1961 Lotus 20 news, pictures, specifications, and information
This car's rear suspension uses the 'Half Shaft' to complete the upper wishbone. It was purchased new from the Lotus factory by Lionel Garza of Monterey Mexico. It was raced in Mexico during the Formula Junior era, 1959-1963. In 1983 the car was imported into the USA by Alex Bollinger and driven in vintage racing events by his wife Barbara until 1988. Between 1988 and 2004 the car was in storage. In 2004 the car was given a minor restoration and resumed competition in vintage racing events.
This 1961 Lotus 20/22 Formula Junior Monoposto spent the earlier part of its life in New Zealand before coming to the United States in 1990. It has been used in historic races from coast to coast while in the US.
While in New Zealand, it was raced by Jim Palmer who was one of the more successful and famous drivers in New Zealand. During that time, his Lotus 20B was powered by a 1,500cc engine to comply with Formula One regulations.
When it was brought to the US, it still retained the 1500cc engine. By this point, it was a well-used machine that was in need of restoration. It was purchased by a New York resident in the spring of 1990. While in their care it was restored to the correct Lotus 20/22 specifications. The following decade the car was well used in historic Formula Junior competition with its most recent outing in 2007.
It is fitted with a 1100cc engine and a Hewland MK6 gearbox. There is a Tilton clutch and pressure plate. The rear suspension is comprised of a Lotus 20 reversed A-arms with trailing arms, coil over shocks, load bearing driveshafts, and sway bar. The rear brakes are inboard with the front being the correct Lotus 22 discs. Smiths gauges can be found in the cockpit and their is a fire suppression system.
In 2007 it was brought to Carmel, California where it was offered for sale at Bonhams auction, An Important Sale of Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
, and estimated to sell for $40,000 - 50,000. The lot failed to find an interested buyer willing to satisfy the car's reserve. It left the auction unsold.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
Sold for $60,500 at 2007 Gooding & Company
In 1959, Formula Junior was adopted as an International Formula and would retain that title until its demise in 1964. The most successful and dominate force in the series was Lotus, winning the British National Championship from 1960 through 1963.
The Lotus 20 was first shown at the Racing Car Show in 1961. It quickly became a dominate car and with the help of the factory drivers was the most successful car of the season. It was an evolution of the Lotus 18 but with smoother lines and a minuscule frontal area to aide in aerodynamics. It had a lightweight space-frame chassis, a fiberglass body by Williams & Pritchard, and a suspension courtesy of the Lotus 18. Power was from a Ford inline four and mated to either a Renault or a Hewland modified VW gearbox.
In total, 118 examples were created of the Lotus Model 20 FJ in the one-year production run.
The Lotus 20 was successful in many countries, including the United States. Sy Kabach of Millertown, New York, ordered two Model 20s in 1961 and used them in local Sports Car Club of America contests. This example, with chassis number 20-J-935, is one of those two cars. It retains its original registration number of 24-126 and was used in many East Coast events. The other car was chassis number 934, which is still in existence in modern times.
The current owner took possession of this car over two decades ago and has continued its racing history in various vintage events. It has been raced at the Monterey Historics, and many other well-known venues throughout the Formula Junior circuit. It was given a no-expense-spared restoration by John Collins and still shows well to this day.
This car has the Hewland transmission and a 1100cc Cosworth four-cylinder engine rated at 105 horsepower. There are four-wheel disc brakes from the 1962 Model 22 and weighs a mere 880 lbs. It has been updated with modern safety equipment including a fuel cell, five-point harness and a fire system.
In 2007 this car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, CA where it was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $75,000 and offered without reserve. Those estimates proved accurate as the lot was sold for $60,500 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
Chassis Num: 25
This 1961 Lotus is a 20/22 Formula Junior car with chassis number 25.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2009
In an effort to avoid unnecessary taxes, Lotus often exported many of their vehicles without VIN numbers. This 1961 Lotus 20/22 Formula Junior racer is one such example and was sent to New Zealand where it was raced in the 1970 Gold Star Series by Graeham Lawrence. It was later purchased by a private owner who raced the car until 1990 when it made its way to the United States. It has continued its length racing career participating in many events through the United States.
It was offered for sale at the 2006 Russo & Steele Auction held in Monterey, Ca where the vehicle found its next owner for the price of $55,000.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2009
The Lotus Formula Junior 20 was first shown at the Racing Car Show in January of 1961. It shared some similarities to the prior units, such as the suspension bearing many similarities to the Lotus 18. The body was small and aerodynamic and mounted on a space-frame chassis. The fiber-glass body was courtesy of Williams & Pritchard. Mounted mid-ship was a Cosworth developed Ford 105E 998cc engine.
For the 1961 season Trevor Taylor and Peter Arundell drove works cars. Alan Rees and Mike McKee raced Lotus 20 with factory support. Taylor was able to win eight races while Arundell accounted for seven victories.
In total, 118 examples of the Lotus 20 were produced.
The Lotus 21 was the first works Lotus to win a Formula One Grand Prix. The victory came in 1961 at the United States Grand Prix driven by Innes Ireland. The Lotus 21 utilized a mid-engined design and was comprised of a tubular space-frame with fiberglass panels. Power was from a Coventry Climax FPF four-cylinder engine similar to that of the Lotus 20. Disc brakes could be found at all four corners.
The Lotus 21 was raced by Team Lotus and by the Rob Walker Racing Team during the 1961 season.
The Lotus 22 was introduced for the 1962 seasons and was based on the Lotus Formula Junior 20 but brought with it many new changes. It was powered by a Ford-Cosworth 1098cc engine which produced about 100 horsepower. The engine was mated to a four-speed gearbox. The gearbox units were came from both Volkswagen and Renault. The suspension from the Lotus 21 was used in the rear. The Lotus 22 had a wider track than the Lotus 21. The 13-inch wheels were made of magnesium-alloy and disc brakes could be found in both the front and rear.
Team Lotus entered the Formula Junior 22 driven by Peter Arundell in 25 races and was rewarded with podium finishes 18 times. Peter Arundell was the team's primary driver with Alan Rees and Bob Anderson serving as his replacement.
The Lotus 22 was surrounded by controversy during the 1962 season. Canadian Pete Ryan was involved in a collision with Bill Moss at Reims. Reporters interviewed Ryan at the hospital; he mentioned, though heavily medicated, that Formula Junior cars were being operated with engine capacities higher than the allowable limit. Reporters assumed that he was speaking about Peter Arundell and stories and allegations quickly erupted. Part of the stories that appeared made alleged claims that the Lotus 22s were running with 1450cc engines (rules specified 1100cc units). In true sporting fashion, Colin Chapman responded to the claims with a challenge. He stated that, under supervision, he would 'repeat their race-winning speeds at any European circuit'. The results were to be closely monitored and supervised. Chapman stated that if the vehicles were to match their winning speeds, von Frankenberg, a former racer and editor, would have to make a public apology. von Frankenberg had made many of the allegations so the challenge seemed appropriate.
von Frankenberg accepted and the Monza circuit was selected. Arundell had won the 107-mile Grand Prix at 113.4 mph with a fast lap of 115.9. On the day of the challenge, Arundell drove the racer to a speed of 117.1 mph. At the conclusion of the challenge, the engine was disassembled and thoroughly inspected. The engine had met all the requirements and the vehicles weight was within acceptable limits. Chapman had made his point and von Frankenberg made his apology.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
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