Lotus 49/2 Goes on Display at Revs Institute

A rare opportunity to see this significant Grand Prix car

A trailblazing Lotus Type 49 is on temporary loan at the Revs Institute, Naples, Florida. Driven by two-time World Champion and 1965 Indy 500 champion Jim Clark, it is a highly significant racing car. The Lotus Type 49 shaped Grand Prix racing history.

This very Lotus, chassis 49/2, burst upon the Formula 1 world in utterly sensational style, driven by Scotsman Jim Clark to a debut victory at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. Powered by a new, now legendary, 3-litre Cosworth-Ford Double Four Valve (DFV) V-8 engine, it went on to win at the British and United States Grands Prix in the same year.

Not only would Lotus 49s win a dozen times, but the DFV engine would rack up Formula 1 victories in not just Lotus race cars, but also Matra and Tyrrell. A total of 155 Grand Prix triumphs have been recorded.

The Lotus 49’s design, utilizing its DFV power unit, revolutionized Formula 1 racing. Conceived by racing legend, Colin Chapman and designed by Maurice Phillippe, the Lotus 49 is svelte, light and technically advanced. At the front is a stressed-skin tub that contains the cockpit, front suspension, fuel tanks and water radiator. Directly bolted to a bulkhead at the back of the fuselage via four bolts is the other half of the revolution: the engine, designed by Keith Duckworth, acted as the Lotus’ rearmost structural chassis member. Attached at the back of that are the gearbox and rear suspension.

Lotus 49/2 is in the team’s classic paint scheme, British racing green with a strong yellow stripe down its middle, just as on the 1965 Indianapolis 500-winning Lotus 38.

The groundbreaking Lotus 49/2 temporarily replaces Miles Collier Collections 1967, F1-Gurney-Eagle-Weslake race car which, until March 2020, has been loaned to the Phoenix Art Museum as part of Legends of Speed, a major exhibition of 22 famed racing cars.

The Eagle is in great demand because it is so important to America’s racing heritage. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful Grand Prix cars of all time, it was driven by its constructor, American racing driver hero, Dan Gurney, who scored the only modern-era Formula 1 win by an American driver in an American car at the Belgian Grand Prix on June 18, 1967.

How appropriate it is, that Jim Clark’s Lotus 49 should stand-in at the Revs Institute while his friend Dan Gurney’s Eagle is absent.