This is the first Lotus F1 car and it can be yours

This is the first Lotus F1 car and it can be yours

Great F1 teams like Tyrrell, Brabham and Cooper are unfortunately history. Lotus also belongs to this group, despite a strong attempt to bring its popularity into the modern era between 2012 and 2015. Now that the company is transitioning into a Chinese-powered EV machine, we like to think back to the old Lotus. And what better way to use it than with the brand’s first F1 car? Unfortunately, the car in question will be auctioned soon.

The Lotus F1 car you see above is a Type 12 with chassis number 353. Lotus founder Colin Chapman built the car in 1956 with the aim of competing in Formula 2. A year later, seven Lotus Type 12s were at the start of the F2 season. . That went well, which made Chapman want to take the next step towards Formula 1.

Chapman’s problem was that Formula 2 was powered by 1.5 liter engines. In F1 events, the maximum engine capacity was 1,000 cc more. Lotus had no room for a 1.5 liter engine, so Chapman had to find a solution. The solution was provided by engine builder Coventry Climax. This company wanted to increase the capacity of the four-cylinder engine from 1.5 liters to 1,960 cc.

The first Lotus F1 race

Lotus appeared at the start of the second race of the 1958 F1 season. Setting: the streets of Monte Carlo. Behind the wheel of one Lotus was Cliff Allison, while the other – chassis number 353 – was driven by Graham Hill. Lotus’ debut wasn’t bad. Well, Hill dropped out with engine problems and Allison finished last, but was placed sixth.

The rest of the year, the Lotus Type 12 broke more often, but that didn’t spoil the fun. Finally, Allison scored fourth place at the Spa-Francorchamps road circuit, which was also the best result of the year. Lotus would later win 107 pole positions, 81 wins, seven constructors’ championships and six drivers’ titles. Oh, and Graham Hill? He became a two-time world champion and his son, Damon, also won one.

This is roughly how much a Lotus F1 car should cost

But it all started with this Lotus Type 12. This copy was later used by the Italian Maria Theresa de Filippis in Formula 2. After that, the Lotus survived six owners. The 1958 F1 car still looks great. Auction house Bonhams is auctioning the car and expects to raise between 290,000 and 390,000 euros. The auction for the first Lotus F1 car will take place on May 10 in Monaco. An appropriate place, given the history of this car.

Lotus Evija Fittipaldi diagonally ahead