #4
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    All Lotuses were ex-Jim Clark (and all 250F Masers ex-Fangio...)

  5. #5
    Withering cynicism.

  6. #6
    You don't even have to be famous I have learnt lately of two ex Bob Homewood Anglias that I never even owned

  7. #7
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    They are either for sale, or you a much more famous than you realised.

  8. #8
    Doubt if it would be a Lotus FJ as I think all that have been here are accounted for. Jim Clark didn't drive a Lotus FJ here as far as I know.

  9. #9
    To some degree you've answered my question, in that the car is either an unknown Lotus or it has been accounted for. They had some astonishing machinery in that big shed.

    Bob- it's like the famed Mike Hailwood Ducati, the one on which he made his winning TT comeback in 1978. The engine blew as Mike crossed the finish line.

    Now there are two of these priceless machines - one with the repaired engine, another is the machine with another engine put in.

  10. #10
    This is a great thread Shano, I hope we get to learn the true history of that car.

    You mention the Hailwood Ducati, that same scenario seems to haunt the world of historic race cars too. Where one car somehow becomes two cars, because someone has an original tub with no tags, someone else has the tags but a new tub, or a tub gets damaged and replaced by a new tub in which the chassis tags are moved to, but somehow the original tub survives. Race cars are being constantly improved upon, and parts are replaced as they break, or get old, or are superceded by something better. But the mere mention of this can create a debate all its own.

  11. #11
    Semi-Pro Racer kiwi285's Avatar
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    I see in one of my photos there is a shot of Peter Hughes in his Lotus at Pukekohe. Where did this car end up ?

  12. #12
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi285 View Post
    I see in one of my photos there is a shot of Peter Hughes in his Lotus at Pukekohe. Where did this car end up ?
    In the Dawson-Damer collection under its correct chassis number 25 R4. Rebuilt back to 1963 spec.
    Eoin Young even wrote a book about it "Jim Clark and his most successful Lotus"

    I am not sure if it is still in OZ, or was sold in the auction after the tragic accident that took the life of John Dawson-Damer at Goodwood.

  13. #13
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    I'm pretty sure the 25/33 was one of the cars the Dawson-Damer family kept

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    It (25 R4) was sold at the same auction as the 39...
    It was purchased by Australian John Bowers
    Its been back to England for the Lotus get together

  15. #15
    I can recall a number of years ago Lin Neilson having bought a Lotus 25 simply to get the motor out of for his Ford Escort. I have no idea of the chassis number, but perhaps it was the restored car that appeared at Timaru a couple of years ago.

  16. #16
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    Thanks Ellis

    Grelley - Lin Neilson's Lotus was a 27

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