Daily Archives: March 24, 2012

Indy 500 Winner & Swiss Hillclimber – Lotus Ford 38/1

Apologies again to GALPOT readers who read my posts at rowdy.com who may have seen these photo’s before, but once again I have found some more interesting information about the Lotus 38 model since my original post nearly 3 years ago.

Lotus 38, Goodwood Revival

The Lotus 38 was devised by Colin Chapman and designed by Len Terry to win the 1965 Indy 500 on his third attempt with star driver Jim Clark behind the wheel.

Lotus 38, Goodwood Revival

With the aid of the legendary Wood Brothers NASCAR pit crew Clark driving 38/1, seen here at Goodwood a couple of years ago, beat Parnelli Jones, driving Clarks 1964 Lotus 34/3, to win the race. In a reversal of fortunes from their first encounter in 1963, Jim Clark became the first foreign driver to win the Indy 500 since 1916 !

Lotus 38, Goodwood Revival

It turns out that there were eight Lotus 38 eight chassis built all powered by the 500 hp quad cam version of the Ford Fairlane motor, a potted history of each of the 8 cars can be seen on this Nostalgia Forum link.

Lotus 38, Goodwood Revival

News to me since my original post is that after the 1965 Indy 500 Victory a fourth Lotus 38 was built and this car with symmetrical suspension was tested by well known British racer Jack Sears and was then taken on a publicity tour to Switzerland apparently at the behest of Ford’s Swiss agent Mr. Georges Filipinetti, himself a well known racing entrant of a mouthwatering variety of cars.

Lotus 38, Goodwood Revival

While in Switzerland Jim Clark demonstrated the Lotus 38 on at least two hillclimb tracks including Ollon – Villars Hillclimb and Ste Ursanne-Les Rangiers. If you speak French, which I like Jim Clark don’t, you may find this interview with Jo Bonnier Jim Clark and Jo Siffert quite amusing.

The Lotus 38/1 seen in these photo’s has recently been completely restored by Classic Team Lotus and was driven for some demonstration laps last year by Dario Franchitti which can be seen here.

My thanks to Doug Nye and Andrew Kitson at the Nostalgia Forum for their help with uncovering more facts about the Lotus 38 cars.

Thanks for joining me on this Indy 500 winner & Swiss Hillclimber edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow, when I’ll be looking at a large Mercedes. Don’t forget to come back now !

Late PS just noticed Paul Chenard has an evocative illustration of the #82 Lotus 38 on his facebook page linked here.