Inspired by John Cooper's new Monaco, the rear engine Lotus 19 utilized much of the same suspension, braking and engine components as the highly successful Lotus 18. it carried a fully enclosed racing body, with a mandatory second seat and a multi-tube space frame chassis. Lotus built only 16 of this model.
Some were powered by the all-conquering 2.5-liter Coventry Climax FPF series double overhead cam inline four-cylinder engine, producing 240 horsepower. This engine had propelled Lotus to five race wins in the 1959 grand prix season and eight of ten races in the 1960 season.
When the 19 arrived in the competition spotlight at Riverside Raceway in 1960, it ushered in a new era. Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney obliterated the existing records, Gurney shaved over four seconds off the previous record. Sir Stiring gets credit for the 19's first win, at its competition debut in Karlkoga, Sweden.