Formula One drivers get paid pretty handsomely these days – whether the money comes from the team for which they’re racing, or their own sponsors. But that wasn’t always the case.
In lieu of payment for his services, Lotus founder Colin Chapman gave Jim Clark this Elite Super 95 back in February of 1962.
A multitalented racer, Clark won the Formula One world championship twice (in 1963 and 1965), he won the Indianapolis 500 in ’65 (after qualifying on pole there the previous year), and the Tasman series three times – all for Lotus, and all before the age of 32, when he died in a Formula Two crash at Hockenheim. That places him as one of the top-rated racing drivers of all time. And this was the car he drove.
One of only 23 examples made, the Lotus Elite Super 95 featured a more powerful engine, servo-assisted brakes, and a bigger fuel tank. Like Sir Stirling Moss’, Clark’s car also featured one of the first sequential gearboxes, but the troublesome transmission is no longer fitted to the car, which is coming up for auction.
“With the Lotus Elite, a bygone era of motorsport is represented thanks to the very obvious connection with Jim Clark, who lived and breathed the brand in its most successful era,” noted RM Sotheby’s specialist William Smith. “Cars previously owned by Jim Clark are rarely ever sold, and this would be the ultimate collector’s item that can still be driven in spirit to this day.”
The Elite is expected to sell for between £150,000 and £200,000 (about $200-265k) when the gavel drops at Battersea in London on September 5. So, if you’re keen to get a memento of one of the finest drivers who ever lived, and drive the car that he did, that’ll be the place to be, checkbook in hand.