- Meticulously correct in every detail
- Constructed by Tolman Motorsport
- Over 80% was manufactured in-house
- FIA HTP certified
- Eligible for historic events
The story of this unique and beautiful race car started in June 2012 when an unfinished project came up for sale. The accumulation of parts had been the ambition of 4 times British hillclimb champion Roy Lane to reproduce one of Lotus’s lesser known sports racing cars that he had first seen at Silverstone in the early 60’s. The story goes that he was so impressed with both the speed and the beautiful curves, he vowed one day to own one!
Lotus only produced 17 chassis’ from 1960 -1962, 4 of which were shipped empty (less engine and transmission) to the United States. Many of the cars were written off and rebuilt, very few ever come up for sale and the exact number surviving is in much debate.
Tolman Motorsport was commissioned by Mr Christopher Ross in the summer of 2012 to complete the build after the parts had been bought from the Estate of the Lane family. The brief was simple, build the best racing car to FIA specification! During Tolman Motorports extensive research, which has taken them to Denmark in search of an original chassis, they have only been able to verify the whereabouts of a handful of these rare sports racers. The Lotus 19 was an extension of the Lotus 18 F1 car, utilising the same 2.5 litre Coventry Climax FPF engine and Lotus’s own Sequential 5 speed transaxle (often referred to as “queer box”). The chassis was almost identical to the 18 retaining the cruciform bulkheads, suspension geometry and suspension layout but being wider to accommodate a passenger seat. The body was composed of fiberglass front and rear clamshells and fabricated aluminium doors. The chassis was constructed from tubular steel with aluminium stressed panels. It was also one of the last to be fusion welded.
Roy Lane’s dream had been to make one of the more powerful versions that had emerged from the States with V8 power! He had managed to source a chassis, Buick V8, Hewland HD transaxle, most of the critical suspension components and some reproduction bodywork. Some work had been carried out in skinning the chassis and installing the engine but only to a mock up stage.
It was soon established that a great deal of work was needed in order to fulfil the brief! Many aspects of the chassis were just not accurate enough to make a genuine reproduction and great race car! The entire chassis was measured and replicated in CAD to ascertain the extent of the discrepancies. A plan could then be formulated to rectify the geometry and layouts to accurately reproduce the chassis. In order to reproduce all of the installation and fittings accurately, a great deal of research was carried out. Peter Denty Racing was able supply some of the parts and was very helpful with original pictures and drawings. All the engine and transmission mounts were subsequently modified, the entire front of the chassis was replaced and roll over protection installed.
The entire car was then assembled prior to any finishing establishing dimensional accuracy required for the FIA papers. A preliminary inspection was both welcome and proved vital as it was decided the engine would have to be changed to Oldsmobile V8 and made wet sump with 4 weber carburettors! All of the fluid lines, wiring harness and the body work could then be finalised, many of the smaller components like tanks, gear linkage, roll bars all had to be manufactured. Over 80% of the entire build was manufactured in-house. Once complete everything was stripped down to component form and the process of painting and plating carried out. The transmission was overhauled, a fresh engine built and dyno’d prior to installation, a custom designed racing fuel cell installed. A bespoke exhaust system that would be both accurate for the papers but can be quickly adapted to meet the current noise regulations required a lot of lateral thinking!
A few weeks of assembly followed by systems testing saw the completion of 12 month project, resulting in an inspection from the FIA’s appointed stewards. Full FIA Historic Technical Passport was granted 6 weeks after the inspection to the delight of all the team the owner!
To the best of our knowledge this is the world’s first Lotus 19 Recreation to have attained FIA HTP papers and it will be a delight to see race in the coming season.
History of original Lotus 19-965
The original car that this recreation is based on, chassis 19-965, was the last Lotus 19 built, followed only by the Lotus 19B special ordered by Dan Gurney. It was delivered new without engine to John Mecom Jr. The Mecom team drivers were AJ Foyt, Walt Hansgen and Augie Pabst. Hansgen and Pabst are documented drivers of 19-965 and Foyt likely drove it as well.
Car #9 pictured is Hansgen at Brands Hatch.