Radford, the revival of a British coachbuilder that specialized in shooting brake conversions, has unveiled its first coachbuilt vehicle of the modern era, and it is definitely not a station wagon. Instead, it pays homage to the Lotus Type 62 sport-racing prototype of the 1960s.
The car was unveiled late last week in an event at the Lyon Air Museum in Southern California, where the first Lotus Type 62-2 coachbuilt by Radford made its global premiere.
Radford says only 62 examples will be produced for customers, with each car finished to the owner’s specification. The show car was presented in “Classic” and “Gold Leaf” livery. Radford has obtained rights to the famed Gold Leaf livery of Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s famed racing cars. “Classic” cars get a racing-style rear wing.
The car is made of carbon composite and aluminum and is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter and mid-mounted V6.
“When you look at Lotus models from 1948 to today, each of them is numbered from Type 1 right up to the current day, our car is part of that historical lineage, meaning it will take its place in the history books forever,” said Ant Anstead, one of the partners in the Radford revival. “Only 62 Radford Type 62 models will ever be built. No two will be exactly alike, and each will be an exceptionally rare sight on the world’s roads.”
“Coachbuilding in the modern era utterly liberates an automotive designer,” added designer Mark Stubbs, another of the partners in the Radford revival.
“Advances in technology have ushered in a new era of this historic craft, making it possible to achieve levels of quality and design never before possible and deliver them in an extremely short time. This enables us to evoke the spirit of an iconic car with stunning authenticity and offer owners the ultimate in customization.
“However, while Type 62-2 elicits the original Type 62 Lotus hallmarks, it sets its own path as a Radford model – it’s all about creating a feeling of driving something timeless. Something that doesn’t look or feel like anything else on the road.”
Added yet another partner, former Formula 1 racing champion Jensen Button:
“Creating a car that is simultaneously luxurious and comfortable, and great to drive, is a tough challenge, but the first Radford of the modern era delivers.
“Type 62-2 is a driver’s car at its heart – when you see the design, it looks just like a ‘70s Le Mans car. And when you sit behind the steering wheel and look through the curved windscreen, you can see the front wheel arches – something you just don’t experience on road cars today. With such a low center of gravity, the car’s body doesn’t roll. The chassis exhibits all the hallmarks of a beautifully set up race car for the road – gifting the driver supreme confidence to extract maximum enjoyment every journey.”