Today’s post comes courtesy of Jon Bawden and his Dad RJ Bawden who took this photograph of the Lotus 62 at the Bank Holiday Monday Guards International run at Brands Hatch in September 1969 when Jon was only 3 !
For 1969 Lotus produced two prototype racing cars, designed by Martin Waide, that were to replace the Lotus 47 and act as test beds for the 4 cylinder Vauxhall LV220 motors Lotus would develop into the Type 904 motors that would be used in the Lotus Elite, Eclat and Esprit road cars that Lotus introduced between 1974 and 1976.
While the outside shape of the 62 bears a passing resemblance to the Lotus 47 racing cars underneath the fiber glass body a space frame chassis replaced the back bone chassis of the Type 47.
The 220 hp 1992 cc / 121.5 cui Vauxhall LV 220 based motor was modified by Lotus and featured an alloy cylinder block and cylinder head, twin overhead camshafts and Tecalemit – Jackson fuel injection. By all accounts the Lotus 62 was amongst the noisiest motors in prototype racing despite it’s modest size.
John Miles and Brian Muir were the drivers of the car at the BOAC 500, during practice the handling problems became apparent but the car qualified 16th and came in 13th overall, 1st in class. The car was run with a an additional aerodynamic aid above the nose as a temporary remedy to the handling issues as can be seen in this linked photograph.
During the remainder of the season John Miles managed another class win with a fourth place finish in the Trophy of the Dunes held at Zandvoort in The Netherlands and an overall win in the Guards International for cars up to 2 litres / 122 cui.
American Roy Pyke deputising for an other wise indisposed Brian Muir drove the #105, as seen above, to third place behind his team mate in the Guards Trophy. Peter Darley at The Nostalgia Forum has identified those standing behind the Lotus 62 as, left to right, Nigel Bennett (Firestone), Gordon Huckle (Lotus), Mike Brett (Firestone), Bruce Hare (Firestone).
Roy deputising for John Miles won a minor Motoring News GT Championship race at Thruxton in October 1969.
The second of the Lotus 62’s ended up in Portugal where Enesto Neves drove it to at least three victories between 1971 and 1973, while the first one ended up with jazz trombonist Chris Barber’s team who had David Brodie drive it.
My thanks again to RJ and Jon Bawden for their kind permission to use their photograph.
Thanks for joining me on this “Loud Engine Test Bed” edition of “Gettin’ a li’ psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !