1969 Lotus 61 Formula Ford
Type: Lotus 61 Chassis #61 FF 78 Frame #61-39
Engine# LH 157 1600cc Gearbox: Hewland #H6 775
History: Purchased in Tennessee from Lotus East. Raced in SCCA beginning in 1972 by John Alic and sold in 1975 to Tim Hellman who raced through 1976. Sold to Tom Denny who continued to race through 1978. The car was raced in approximately 30 events. It was sold to Wayne Murphy who dismantled the car for restoration but never completed the work. Purchased in 1990 by Gerlad Hudson of Encore Classics. Restoration was begun in2003 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Mario Andretti's World cup Championship in a Lotus John Player Special.
In 1978 Mario Andretti became one of two American drivers to win the Formula One World Championship driving a Lotus Type 69 sponsored by John Players. Andretti’s driving dominance was achieved in one of the most beautiful formula cars ever to be fielded - the black and gold Lotus.
In the fall of 2003 it was decided to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of this historic event by reconstructing an historic Lotus formula car built in 1969. Our Lotus Type 61 is now complete. Its beautiful black and gold wedge body reflects the beauty of this Formula One legend.
Our Lotus is a very original car with an SCCA racing history of only thirty-one events, according to its original log book. It is complete with original chassis, Holbay-Lotus engine, Hewland gearbox, and all matching original serial numbered build records. This Lotus is suitable for show and is also eligible for a variety of historic and vintage racing venues – SCCA, autocross, and solo.
The restoration process began by checking the chassis for symmetry and aligning it on a surface plate. The tube frame was media blasted and repainted. All suspension components were inspected and the usable original parts were re-chromed. All rod ends were replaced, along with all fasteners in either grade 8 or AN. All original instruments were cleaned and recalibrated. The original engine and gearbox were rebuilt. The braking system was completely cleaned and refurbished. All electrical wiring was replaced and a new gel cell racing battery was installed. All oil lines were replaced with stainless steel braided hose and aluminum fittings. A new body was blocked and painted. Panasport wheels were fitted on replacement hubs with new Goodyear racing slicks. The original steel wheels and hubs are included with the car. After assembly the chassis was weighted and aligned to racing specifications.