Tuesday, 8 February 2011

You can't reverse that thing here mate ! - Lotus IX

Moving up the field at Thompson CT on 20th July 1958 today Ed Arnaudin's photo's feature a Lotus IX driven by Len Bastrup a respected Lotus driver who finished 2nd in Race 1 for class G, HP & HM cars.

Around thirty Lotus IX models were manufactured from 1954 to 1955 with a variety of engines available from MG, Connaught and Bristol, this particular model had the most common 4 cylinder 1098 cc / 65.4 cui Coventry Climax Class G spec motor .

The body was penned by Frank Costin, brother of Mike who gave the Cos to Cosworth, and manufactured by Williams & Pritchard, who GALPOT regulars might remember were responsible for an all time favourite of mine the special body on a BMW 315/1.

Colin Chapman the dynamo behind Lotus Cars and accomplished racing driver entered a IX for the Le Mans 24 hours in 1955.

During the race he crashed his car into a sand bank. Thinking nothing of the incident he reversed out and was promptly disqualified for unauthorised reversing.

Len Bastrup was racing from at least 1953 to 1960 starting in MG's and then moving to Lotus cars in 1955. He shared a Lotus XI at the Sebring 12 hours in 1956 with Lotus founder Colin Chapman which burst into flames after an accident in practice which caused terminal damage and withdrawal from the race before it had started.

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin for the photographs, his son Steve for sending them on and Terry O'Neil for the race results.

Hope you have enjoyed today's 45.5cui edition of Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don't forget to come back now !


  1. A lovely reflection and photographic motor culture visit ... thanks.

    ... notes from The EDJE

  2. Welcome to GALPOT EJ, thanks for your kind comments :-)

  3. Indeed perhaps we should also remember that this was the dawning of the jet age Racer :-)

  4. The first Lotus I ever saw was at the 1956 Sebring 12 hour race. We arrived at night to the sound of Dr. Wylie(spelling) testing his ignition system at what must have been eight grand! The Climax engine just screamed in the night. I do not remember if he finish or in what position but I can still hear that engine.

  5. Dr M R J Wyllie shared #54 UK reg: XPE 6 with (his wife ?) Margret Wyllie and came in 24th (2nd in class), 95 laps behind Fangio / Castellotti in a Ferrari we will be looking at on Friday John :-) Thanks for sharing your evocative memory :-)