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In 1965, the late Jim Clark, piloted his Lotus Ford 38/1 to victory in the Indianapolis 500 on May 30th, crossing the line ahead of Rufus ‘Parnelli’ Jones and Mario Andretti. What was significant was the fact that Clark was a British driver, who beat out local talent and also, that his primary gig at the time was driving for Lotus in the Formula 1 World Championship. The 1965 Indy 500 also marked the birth of the ‘modern’ pit crew, with the Wood Brothers NASCAR team brought in to crew for Lotus at the event.
Twelve years after it’s prime time victory, the winning Lotus was acquired by the Henry Ford Museum where it has remained ever since. In 2009, the Ford V8 was removed from the chassis and sent to Race Car Restorations for a complete overhaul, while the chassis was restored by Clive Chapman (son of Lotus founder Colin) and his crew at Classic Team Lotus. The 38/1 was brought to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, where it ran under its own power for the first time since 1965 – legendary racer and three time F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart taking the wheel, along with Lord March.
More recently, the historically significant Lotus has been invited to the 201o Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance ,where at the exclusive Club XIX it will be unveiled by three time Indy 500 winners Bobby Unser and Johnny Rutherford. Following its debut at Pebble Beach, the car will form part of a ‘Racing in America’ exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, which highlights the history and innovation of motorsport in the United States. The Lotus made a significant impact on racing in this country, because its lightweight construction and mid-engined configuration forever changed the design and engineering of single seat, open wheel race cars in North America, resulting in a configuration that’s still adopted as the standard today. For more information on this fascinating car and the Henry Ford, visit the link below.
[Source: The Henry Ford]