Tag Archives: XI

West Coast Detailing – Lotus XI

A couple of weeks ago I looked at Ed Arnaudin’s photo of Floyd Aaskov’s Lotus XI at Thompson CT taken in 1958, where you will find details about the Lotus XI model.

Lotus XI, Paramount Ranch, Carlyle Blackwell

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

Today we are looking Carlyle Blackwell’s photograph of Jack Nethercutt’s Lotus XI at Paramount Ranch in 1956/57.

It would appear that Jacks Lotus XI ran a similar 4 cylinder 1098 cc /67 cui Coventry Climax engine to Floyd Aaskov. One thing that stands out about Jacks car is how amazingly clean it looks, it looks as well detailed in many other photographs I have seen of this vehicle.

Records indicate that Jack Nethercutt started racing in 1956 with a Mercedes Benz 300 SL, oddly records indicate Floyd Aaskov started racing in a similar model 12 months later on the east coast. In 1957 Jack started notching up regular GM class wins on the West Coast and in 1958 he acquired a Ferrari 500 TRC with which he started winning in the 2 litre / 122 cui EM class.

In 1959 Jack upgraded his 500 TR by fitting a 2.5 litre motor in and running in the 152 cui DM class in which he continued his record of accumulating class wins.

For 1960 Jack took delivery of a Ferrari 250 TR 59 with which he again took class wins in the 187 cui S1 division including a third overall in the Sebring 12 Hours. Half way through 1961 Jack swapped his Ferrari for a Lotus 19 and again running in the DM class continued his winning ways until 1964, taking a class win at the ’62 Riverside 6 hours with a one off drive in a Morgan plus 4 along the way.

Records show that Jacks career ended in 1965 driving a Mirage Oldsmobile in the over 5 litre / 305 cui class still carrying the #102 but without much in the way of success.

Jack appears to have settled for running a Mirage Chevrolet for Scooter Patrick in the first Can Am championship in 1967.

A similar photograph by Carlyle Blackwell to photograph above appeared on the cover of Road & Track in March 1957.

Lotus XI, Paramount Ranch, Carlyle Blackwell

The caption read “It was dry and hot at Paramount Ranch, near Los Angeles, the day Carlyle Blackwell shot our March cover – but no hotter than the Lotus Eleven, driven here by its owner, Jack Nethercutt.”

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin who purchased the photograph in the 1950’s and to his son Steve for sending me the scan, thanks also to Jean L and JB Miltonian at the TNF Forum for their help in identifying the track and coming up with the R&T; details.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s West Coast detailed edition of “Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres” and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

28 07 12 PS My thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo’s her father took.


Colin’s Eleven – Lotus XI

Today’s photographs by Ed Arnaudin conclude our coverage of Race 1 at Thompson, CT on July 20th 1958 with a look at the winning Lotus XI of Floyd Aaskov.

Approximately 270 Lotus XI’s were produced from 1956 to 1958 including the Series 2, often unofficially referred to as the XIII. the Lotus Eleven Register believes around 200 have survived.

The XI could be built to accept a variety of engines most like Floyd Aaskov’s seen here were fitted with a 4 cylinder 1098 cc /67 cui Coventry Climax engine. Like the Lotus IX we looked at yesterday the bodywork was penned by Frank Costain and crafted by Lotus neighbours in Hornsey, Williams & Pritchard.

It is believed the Lotus XI model was driven to over 148 victories in 1956, additionally Stirling Moss set a class G closed circuit lap record at Monza of over 143 mph in a 67 cui XI with a special cockpit fairing and Peter Jopp and Reg Bicknell took class G honours and 7th overall at Le Mans although the boss, Colin Chapman, driving the larger engine Class E XI having survived a miserably wet night was disappointed to retire while running second in the 1500 cc 91.5 cui class to a Porsche with engine failure.

Legend has it that the XI was so close to Colin Chapman’s affections that early Lotus road models were given names evocative of the number Eleven,hence the Elite, Elise, Elan.

Floyd Aaskov, in the #12 Lotus XI seen taking the starting flag in second place here is known to have raced from at least 1957 to 1968, records indicate he may have started racing in a ’57 Mercedes 300 SL which seems a tad fanciful though no doubt stranger things have happened. Running competitively in the GM class Lotus XI until 1962 he then moved on to the pre Can Am USRRC series with larger sports cars. Records indicate Floyds last season was 1968 when he drove a Camaro in the Trans Am series, this may not be the complete picture on his career, if you know different please chime in below !

The cars I and others have been able to discern on the grid thus far are :-

Row 1 #15 R Nerney, Abarth 207A Spider, #12 Floyd Aaskov, Lotus X1
Row 2 #92 Nick Fallone Jomar MK 2 #28 Ray Saidel, Jomar
Row 3 #113 Paul Bleustein, Cooper, #26 Len Bastrup, Lotus IX
Row 4 # ????? #27 P Sagan, Fiat Abarth 750 GT Zagato
Row 5 #95 J Iglehart, Nardi MD4 Spyder #46 J Mull D B Panhard # ?????? #?????

Interestingly one source has a #150 Lotus XI anchoring the entry list for this meeting scheduled to be driven by one and only ‘Walter Cronkite‘.

Thanks as always to Ed and Steve Arnaudin for the fascinating photographs, to Terry O’Neil for the results to everyone on the Fuzzy Longshot Identity thread at TNF including Vitesse2 and raceanouncer2003 for their contributions. I believe that is the way it was.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s eleventh hour edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow for a look at a seriously old timer at Bridgehampton in 1957. Don’t forget to come back now !