Home Car Culture Commentary Lotus, Bo’ness Revival Hillclimb salute Jim Clark

Lotus, Bo’ness Revival Hillclimb salute Jim Clark


On the 60th anniversary of Jim Clark’s only drive in the Bo’ness hill climb, Lotus and the Bo’ness Revival Hillclimb staged a tribute that included a run up the hill by a new Lotus Exige Sport 350 bearing the same license plate and racing numbers as the Elite that Clark had driven. There also was a road tour to the newly redeveloped Jim Clark Motorsport Museum with Jackie Stewart.

“In 1959, armed with the very same Lotus Elite he had raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans weeks earlier, Clark tackled the famous West Lothian hill in a time of 37.4 seconds,” Lotus Cars said in its news release. 

Jim Clark drove a Lotus Elite 60 years ago in the Bo’ness Hillclimb and his 37.4-second performance remains a competitive time even today | Lotus Cars photos

New Lotus Exige Sport 350 in the same corner 60 years later

“Overcoming all the elements of the course, it pushed his Lotus to the limit and is still a competitive time today.”

The British automaker, now majority owned by Geely of China, added that Clark, “Formula 1 World Champion in 1963 and 1965, and the winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1965… made 72 Grand Prix starts, claimed 25 wins and 33 pole positions, all behind the wheel of a Lotus.”

The recent Bo’ness Revival Hillclimb featured “a cavalcade of cars he actually drove.” 

Exige wears Clark’s license plate and racing number

Also part of the weekend was the drive to Duns, Scotland, where Stewart had just opened the redeveloped Clark museum. Stewart and another racer, Allan McNish, were at the museum as part of the Bo’ness road tour. 

“Jim’s long and successful association with Lotus is one of motorsport’s great partnerships,” said Doug Neven, Clark’s cousin and a museum trustee. “So it’s great that this has been honored at the Bo’ness Revival in the same week as we opened the new museum. 

“We were delighted that Sir Jackie Stewart was able to come to Duns for the official opening. Jim and Jackie have together helped inspire a generation of success for Scottish motorsport and we hope the new museum can inspire future generations for many years to come.”

Jim Clark Motorsport Museum interior | Museum photo

Jim Clark

At the museum opening, a special Jim Clark Lotus Evora GT410 Sport that had been autographed by 20 current F1 drivers was auctioned to raise money to support the museum. The car was the 100,000th Lotus road car produced to date.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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