Lotus 19 raced by Clark, Moss going to auction

Silverstone Auctions offers 1960 racer at Race Retro sale

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Lotus
1960 Lotus 19 Monte Carlo in period competition | Silverstone Auctions photos

A 1960 Lotus 19 Monte Carlo (chassis 953) that was driven in competition by Jim Clark, Innes Ireland, Graham Hill and Stirling Moss, will be offered for bidding February 22-23 at Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro sale in Stoneleigh Park in Kenilworth, England.

The two-seat sports racer is being offered to a new owner for the first time in 57 years, Silverstone Auctions said. Lotus founder colin Chapman nicknamed the car the Monte Carlo following Moss’s victory at Monaco in 1960.

Moss did most of the test driving during development of the Lotus 19 in 1960, and he was in the car for its debut, winning a race at Kariskoga, Sweden. In 1963, the car would be the last Moss would drive as a professional racer.

In 1962, Hill won six of seven starts he made in the car, and he finished second in the other. His fast-lap of the Snetteron circuit was the first time a sports racer averaged more than 100 mph on that track.

Maston Gregory drove the car to victory in the Players 200 at Mosport Park in Canada that same season. The car also was driven by Olivier Gendebien, who took it to class victories in 1961 at Riverside and Laguna Seca.

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When Clark’s assigned car wasn’t ready for a 1964 race at Oulton Park, he was offered the 953 and drove it to victory. 

Racer Harry O’Brien bought the car at the end of the 1964 season and crashed into a bank at Silverstone in 1965. The car went into O’Brien’s garage but was damaged in a fire in 1966. O’Brien planned to do a restoration but the car sat for 30 years before it was sold to Kelvin Jones, who had it restored in preparation for the Madgwick Cup race at the Goodwood Revival. 

Silverstone Auctions notes that the car did not compete in that race and three years later was sold again, this time to Lotus specialist Paul Matty, who commissioned Andrew Tart to complete the car’s restoration. The car was sold in 2017 to the consignor, who had Tart install a fresh Coventry-Climax engine so it would be ready for vintage racing.

The car is finished in UDT-Laystall Racing Green and will be sold with FIA paperwork making it eligible for top-level vintage racing.  

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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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