Lotus Type 19

Total Production: 16 1960 - 1963
In 1959, Lotus introduced their mid-engine Type 18 single seat racing car. It was designed to compete in Formula Junior, Formula Two, and Formula One. It was the company's first mid-engine car built and was a vast improvement over Chapman's early front-engined formula cars. The following year, they introduced the Type 19 sports racer. Both of these cars would help propel the Lotus marque to a new level of competition and served as a replacement to the company's range of front engined racers.

The single seater chassis was enlarged to accommodate a second seat, resulting in the Type 19. The chassis was a conventional steel multi-tubular spaceframe setup suspended by double wishbones with coil springs in the front and reversed lower wishbones with a radius arm in the rear. Powering the original Type 19 was a Coventry Climax FPF four-cylinder engine with an aluminum block and head. It produced nearly 2.5 liters and produced roughly 240 horsepower. The five-speed sequential gearbox was bolted directly onto the engine allowing for quick ratio changes. At all four-corners were Girling disc brakes.

The sleek bodywork was comprised of glass-fiber reinforced plastic and aluminum. It had a similar design to the Cooper T49 'Monaco', earning it the nickname 'Monte Carlo.' Another reason for its name was in honor of Stirling Moss's victory at the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix.

The first driver to test the Type 19 was Stirling Moss. He drove the new car to a sports car lap record at Silverstone. A short time later, Moss drove the Type 19 at its competition debut at Karlskoga in Sweden, where he emerged victorious. Joakim Bonnier drove the prototype car to a Swedish record for the flying kilometer, achieving a speed of 253 km/h.

For the 1961 season, twelve Type 19 cars were prepared for competition. The results of the 1960 season made it very popular, and possibly more examples may have been produced if there was not a shortage of FPF engines. Most of the cars created were sent to the United States.

Dan Gurney enjoyed much success with his Type 19, often outpacing other more powerful machines. In early 1962, he was victorious at the Daytona 3 Hours while driving the Arciero Brothers Lotus 19. This was one of his most memorable victories, as he crossed the line with a seized engine.

Between 1960 - 1960, Lotus produced 17 examples of the Type 19, and one example of the 19B. It was not uncommon for the four-cylinder engine to be replaced by a much larger and more powerful V8 engine. The last Type 19 example to be built was designed specifically to house Ford's small block V8. Thus, it was given the name '19B,' also known as the 'Pacesetter Special.' In the hands of Dan Gurney, it enjoyed some success.

It took a few years before Lotus built a sports car replacement. In 1964, the introduced the Type 30. This would be Chapman's first and only attempt to compete in the newly formed Can Am (Group Seven) racing.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2011