Tag Archives: 19

A tale of two chassis frames – Lotus Climax 19 Monte Carlo #952

The Lotus 19 was a two seat version of the Lotus 18 mid engine Formula One car that Stirling Moss drove to an unexpected first marque Grand Prix victory for Lotus at Monaco in 1960.

In a case of history repeating itself, two years earlier in 1958 Moss had driven a Cooper to record that marques first Grand Prix victory and Cooper dubbed their 1958 sports car the Cooper Monaco, Colin Chapman dubbed the 19 the Lotus Monte Carlo in honour of Stirling’s achievement.

Lotus 19, Goodwood Revival

The Lotus 19 chassis #952 was originally purchased along with two others, #950 & #953, by the British Racing Partnership (BRP) team #952 & #953 were both acquired in 1961 and #950 in 1960.

BRP, co founded by Stirling’s Dad and Stirling’s ex manager entered the car under sponsors UDT-Laystall banner. The exact racing history of #952 from 1960 to 1962 is not known to me but by 1962 it was acquired by the Rosebud Racing Team in the USA and was successfully raced in the USA by Marsten Gregory and Innes Ireland.

By the end of 1963 the Rosebud Racing Team had managed to attach a 3 litre Ferrari V12 to #952 in place of the usual Coventry Climax 4 cylinder.

Innes Ireland sustained severe injuries when he crashed the now Ferrari powered #952 during practice at Pacific Raceways, Washington for the Pacific Northest GP.

Rescue workers had to cut Innes, who had a broken leg and hip, out of the wreck while he was still fully conscious on account of his morphine allergy.

Rosebud Racing replaced the chassis on their Ferrari powered racer while retaining the #952 chassis number, see second photo in this link and Innes Ireland bravely stepped in to drive it again.

Many years later, after ownership of #952 along with a Ferrari 250 GTO (!) was transferred to Victoria High School in Texas, #952 eventually ended up back in England with the Higgins brothers who rebuilt #952 in the 1980’s replacing the Ferrari V12 motor with a 2 litre / 122 cui 4 cylinder Coventry Climax.

The second chassis frame incarnation of chassis #952 is seen above driven by the Danish Baron Otto Reedtz-Thott at the Goodwood Revival.

Footnote this car should not be confused with a Lotus 21 Grand Prix car belonging to Alex Morton that carries the chassis number 939/952, apparently after 939 was damaged a replacement Lotus 21 chassis with the number 952 was sent to repair 939 and the frame has carried the 939/952 number ever since.

My unreserved thanks and congratulations to the many contributors on the Case history: Lotus 19 Monte Carlo thread on The Nostalgia Forum which has been attempting since 2004 to piece together the histories of all 17 of the Lotus 19 Monte Carlo’s that left the factory. Particular thanks to Micheal Oliver, David Birchall and David McKinley who kindly answered specific questions.

Thanks for joining me on this Carceaology Edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !